Occupy Vancouver: Ahmad Saeid believes protesters should adopt single message
Eating dinner on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, we witnessed one Occupy Vancouver participant giving high praise to another for a passionate speech he gave the other day.
The speech maker was Ahmad Saeid, a 34-year-old blogger who recently moved to Canada from Kuwait. He told the Straight that he has visited the tent city three times because he supports justice, human rights, and freedoms.
According to Saeid, Occupy Vancouver has lots of “enthusiasm and momentum”, but its message is “too complicated”. He argued that the Arab uprisings succeeded, in part, because they had “simple and measurable” demands.
Indeed, Saied said, Egyptian revolutionaries summed up their goal in a single sentence: “The nation wants to overthrow the regime.” In contrast, he noted, Occupy Vancouver has a mission statement, developed by consensus, that takes very long to read out.
Well, Saied believes he has just the message for Occupy Vancouver, and perhaps even Occupy Wall Street. It's founded in a religious duty, called zakat, found in Islam.
So, he'd like to see everyone pay 2.5 percent of the money they hold on to – that's different than what they earn – for a whole year.
“Taxes should be paid for the money you hold away from society, rather than for the money that you earn for your children to eat,” he said.
Perhaps that's an idea Occupy Vancouver could get behind.
* * *
Well, it's about time to turn in for the night. Let's see how much sleep we can get in the middle of tent city. The blanket kindly provided by the supplies tent should help.