Sunday, April 07, 2013
Why We Should Fear What's Happening in Montreal
It's a scene that keeps repeating itself in the streets of Montreal.
A few hundred demonstrators set out on a peaceful march to protest against a totalitarian by-law limiting freedom of assembly.
Only to be kettled by the riot squad, and then arrested. Like they were again this weekend.
Montreal police said at least 279 protesters were arrested on Friday evening during a demonstration against police tactics.
Surrounded by police before they even left the little park they had gathered in. Then handcuffed, driven away in buses, and slapped with $637 fines.
The young, the old, the odd journalist, the peaceful people of the little red square...
And because the by-law also makes it illegal to wear a mask, they even kettled the gentle mascot Anarchopanda this weekend...
And confiscated its head.
Which is disturbing enough, since everybody knows it belongs to a harmless, middle aged philosophy professor.
But what I find even more disturbing is how little media attention these mass arrests are getting. And how many Quebecers and Canadians are shrugging their shoulders, or cheering on the police.
When as Véronique Robert, a Montreal criminal lawyer, wrote recently, we should ALL be afraid.
"When the young, and the even younger, receive $637 tickets for participating in a public assembly, be afraid. When protest movements are bullied from the moment they are formed, be afraid. When the police detain citizens en masse for no reason, be afraid. When police conflate interrogation with arbitrary arrest for exercising a constitutional right, be afraid.
What should actually scare us, in Montreal, is the police and their totalitarian declarations. What we should fear is the state and our mode of governance. Not protesters."
For if we allow the police in Canada to get away with this kind of totalitarian behaviour, we could end up like the people in Britain.
Where on April Fools Day David Cameron's Con-Lib coalition began one of the most brutish assaults on the poor, the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled, that country has ever seen...
(click pic to enlarge)
But when the cry of the desperate went out: Where are the protests? Where are the ACTIVISTS? There was only silence. Or this brutal answer.
Right now, as millions of people stare down the barrel of job losses, benefits sanctions, destitution and desperation and the rich are given tax cuts, I hear a lot of people asking why there isn't more resistance going on. Well, here's why. There was resistance, and it was brutally and systematically put down.
Sadly, many of the liberal-minded folk now wondering aloud where all the anger on the streets has gone were the same people who condemned the students and anti-cuts protesters for being just a bit too noisy, too rowdy, too "violent".
In Tory Britain, as the cuts kick in, even the most peaceful protests are put down as a warning to the rest of us.
And since we live in Stephen Harper's Canada, where the Cons are also trying to kill government and attacking the poor and the unemployed, and too many are too quick to cheer on the police.
More Canadians should also be asking themselves this question:
First they came for the students. Now they've come for the rest of us, who will speak out?
For who knows what horrors the Cons have in store for us? As the economic outlook grows grimmer, and the Harperites more ruthless and desperate. And if they crush the activists and the unions, who will lead the struggle against them?
Which is why I am so grateful to the brave activists in Montreal who are speaking out for all of us.
Why I salute their amazing spirit...
Why I wish I was there, standing up to those who would treat humans like animals.
And of course, why me and my little blog still proudly wear this red square...
As well as the red feather of the Idle No More Movement.
So that they should know that even in the sinister darkness of Harperland. Where so many are so silent. And fear RULES.
We are not afraid.
And The Great Canadian Resistance still LIVES...
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