Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Casserole Symphony and the Royal Canadians

In many Montreal neighbourhoods this evening people were banging pots and pans in another casserole symphony of protest. The latest tactic in this awesome  struggle. 

It's a nightly ritual known as les manifs aux casseroles, that sees hundreds of people step out of their homes, armed with pots and pans. At the stroke of 8 p.m., they start to bang on their kitchenware.

And just about everybody in the province was talking about yesterday's massive demonstration.

Meanwhile in the rest of Canada, judging from the coverage on the CBC, this was the Big Story.

Which at least helps explain why Andrew Coyne would begin his latest ranting rave against the Quebec student movement, by quoting Milan Kundera.

The fantasy of the Grand March … is the political kitsch joining leftists of all times and tendencies. The Grand March is the splendid march on the road to brotherhood, equality, justice, happiness; it goes on and on, obstacles notwithstanding, for obstacles there must be if the march is to be the Grand March.

Because Kundera never understood the new Czechoslovakia, and Coyne will never understand the new Quebec. And that it's a different place, a distinct society, a nation.

Take the recent long weekend for example. In English Canada it's named after a German British Queen, who never set foot in The Great White North, imposed her sexual repression on everyone, while lusting after her colonies and her butler, not necessarily in that order. And wore black most of her life.

Scary eh?

While in Quebec they call the holiday Journée Nationale des Patriotes or National Patriots day...

After the patriotes of 1837, who fought to free us from our colonial masters in London.

Who included these English-speaking rebels. Now all but forgotten in the rest of Canada. 

Coyne also can't seem to recognize the special role education played in allowing Quebecers to finally becomes masters of their own house or maîtres chez eux. Or how the students are reclaiming the promises of the Quiet Revolution. 

And he completely ignores the deeper malaise.

The tuition hike is just a superficial element of a deeper malaise, Détolle said. What many students and Quebecers are angry about is being forced to pay more for university while the government is seen as wasting money on construction corruption or reaping huge rewards from mining royalties. It is a continuation of the Occupy Movement that railed against a sense of social inequality, a sense it’s the wealthy and the corporations that dictate policy here and around the world.

Oh well. It doesn't really matter eh? I'm pretty sure most people in Quebec care as much about what Andrew Coyne has to say, if they've even heard of him, as they care about the adventures of Charles and Camilla.

Anyone who thinks that this world doesn't have to change is either deluded or a Con.

I wish more Canadians would resist the Harper regime like the students are resisting the Charest regime. And maybe one day they will.

But right now Quebec is a different place.

And from 1837, to the Quiet Revolution, to 2012, the struggle continues...

Vote here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. The Casserole Symphony is ingenious!

  2. Anonymous7:40 AM

    As a gay Manitoba, I believe that the Quebec student protests are a provincial matter. Having said that, I'm quite surprised that students across the country haven't taken Jim Flaherty's remark about no job being a bad job and connecting it with their financial situation.

    Why are Canadian students incurring an extremely high debt load to go to university, get a better education, receive their degree, not be able to find jobs in their field, and then have their government tell them it's alright to work at McDonald's, or clean toilets, etc etc, spending the rest of their life paying off their student loans and debts?

    Flaherty by his remark in a way has given credibility to the Quebec student protests. Time for the students to start making these connections. Play the Harper government at its' own game.

    Also make it clear that Harper will not receive another majority because they have lost Quebec. And, if you really want to try a new tactic, the Harper government is not really the Canadian Conservative Party of Canada. It really is the Alberta Reform Party. Harper couldn't get elected nationally under the Reform name, so he had to "hijack" a national Canadian party. Tells you something about the man.

    Love your blog. All the best.

  3. nice blog my friend....I will follow..and recommend

  4. There was also a Patriot uprising in Ontario (Upper Canada). You will have to dig in history books to find it. There was a Patriot Monument in Sault Ste. Marie but when the mayor declared his town English only (un peu stupide) and they trampled the Quebec flag somewhere in Ontario, they also demolished the monument.

    Simple minds like things simple.