‘Maple Tour’ kicks off with a bang!

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*This article originally appeared on Rabble.ca*

Day two of our national speaking tour dawned sunny in London, Ontario — a good omen for things to come. On day one we spoke to over a hundred people at King’s College in London, an active and engaged crowd who kept us half an hour past the end of the event with questions.

We then had a lovely dinner party with several dozen of London’s finest activists at the home of our wonderful host, professor Bernie Hammond. Discussion and drinking continued into the wee hours, and a fabulous time was had by all. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tour.

As I write this we’re in a car headed to Toronto, where we’ll be doing some interviews before heading to a pub night at the Regal Beagle at 8pm. Tomorrow kicks off bright and early with Gabriel doing an interview on Metro Morning, the CBC Radio morning show in Toronto, shortly before seven. From there Cloé will be speaking at a rally to kick off social justice week at Ryerson at Noon, before we head to York for a panel discussion and close the night off with a massive event at Ryerson. You can also see Gabriel interviewed live on CTV News Channel tonight at 6pm.

You can find the details for these events, and upcoming stops in Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Victoria and Vancouver later this week, here. If you’re in one of these cities I hope you’ll join us. Sadly time and money prevented us from stopping in Alberta or the Maritimes, which we had originally planned to do — so my apologies to friends in those places.

The tour has already received great coverage in national and local outlets, and local organizers tell us they expect large crowds at each of the stops. But perhaps the most gratifying compliment we’re received came in the form of a mocking blog post by Stephen Taylor entitled “Student entitlement tour coming to a city near you.” When you piss off the President of the National Citizens Coalition (Harper’s former employer) enough to accuse you of “fanciful marxist bleating”, you know you’re doing something right!

I’ll have to keep this post short, as we’re about to arrive at the annual convention of the Latin American Solidarity Network, but I’ll try to write regular, if short, updates from the road as the week progresses.

You can also keep up with the latest news from our tour by following me on Twitter @EthanCoxMTL, and using the hashtag #MapleTour.

Our spirits are sky high, and we’re looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible this week. See you soon!

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