Bonus post! (Warning: politics. Pretty non-partisan politics, but politics nonetheless)
On Saturday night a man lit the sidewalk outside of 24 Sussex on fire. Nobody was hurt (in fact, no property was hurt), and the RCMP arrested the guy. Ok, protesters of the world, here’s the problem with this particular piece of civil disobedience:
I have absolutely no clue what he was protesting.
Since I wasn’t there, I don’t know for sure that he didn’t have a sign or that he wasn’t yelling something while the sidewalk burned. What I do know is that CBC didn’t cover it. The act of violence (as harmless as it may have been) was all that the police, all that the media, and all that the average Canadian care about. The message was completely lost. And now the guy’s in jail. Not the best of trade-offs.
This is the same issue that the folks breaking windows and burning cop cars at the G20 summit in June. If the reports are true, the Black Bloc, who are responsible for these actions, are anarchists. Anarchists, unlike many of the protesters on the streets of Toronto that day, probably weren’t there to protest the expenditure of millions on tax dollars to make Toronto look pretty for the cameras. They were probably protesting the militaristic police presence in public areas. Did you see any news report on a protest to decrease police presence in public streets? I didn’t. The point is lost the second you break a window or light a fire; all that will be seen is the violent act. All the Black Bloc managed to do was spark what can only charitably be described as an enormous police overreaction that had hundreds of peaceful citizens needlessly imprisoned.
Nice job, guys. Next time, make a sign.