Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Real Crime of Brigette DePape
Oh.My.Godzilla. Where's Barney when we need him? It seems the right-wingers in this country can't stop lumbering after Brigette DePape.
When they're not bellowing "Canada is not EGYPT !!!!!!" they're calling her a political extremist.
DePape repeatedly talked about stopping, what she termed, the "Harper Agenda." She called for Canadians to engage in civil disobedience, going so far as to claim Canada needs an "Arab Spring" and comparing the situation to the Civil Rights Movement.
Regardless of where one stands on the policies of the Conservative government, it is clear that this sort of talk is at best hyperbolic and at worst offensive. The way the protesters spoke, it's almost as if the Harper government is planning to shred the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Yet there are people, mostly young Canadians, who agree with these sentiments.
Or just young and dumb.
As if there wasn't a Harper Agenda, as if his regime hadn't already begun shredding the Charter of Rights, as if he hadn't acted like a dictator by treating Parliament with contempt.
As if she ever said Canada was Egypt:
This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper, but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods, and workplaces.
Instead of just calling on progressives to organize, restrain Harper from dismantling our country with just 39 percent support, and unite to eventually defeat him.
As if her only real crime, apart from shocking those Con porkers in the Senate, wasn't daring to speak truth to power in a country where too many Canadians don't want to hear it.
By my observations, most Canadians are afraid to speak up, and many find the very act of speaking up distasteful. A common sentiment is that public protesters are objects of ridicule and disgust, and that they need to be controlled. Order is valued above all, at almost any cost.
In that context, DePape's actions were heroic. In a society where people are even afraid to ask their employer for a raise, DePape stood up – alone – and spoke truth to power. She knew her protest would have grave consequences, but she did it anyway, and in an elegant and peaceful way.
A country where those who attack her are the real threat to democracy:
Calling a country a democracy does not make it so. In a healthy democracy, great masses of votes are not wiped out when voters happen to be the minority voice in their geographic location. In a healthy democracy, people are not afraid to protest. In a healthy democracy, people do not express horror and anguish at the sight of a young woman holding a sign.
So I agree with him.
Because when Jason Kenney calls you a kook you know you are doing the right thing eh?
And because NOTHING could be dumber than thinking that a man who walks like a dictator, and quacks like a dictator, couldn't act even more like a dictator now that he has a majority.
Yup. Those right wingers can bellow like dinosaurs, but in a country where complacency is eroding our democracy, Brigette DePape is an excellent example for young AND old progressives.
And my newest Canadian hero...