I don’t know who took Occupy McMaster’s stuff. Student Centre administration says they’re not responsible, and Security Services is still looking into the matter.
But whoever effectively evicted Occupy McMaster from the student centre did it in a planned and deliberate manner.
The one-year anniversary of Occupy’s parent movement, Occupy Wall Street, was the day before. An article had just been published in the Hamilton Spectator that pointed to dwindling membership of the campus group.
And the place wasn’t just robbed; it was cleared out completely. With the exception of a bookcase (which, presumably, was too heavy to carry away), everything was taken and the area was cleaned very late Monday night during a rare lapse of vigilance. By Tuesday morning, it was as if Occupy McMaster had never existed.
People will joke about this – and maybe with good reason. The irony was painful this summer, during which the “Apathy 2 Action” sign hung next to a mostly empty seating area. And for months, the Swedish scholar who practically made Occupy his home looked out of place.
Even the name, “Occupy McMaster,” invited criticism. The small and subdued group of students who weren’t bothering anyone did not at all resemble the larger global protests of similar names.
But whether it was a student prankster or a frustrated maintenance worker or someone higher up that caused this, it was wrong.
There are good, honest and self-aware people down at Occupy. Like engaged members of faculty societies or of clubs or of MSU services, they’re just looking for something and somewhere to be here at Mac. They are always friendly, always welcoming, and they’re there because they enjoy being around each other. They just wanted to share that.
And that includes Dr. Karl, who was a kind, progressive and interesting presence in the student centre.
If the culprits are a group of students who simply had it in for Occupy, I hope they understand that what they did wasn’t necessary or political. It was mean-spirited.
Whether or not it was Occupy’s time to vacate, this wasn’t the way to do it. I hope that, as the students rebuild in MUSC, everyone else will show a little more understanding this time around.