It started in New York’s Wall Street district, then spreaded northward to Bay Street in Toronto, and even made it all the way to Tokyo. These are only few of the cities participating in this new global movement we call “Occupy.” The movement has taken the world by storm and shows no sign of slowing down.
As of today, what started out as “Occupy Wall Street” has reached its 37th day, transcending borders and bounderies across the globe. I look fondly upon this new movement as it brings the world together, united against the 1% who are mostly responsible for this economic situation that we continue to face.
However, there is a sorrow that I can associate with this Occupy movement. This sorrow that I speak of, is the absence of Vietnam and China in this global movement. As the whole world rises to condemn the priviledged and powerful for their failure to manage these said powers and priviledges, both the people of Vietnam and China are being shut out of this movement.
It is true that there is a major ambiguity when trying to distinguish what the protestors really want. There are so many problems with the way this world economic system is run that we have yet been able to single out the flaws. Everyone who participates has their own grievances. Protestors in New York, for example, would have different criticisms than protestors in Tokyo.
What we all know, however, is that the status quo is inadequate, and that a change must come now. Hanoi and Beijing may not have the same issues as the people in New York or Indonesia, but despite that, I can think of a few things we can blame the government of these countries for. In fact, the list of grievances for Vietnam and China are even greater than these democratic countries, and their participation may be even more substantial.
Imagine what would happen if the people of, not just Vietnam, but China and Myanmar participated in their own Occupy protests. If the people of Hanoi were to stand up against the VCP in their Occupy movements, it would be more than just corruption that was addressed. Abuse of human rights, government theft of citizens’ lands, and treason to the Chinese Communist Party (in Vietnam’s case) would be on the top of the list, and only to name a few.
It is for these reasons that Beijing and Hanoi are trying extremely hard to shield this movement from their own people. If word ever reached the people of Vietnam, China, and Myanmar, that everyone around the them was rising up to protest their respective leaders, and that they were not alone in this struggle for justice, the outcome would be amazing.
Sadly, that is just not the case. The Vietnamese government is pouring all their efforts to prevent what I just described from becoming a reality. They’ve successfully eviscerated the Arab Spring from Vietnamese consciousness, and will be doing the same for the Occupy movement. So for now, we just need to hope, and ask the question: What about Hanoi?