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Will protesters Occupy winter?

Liam Lahey

They've stared down riot police, stood unrelentingly before corporate America, and challenged the mainstream media to carry their message, but can Occupy Wall Street protesters withstand old man winter?

According to Reuters, momentum for the Occupy movement is on the wane (maybe most had to get back to work) but that's likely due to the fact there's been little purpose to the protests since the global Oct. 15th demonstrations. Maybe the Occupy movement is a little like wearing a hyper-coloured t-shirt: Popular, cool for a time and then reality sneaks back in.

"At some point, as with any tactic, one has to find a second act. That's true with any movement. I hope that the protesters are flexible enough to be talking about what the next step will be once most of them leave the park," Michael Kazin, a professor of social movements at Georgetown University and co-editor of the magazine Dissent, told Reuters. "I don't think the media's going to be writing about so many people sitting in the park if they're still there in December."

Likely not. And it does get cold in Gotham City. But let me tell you, it gets just as cold or a lot colder in Canadian cities (excluding Vancouver). Regardless, writer Allan Fotheringham remarked in the Globe And Mail the Canadian Occupy movements in large urban centres have been reasonably successful if for no other reason than the authorities are afraid to manhandle the protesters.

"Because of the Vancouver riots and the G20, the cops are terrified of being considered too harsh and are down there [on Bay Street] on bicycles. I find that very amusing. The cops are afraid of being bullies now. The people who rule us are very nervous."

But what of the smaller, less sexy Canadian Occupy movements such as the one in say, Nelson, B.C.? What impact are these protests having in smaller Canadian communities? In seemingly typical Canuck fashion, everyone is behaving and trying not to succumb to the elements while camping outside Nelson City Hall.

"Our number one request was for them to be respectful of the location and our property and the property next door. These are community assets and people want them properly looked after," Mayor John Dooley told the Nelson Star.

Dooley also asked of  the protesters that if they stay until Remembrance Day on Nov. 11th that they clear the area by Nov. 9th. "After that they can decide whether they want to return or not. The Remembrance Day ceremony is very important to the community."