G20 protestor displays naive beliefs
Rick Juliusson’s claims of his peaceful presence at the recent international meeting in Toronto should be taken at face value. But he displays an incredible amount of naïveté when he faults the government for avoiding the protestors, and for the police’s occassional inclusion of “peaceful” protestors along with those intent on destruction. Mr. Juliusson even goes so far to excuse the destructive ones. This position results in a loss of credibility. There is absolutely no justification for violent means, and he should have realized his presence alongside the criminal element would simply confuse his message and desire to be treated in a civil manner. Perhaps he learned an important lesson.
- Bob Hawkins
My response, sent in today:
While I don’t expect a president to risk showing up at a public rally, I do persist in the belief that our democratically elected leaders must listen to their constituencies. If Bob Hawkins wants to call this “an incredible amount of naiveté”, so be it – I’d rather speak out against Harper and the G8’s systematic attack on our democratic and human rights than quietly let it happen.
My peaceful presence did not imply consent for the violent tactics employed by a minority of protesters. To suggest that it would have been better for us 25,000 Peaceful protesters to stay off the streets is naïve. For 9 days we successfully staged many non-violent marches, workshops and speakers forums, speaking directly and eloquently to the issues. The mainstream media had already decided to ignore the issues and focus on security and the violence that would sell their papers - abandoning the streets solely to the violent minority on the final day would not have changed that.
Yes, Mr. Hawkins, I “learned an important lesson”: that we must stand in strong solidarity, peacefully and strongly speaking Truth to power. I learned that our voices must be shared, even if the G8 leaders are behind closed doors not listening. The only thing worse than the violence would be quietly staying away.