By Veronika Latkina
A discussion led by distinguished professor Stephen Lewis on global social injustice and poverty issues changed its focus to these issues locally as Occupy Toronto participants joined the room at Ryerson on Oct. 17.
“I am glad that these people are joining us,” said Lewis when protesters entered the lecture hall. “The Occupy movement is one of the most exhilarating events of our time.”
The public lecture Re-Image Social Justice was held at Ryerson as part of the social justice week occurring on campus. The professor at Ryerson also works as a Canadian politician and founder of his own foundation, the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Lewis said in his speech that people should respond to social injustice issues and, if the momentum of [Occupy Toronto] will continue, the progressive political groups will react.
“We hold so tight to our own experiences of being marginalized. We should step aside from our cynicism and make the change,” said Becky McFarlane, a part-time student at Ryerson.
McFarlane has participated in Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Toronto movements. She says that nobody seems to argue with the statement that there is one per cent, and there is a 99 per cent, which signifies that inequality is the real issue.
“We should give everyone a belief that tomorrow can become a better day,” said Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson. “We have to go beyond talking to ourselves.” Later, Levy thanked protesters for their desire to create a change.
Winnie Ng, Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University, finished the lecture with the words, “We are many; They are few. They need us more, than we need them.”