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Civil disobedience

Friday … May 1st – May Day, Riots, Demonstrations and Mayhem

tumblr_n2w3uhcDia1rvyjllo2_500 spoonsdammitCourtesy: Spoons

Today is May 1st. Today is also my father’s birthday. Not that it matters, since we don’t speak, but it is what it is. We all know what has been going on in the United States these past two weeks. I don’t write about current events, because who needs another opinion on what I feel is wrong, and what we need to do to fix it.

Systemic problems in law enforcement are a common problem not only here in Canada, but in other places like the U.S. I believe that there is a tipping point in all of this. And another dead black man at the hands of police just reinforces that, ONE, the police, for whatever reason, are not paying attention to what other cops have done to other black men, and TWO, not learned the lessons, and so, THREE, on high horses, cops pegged a black man for unsubstantiated reasons, arrested him, shackled him and put him in a police van, then drove him to his death.

Everybody should be wary of police, because nobody is immune to police brutality. It could happen to any of us at any time. For years really, black communities have been target populations, their young people are unjustly targeted.

And it seems cops don’t give a shit about civil rights and proper policing procedures.

Two camps of people, both on edge, both warily watching each other, almost to the point of playing chicken, and as it happened again, one side acted, and the tipping point was reached, and what did we see, riots, looting, fires and civil disobedience.

The cops aren’t on a very good learning curve are they? They just seem to be shooting themselves in the heads week after week, and month after month.

Living above the Northern Border, watching life happen in the South, one has to detach because, one) It isn’t happening here, two) We cannot do anything about it, and three) it has nothing to do with Canada.

Pretty harsh, if it ain’t local, don’t worry about it.

Civil right are civil rights, no matter where you live. They just happen to be on live display down in the U.S.

We have our own problems to deal with here.

It was May Day today. And Canadians are demonstrating all over the country. Our Quebec government has introduced drastic austerity measures, and nobody has escaped these new laws they are trying to push forwards.

So like every Spring, as has happened over several years past, Montrealer’s really know how to protest. They go ALL OUT, or Go Home. From small demos to huge demos, people have been marching in the streets for a long time.

Today was no different.

The downtown core was disrupted, buildings were shuttered, bus routes were stopped, people were marching in the streets. Now the authorities have certain rules for engagement.

  1. All routes must be given in advance
  2. No masks
  3. No violence
  4. Be peaceful and behave and you can march
  5. That RARELY happens.

Our police force is a bit twitchy.

Most demonstrations that go off, are quickly quashed because of rules being broken. Our young people aren’t really afraid of the police. They go fuck all on the police. They scream, yell, throw rocks and bottles. They burn police cars and wreck public cars and buildings.

I was on the train going out this evening, and the trains were FULL of people, with masks, picket signs, and they were chanting on the trains ahead of the chanting they were going to do once they hit the streets.

I got to the church and friends of mine who had come from other directions, spoke about riots, tear gas and marauding hoards of people running through the streets and the police chasing them down.

So you see, even up here, we aren’t immune to social strife and demonstrations.

Spring offensives are a regular occurrence here. As soon as it warms up, those with a bone to pick, start planning. This has been a common theme over the last eight to ten months. For the last year, there have been silent protests by city employees, firefighters, the police. There are protest stickers covering police cars, firetrucks, metro cars, buses, you name it.

If you can stick a sticker on it, there you go.

Now add the layer of public disobedience, on top of pissed off authority figures, you have a disaster in the making. Two sides pissed off for their own reasons, clashing over other issues that have pissed city folks off, and the fire keg is set to blow.

And things are just getting started. It is going to be a long spring.

I have opinions, but I’d rather keep them to myself, so to avoid flame wars.

Tonight we talked about Character.

We sat a full house. Everything was good.

More to come. I just wanted to address the obvious and share a bit about Montreal.

Nobody is immune.