You remember that one don't you? It was in all the papers.
- Remember stephen harper, before blowing $16 billion on new fighter-planes to protect us from Al Qaeda's X-acto knives, spent $1.something billion dollars on security for his two-day summit to announce his $2.5 billion over FIVE YEARS on women's health?
- Remember how this one-billion plus was being spent to prevent maybe a million dollars in property damage?
- Remember how the property damage happened anyway?
- Remember how the two-day summit that cost over a billion dollars decided to announce a new policy of government austerity?
- Remember how the police responded to the riot by arresting 1,000 people at random 24-hours later and brutalizing them?
- Remember the largest numbers of mass-arrests in our country's history?
Yeah, right. No big deal.
Anyway, I went to the rally at Queen's Park yesterday, just to stand and be counted. I figured Canadians are pretty blah-zay about innocent fellow citizens being tortured. They're pretty nonchalant that our soldiers are dying to prop-up a government of unelected, torturing, drug-dealers and pedophiles. They're indifferent to the fact that in the war to impose this government their country has been implicated in torture. Canadians can only yawn and stretch and scratch their bellies when stephen harper prorogues Parliament to avoid having to be accountable for his war crimes.
So, it's not like I expected to see one-million people at Queen's Park.
But I had HOPED to see more than a couple of hundred people. Alas, alack, all there was were a few hundred people. At one point, they were insisting "Never again!' but it didn't seem to have much resonance. I got the opinion that our elites know damned well they can do this as much as they want.
Because it's true. They don't brutalize everyone all the time. They mainly brutalize the tiny minority of people in this country who care about anything. The ones who come out to protest. And make no mistake about it, they'll brutalize us whether we're violent or not.
And that's why I had some sympathy for the Black Bloc, to the extent that they said they were prepared to fight-back when the police brutalized protests. I liked the fact that the Black Bloc weren't so totally sold on this non-violence in the face of psychopathic sadism shtick that most progressive Westerners have swallowed hook, line, and sinker.
On that note, Cathie From Canada has a post today with some good links to sink one's teeth into about the Black Bloc and their tactics.
For my part, I agreed with Canadian Dimension's Ritch Whyman (who Cathie links to) when he says that THIS TIME, peaceful, non-violent protest would have been the smartest tactic in the face of harper's one-billion dollars worth of security spending and that the Black Bloc's antics were counter-productive. I also thought that this random violence is pointless and as much empty ritual as most left-wing peaceful protesting is.
But back to the rally. On the one hand, standing to be counted isn't too much to ask people even if going to these things just so you can say that you did and feel good about yourself doesn't solve a lot of the world's problems. On the other hand though, I can't blame other people for thinking that these demos and rallies are a waste of time. They're not going to achieve anything. They're not going to do anything but allow progressives to get together, discuss, strategize, and look around and realize how powerless and impotent they are.
I think the status-quo, both the present hegemonic political order AND the progressive alternatives are dissatisfying and I'm determined to try and change that.