So, needless to say, even though I’ve been looking for a job closer to downtown for the past two years, I’m glad to be nowhere near the inner city this week.
I haven’t seen the fence, but I hear it’s big.
As I was discussing with some friends the other day, I don’t really know how to feel about the whole thing.
Back in 2002 when the G7 met in Kananaskis, Alberta, and 2001 when the Summit of the Americas was held in Quebec City, I was involved in a lot of activism and many people I knew attended protests at those events (or as near as the “designated protest zone” was allowed). We were anti-globalization and opposed fair-trade. The issues seemed clear, and we wanted specific alternatives to what the summit members were proposing.
Now, I don’t really know what summit leaders will be talking about. The more I read the news, the more confused I get. If, as Harper says “the discussion should be less about new agreements than accountability for existing ones” couldn’t this have been done on the phone?
Initially, I was frustrated that the news media seemed to be focusing on logistics and risk of violence when talking about protestors and seemingly not paying any attention to the reason the protestors are actually there. But I wonder now if it’s because there is no one good reason the protestors are there.
I’m sure many are well intentioned. I’m sure their issues are important. But when everyone is there yelling hundreds of different and unrelated slogans, I fear the message will get lost.
Am I disillusioned and out of touch? I do still think that public protest and peaceful civil disobedience has its place and can be an effective tool for change. I just don’t see it happening this time.
Given all this, there are only two things I am sure of: 1) $1.2 billion is waaaay too much and so not worth it and 2) this weekend, I will be anywhere but downtown.