Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For the Safety of All!

Well, it seems that the Occupy protests are "wrapping up" now, by which I mean that people who imagined the possibility of a participatory, deliberative and caring society, are being forcibly disabused of that notion, mostly by state force.

This way, they can go back to being part of a society that, after the massive police occupation that was the Toronto G20, went and voted the embodiment of that occupation into power as Mayor.

This image to me, from Occupy Wall Street, really encapsulates similar attitudes here in Toronto, as well as the pure joy a lot of people I know seemed to get from hearing that the protesters last year at the G20 were being kettled, beaten and arrested:

I mean, there you have it, an enraged cop, fist clenched, and a cowering protester. Rejoice my friends, you can rest easy now, knowing that small parks that you never spent any time in have now been forcibly liberated for the safety of all! You can just see the look on his face, his righteous anger in helping ensure that you don't have to think about why they don't have a clear, succinct message, or television ads explaining things to you.

I cannot recall if I've said it on this blog before, but Canadians, with the exception of Quebecois, are a colonial people, who have little appetite for the kind of democracy that the Occupy movement signified, one that expected something of its citizens, an active engagement in the world and how it is run.

I mean, this is a province that overwhelmingly rejected a more proportional form of government in favour of our useless first part the post system. I was a civil servant at the time, and remember speaking with other bureaucrats, people who worked in government everyday, who were going to vote against it because it seemed like it was going to be "too complicated" for them. It's not just that they didn't understand it, it's that they couldn't be bothered to even try to understand it, like it was wasting their time. Democracy, that is.

I can only hope that this might change one day, but today, of all days, does not seem like that one day.

No comments: