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Democracy in Action – Look and Learn my sleeping obedient country.

The protests in Quebec are an example to the rest of Canada to what an active citizenry is like and how people can affect change in the political spectrum.  At the time of this writing, 39 days of protest are on record.  Thirty nine days of showing Canadians that people still do have a place Canadian politics.  The real lesson though is that this political space is never given freely, it is earned by the mass momentum  of people demanding and then taking their place in the debate.  This is the very lifeblood of democracy; yet our elites and media however cannot seem to do much more than sneer and dismiss the people of Quebec.   The next level of protest is coming as the Grand Prix is coming to Montreal, and the protesters might squeeze the cash flow of the event.  Action must be taken as the business elites must have their way.

“The prospect of continued protests following this week’s breakdown of talks to end the Quebec student crisis has Premier Jean Charest and Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay worried about the financial impact as Montreal preps for its lucrative Grand Prix race.

Both politicians appealed Friday for “responsibility” on the part of demonstrators, saying protesters should leave Formula One fans alone and not harm stores, hotels and restaurants during the tourist-heavy event next weekend.

Charest accused student groups of “hurting Quebecers” as they take to the streets and expressed concern they would disrupt the Grand Prix, which brings millions of dollars to the province each year.”

     Hurting Quebec business is what he should have said.  An interesting angle as this story would be where the local chamber of commerce political opinion’s are in terms of support of the demonstrators.

“Tremblay [the mayor of Montreal] told journalists he was “very disappointed, very, very, very disappointed” in the collapse of negotiations between students and the province. With the Grand Prix about to rev up and Montreal’s summer-long series of festivals getting into high gear, the mayor called for a smooth running of a “very important season.”

“I appeal to the maturity and sense of responsibility” of protesters to demonstrate without “causing harm to merchants, hotels and restaurateurs,” Tremblay said.

“I’ll do everything I can to ensure these events are a success, but also to ensure the safety of Montrealers.”

The Mayor’s statement could mean so many things.  The doublespeak that has been issuing from the various levels of government has been flowing furiously as of late.  I’m guessing that “safety of Montrealers” means more stringent security measures against the demonstrators.  I hope Mr.Trembley realized the pardoxical nature of political protest – the tighter you clamp down on people the more people see the injustice of the situation and join in, creating even bigger problems for the forces of law and order.  It is happening even now…

“Matthew Larose, a 32-year-old construction foreman, said he’ll probably be going to the big demonstration planned for Saturday afternoon like he has seven of the nighttime marches. He’s against the tuition increases but also against Bill 78.

“If they can do it in Quebec, they can do it everywhere else. It sets a bad precedent for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of everything. They’re going completely against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it’s disgraceful,” he said.”

Bill 78 is a tipping point, hopefully the political class in Montreal will wake up and start helping, rather than harming their cause.

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