If one thing that can be said about this Conservative government, it’s that they are very tactful and savvy when it comes to selecting picturesque Orwellian names for the proposed pieces of legislation they put before the house. The more exuberant the title, the more ludicrous the bill and perhaps the more terrifying the potential consequences of its passage.
Even in his wildest dreams, Orwell couldn’t have imagined some of the stuff emanating from the Ottawa bubble nowadays… A “Fair” Elections Act that disemboweled the body of democracy, a First Nations Control of First Nations Education that completely disempowered First Nation communities and blackmailed them into accepting a white man’s education, and last but not least, Vic Toews infamous omnibus crime bill, Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act that was actually a cover to quell any ”Un-Harperish” activities.
But the Palme d’Or of newspeak goes to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander’s Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices. It isn’t for the feeble hearted.
Another thing that isn’t for the feeble-hearted was the the violence used against protesting students in front of Quebec’s national assembly last Thursday. The images of a canister-armed SPVQ officer shooting Naomi Trudeau-Tremblay in face from a distance of barely a meter or less, was horrifying.
A Tale of Two Barbarians
In response to all of this, a wired cacophony emerged on mainstream media within the past week. On one hand images of the reckless hoards of ”radical” student protest and the other the senseless violence of those that ”hate us,” those that ”hate liberty” and our most cherished principles and freedoms. Through the lens of the mainstream media civil society, the silent peaceful, idle, majority is caught between the menace of radical Islamists on one side and by radical anarchists–they use it as if it was pejorative– on the other.
When it comes to violence perpetrated by ”radical Islamists” that violence couldn’t be more heartfully condemned. Grandiose tirades and lyrical waxing are used to put the emphasis on the need to defend the ”values of occidental society” against barbarian practices. We’ve since yesterday extended our mission to make sure ”barbarism” and obscurantism won’t engulf the Middle East. Yet another chapter of the West bring the light of civilization, by way of the lightning of aerial bombardment, to the dark corners of the globe!
On the other hand there’s the ”good” violence, the violence used to protect civil society and the silent majority from within. The violence that was used in such an exaggerated manner by law enforcement in Quebec City and Montreal in the past week.
The Silent Majority?
Once again in name of the silent majority of hard working families who agree with sacrificing their public services and their children’s future for the sake of rapacious tax credits to billionaire multinationals, the use of ”barbaric” tactics is justified. It’s self-evident that, for the silent majority to be heard, a little bit of violence is necessary.
What this underlines is that ”barbaric practices” are not the monopoly of exotic foreign cultures. With the perspective of what has happened within the past week, I do see barbaric practices, but they aren’t perpetrated in the some foreign land in the middle of sand-dunes, I do see inherently anti-women practices, but they aren’t perpetrated in the name of one god or another, except maybe the deity of balanced budgets and relentless growth.
When 18 year-old Naomie Trudeau-Tremblay was struck to the head with a gas canister, she was struck because she was protesting something. She was struck because she was student, because she was women, because she refuted the austerity agenda that this government has put forward. She was struck because this government wanted her to be silent.
This practice of police brutality is a widespread one, a practice that has been put forward to quell any form of resistance towards the dogma of austerity. Every time an exaction is committed by police officers against peaceful demonstrators, every time dispersion tactics kill a protest, every time a Naomie, a Maxence, a young student, is brutalized, their physical integrity violated, because of their political opinions, every time their voices are silenced or we attempt to silence them, a victim is born, a victim of ‘terrorism’ of ‘barbaric practices. This begs the question: maybe the “real” barbarians are here, not overseas? Or at least maybe, in many ways, we are barbarians as well… One thing is sure, austerity is barbaric!
As for the notion of silent majority, that keyword that’s swung around right and left, used to justify everything and its contrary, here’s a newsflash: the silent majority isn’t constituted by those that are idle in the face of injustice, it’s those that stand-up and fight back and that are silenced for doing so that make-up the true ‘silent majority’.
The silent majority isn’t about those who are silent, rather it’s about those who are silenced.
See you in the streets!
A luta continua!