“The Whole World’s Watching”
I’ve lived in Canada for more than half my life now and truly feel Canadian; in fact, I’ve spent almost a quarter of my life in Quebec and consider myself un fièr quebecois, as much as some of my Quebec friends might doubt that. Part of me is sad to have to miss witnessing and to some extent participating in the current upheaval happening there, largely fomented by the striking students, but ably fueled as well by the hibernating #OWS people, opportunistic anarchists, and of course the despotic governments and SWAT team mentality of the police.
Here’s my synopsis: Kids, you have to pay more tuition. There’s no way around it. You want good teachers, they cost money. Quebec tuition is the lowest by far anywhere in North America. Government: Christ, you really blew it. Again. Political posturing and brinksmanship when concessions and negotiations would have worked, this is what it gets you. And now you ramrod through police state tactics which you know won’t stand judicial scrutiny, just so you can clean up this shit storm by the time the Formula 1 roadshow and its mega-millions are scheduled to arrive? And do you think no one notices when your cronies, lieutenants and advisers are finally hauled in on corruption charges? You say you need a diversion?
OK kids, the ball’s in your court. Civil disobedience is your right, but you must be prepared to pay the consequences. It’s conceivable you might get a criminal record out of it. At 20 that may not seem like a big deal but it might be huge when you’re 35. Think about it, but do not let them take that right away from you. You can block traffic, you can sit in, you can occupy, you can liberate, you can demonstrate. If it is illegal, you can be arrested. If the police attack, you can be injured. Looting, breaking store windows and general anarchy are counter-productive. Just remember what you’re fighting for now: they are trying to take your rights away from you because it is politically expedient and they think they can get away with it. You have the internet, you have cellphone cameras, and you have right on your side. Don’t blow it. Like we said in 1968 — the whole world’s watching.
And to think I started this post with the idea of writing about my day shopping at Wal-Mart.
photo: Ben Shingler