Monday, June 18, 2012

Quebec and the Betrayal of the Young

I like the words on this mural at the East side gallery in Berlin. "If they don't let us dream, then we don't let them sleep."

Because the day we stop dreaming about a better world, is the day that we start dying eh?

And those who would betray the future don't deserve to sleep easy. 

Because it is being betrayed. In Greece, where austerity is killing a country, and the young are the big losers. 

Youth unemployment is at 50 per cent in Greece and few have any prospects of finding jobs as the Greek economy continues to sink. “I fear that unless Syriza is in government, the young people will take to the streets in protest because they would have nothing to lose,” said a diplomat who did not want to be identified.

In Egypt, where the dreams of the young lions who led the fight against the Mubarak regime have been hijacked by the military.

In Canada, where the young face a future of unemployment, low wages, and no pensions, as Stephen Harper tries to turn Canada into a jungle, and the planet into a desert.

And in Quebec, where Jean Charest is trying to win an election by portraying a peaceful student movement as dangerous and violent. 

“What I have seen in the last six months as Premier of Quebec is something I’m worried about,” Mr. Charest said in lengthy remarks to reporters on Thursday. “There’s new tolerance for violence, intimidation, civil disobedience. Some people justify this because for them anything is justified for the cause. Well, that is not what our society is about.”

When in fact he's the one who is dangerous, for trying to scavenge political capital out of a social crisis he helped create. 

And his police are the violent ones...

It's depressing eh?

Until you remember that from Harperland to Quebec, from Greece to Egypt, it's all the same struggle. The old order is being challenged and it's fighting back. 

But then so are we. If they don't let us dream of a better world, then we will not let them sleep. 

Support the Quebec students. Remember the suffering people of Greece, and the young lions of Egypt.

How hard the struggle.

How great the betrayal....

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  1. In the 60's, I was one of the people in the streets, this time in California, for fairness..different times, different economies, but we made women's issues, contraception, civil rights, etc. all things that people now take for granted..
    Some of us got our heads beat in, and some of us died (Kent State anti-war protest, shot by their own countrymen in the National Guard) and I continue to try and honour those friends who fought and died in 'Nam, so insane and needless. like Iraq and Afghanistan...
    Every generation seems to have its issues, and the young must take to the streets, as a rite of passage...
    As I think back on my own generation's struggles and successes, I can only hope that in Quebec, and the rest of the world, that the youth will ultimately succeed, and show us the way out of this economic and social abyss we find ourselves in, once again....

    1. hi mizdarlin...I'm glad you got your training during the sixties, because we're going to need you again. It can't just be the young out there, it's got to be all of us. The student marches in Quebec were impressive enough, but it wasn't until older people joined them that it became a mass movement for social justice. And it was an amazing moment.
      So c'mon. I'll bring my drum. You bring the sixties tunes and the weed... ;)

  2. Anonymous7:58 PM

    I was in disbelief, a person reading on the subway, was arrested for reading a book? Are there certain books, citizens are forbid to read, or what? Perhaps there will be a book burning, of library books, text books, and books from University's.

    Well in Vancouver, there are statues of Lenin and Mao. Looks like Canada is on a roll.

    1. hi anonymous...yes it's true. A young woman on the subway was arrested for the "crime" of reading the book 1984. I reminds me of a story during the War Measures Act. A couple was arrested after police found books on cubist art, and thought they were terrorist manuals from Cuba !!! Oh boy. History repeats itself and so does the madness...

  3. Let us not forget that Charest used to park his car on the same side of the lot as the second most hated politician in Canadian memory. A leopard dosen't change it's spots. Mark

    1. hi could I forget that? In fact I've got a story for that one too. It's said in the Sherbrooke region that the day Jean Charest became a Liberal his father a died in the wool conservative wept to see his boy turn red. But of course he didn't need to eh? Because as you point out a leopard doesn't change its colours. And a Con is a Con is a Con...