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Next Stop

THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT has spread across the world since September, fighting for “the 99 per cent.” But two months later, the grassroots movement strayed off course with reports of drug overdoses and hippie love fests in the tent cities.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column encouraging readers to show their support for Occupy, but now I’m not so sure. The Vancouver tent city, for example, is being shut down after a 20-year-old woman was found dead from drug overdose. Occupy Ottawa has also lost supporters, some because of reports of sexual assault in the camps.

What is going on? Why are the protesters challenging corporate greed failing to challenge drug addiction, sexual assault, and lack of safety? Do they really represent the 99 per cent?

I think it’s time for protesters to find a focus or go home. With over two months of not making concrete demands, maybe the protesters should start working on their list, even if it’s extensive and excruciating to write.

Without a purpose or direction, many are following the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll route, much like the hippie protests during the Vietnam War in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Others are jumping on the bandwagon out of boredom. Someone needs to remind occupiers why they’re protesting in the first place.

In theory, the Occupy movement seems like a valid concept, specifically in the United States. But the newspaper reports of chaos in tent cities doesn’t just undermine the message—it shreds it into pieces. In just a few weeks, I changed my mind from supporting Occupy to wanting the tents down and the parks scrubbed clean—and I’m sure I’m not alone.

If the 99 per cent represents physical, sexual, and drug abuse, I’m OK with being the one per cent. The protesters don’t represent the group they claim to. If occupiers need to go home and stand under a hot shower for an hour to come back to reality, they should just disband the camps now and return when they know what they really want.