Wednesday, March 14, 2012


There's a general feeling of unrest in the streets of Montréal of late, in great part due to the faltering politics and political system, but exacerbated by the provincial government to raise the cost of university education, to bring it closer to the Canadian average, when the average income in our province is still way below what it should be. As a matter of fact, of the 15 biggest cities in Canada, 5 of the bottom 7 in terms of quality of life/disposable income per capita are from Québec.

To make matters worse, local law enforcement has gone way over the line in terms of brute force, displaying some of the worst police brutality this city has known in perhaps a decade; the cops are targeting the students harder than they did rioters in the past 3 riots worth mentioning (2008, 2009 and 2010).

On a larger scale, protesting as a way of expressing oneself is quickly becoming a no-no in North America in general, as authorities fear losing control. More and more, they order cops to repress protesters, jail them for no reason, anything to discourage them from taking action - and anything to make them look like criminals when the TV cameras come, to sway public opinion against them. And sometimes it even works.

Although that may change, now that one kid might lose his fucking eye as a result of receiving a noise grenade right in the face. Impatience now grows on both sides:

Just a reminder that demonstrating, in a democracy, is as vital a way of expressing displeasure as voting, only it isn't reserved for adults. It is a right that was granted to most people 50 to 100 years ago and has lead to civil advancements in women's rights, racial inequities, worker compensation, dignity and human rights. Why the Powers That Be are so afraid of it when it would shut us up to give us our candy once in a while still mesmerizes me, but not everyone was born with a high IQ or the ability to reflect on issues that concern the greater good.

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