All Posts Tagged With: "protests"
John Geddes on Montréal
I admit I’ve always felt ambivalent about mass youth protest. I came along just after the Sixties generation, you see, and so my undergrad years fell in the early 1980s. My demographic coterie had heard about enough from our older siblings, high school teachers, and younger professors about changing the world by taking to the streets. It was getting a bit stale and sentimental. Pierre had rediscovered the virtues of a decent haircut. Phony Beatlemania had, we were given to believe, bitten the dust.
By the time the next round of serious street demos rolled around with the anti-globalization movement that hit the news big time with 1999’s “Battle of Seattle,” we were way past donning gas masks. Last year’s Occupy encampments forced some of us to alter our preferred dog-walking routes. I touch on all this to candidly frame the way I’ve watched, from afar, the Montréal protests: I can’t see my younger self in the images. So if my perspective seems detached to those, say, a decade older or younger than my 50 years, I think that could be partly a matter of my lack of nostalgia.
160 arrested in Gatineau
In Quebec, where many students have boycotted classes for months, attempts by universities to hold classes and exams are being severely tested.
More than 160 protesters were arrested on Wednesday at the Université du Québec en Outaouais’s Gatineau campus, after an injunction ordered protesters off campus for two weeks starting Monday. The adults among them were charged hundreds of dollars each for blocking the highway to campus, reports the Montreal Gazette.
Also on Wednesday, the province’s biggest school, the Université de Montréal, called off classes in departments whose student associations have held successful strike votes, despite having earlier encouraged willing students to return to classes this week. The capitulation followed incidents where protesters blocked students from entering and leaving buildings and set off fire alarms during exams, reports the Gazette.
Thousands of students on strike
Montreal police arrested 37 protesters early Friday morning after they broke into and vandalized a college, the CEGEP du Vieux-Montréal.
“These people may face charges of mischief, assault, and armed aggression against a police officer,” Montreal police spokesperson Daniel Lacoursière told CBC News.
The late-night vandalism came after four arrests and the release of pepper spray on Thursday as protesters blocked access to the Montreal stock exchange and a nearby hotel, reports 680 News.
Thousands of post-secondary students are striking in Quebec. They’re skipping classes in order to protest a tuition hike of $1,625 over five years that begins this fall.
Dangerously scaling buildings costs lives
Twenty Greenpeace members were arrested yesterday after staging a protest at Parliament Hill. At 7:30 a.m., 19 individuals–in hard hats and jumpsuits–scaled two buildings and unfurled banners from the rooftops.
“Harper, Ignatieff, climate inaction costs lives,” read the banners, in both English and French.
Emergency vehicles were called to the scene, and protesters were helped down one by one. They were then arrested, along with an organizer from the ground.
I could deconstruct the merits of such a demonstration, but (as Obama would say) why not look at the situation as a “teachable moment?” We all have something to say, right? Why not tell it the Greenpeace way? Here are the points I’ve extracted:
- Make sure your method upstages your message. That’s right; loud, brash and unapologetic. That way, everyone will be talking about what you did, not what you said.
- It’s always best to break the law. You can later use your being-led-to-police-cruiser photo as your new Facebook profile picture. I predict 10 new friend requests. At least.
- Nothing says, “take me seriously” like matching uniforms.
- Make sure you identify to whom your message is directed. Spell it out in 7212 point font. Just to make sure they don’t miss it.
- Take a holistic approach. For example, incorporate physical activity in delivering your point. That way, you subtly lament the physical decline of our nation, while broadcasting your primary message. Talk about killing two birds. <Insert inoffensive idiom>
On a more serious note, Greenpeace did effectively reveal the gross security inadequacies at Parliament Hill. Pretty good for a protest that was supposed to be about.. um.. ya, pretty good!