Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement

On my way home today I visited the park where Occupy Toronto once lived. And I could hardly recognize the place.

The old gazebo where so many passionate speeches were made, and so many dreamed of a better world, was quiet now. 

And where there were once tents huddled together in the cold...

Now there are just dogs and their owners.

So if I hadn't visited the camp during those frantic days of hope and disappointment, I'd never know that something special happened here. Or understand how the occupy movement helped change Canada.

The Canadian public is on a distinct tilt to the left, says a new national public opinion poll, suggesting concern over wealth distribution has traction beyond the Occupy tents and protest parades.

The Forum Poll for the National Post also suggests a wide majority of Canadians – more than three-quarters – think Canada suffers from an income gap, where the rich are getting too rich and the poor are getting too poor.

Or how the movement is influencing the struggle of the students in Quebec. Who after marching and protesting for months finally forced Jean Charest to talk to them today.

For they too are idealists dreaming of a better world.

So what is going on in Quebec? I hazard the following, daring hypothesis: maybe the students are idealists who are trying to make a better world, one in which a university education is available to all those who have the desire and the ability to pursue it.

If that’s the case, they deserve a hearing from their elders, and maybe also, a helping hand. After all, the goal they are pursuing seems one worthy of our support. It certainly beats the wrecked environment and patently unjust economic system that would otherwise represent the bulk of what we will have bequeathed to them.

And she was right eh?

If we don't try to change the world, who will? 

And if we don't join together to fight those who would turn our society into a jungle, what chance do we have?

Which is why I just LOVE this picture...

Ottawa students crossing the bridge into Quebec this evening to show their solidarity.

Yup. First we save Quebec from Jean Charest and his riot police...

Then we save Canada from Stephen Harper and his foul Cons.

Then we save the planet...

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Scott in Montreal said...

Beautiful, Simon. Dream big my good man!

Sol said...

Great piece, Simon.