I haven’t really known what to think about the student protests in Montreal. Montreal is a city I loved to visit, when I lived in Ottawa, I felt like I was taking a weekend trip to Europe. But, living in Western Canada, understanding the mood and feeling on the streets of Montreal would be a stretch. I had only heard of the tear gas and arrests, and the complaints about the noise on the streets. Until I came across this video and article – the author and videographer show that joyful protest builds community, builds power, builds love and connection.
An Open Letter to the Mainstream English Media:
Thank you; you are a little late to the party, and you are still missing the mark a lot of the time, but in the past few days, you have published some not entirely terrible articles and op-eds about what’s happening in Quebec right now. Welcome to our movement.
Some of you have even started mentioning that when people are rounded up and arrested each night, they aren’t all criminals or rioters. Some of you have admitted that perhaps limiting our freedom of speech and assembly is going a little bit too far. Some of you are no longer publishing lies about the popular support that you seemed to think our government had. Not all of you, mind you, but some of you are waking up.
That said, here is what I have not seen you publish yet: stories about joy; about togetherness; about collaboration; about solidarity. You write about our anger, and yes, we are angry. We are angry at our government, at our police and at you. But none of you are succeeding in conveying what it feels like when you walk down the streets of Montreal right now, which is, for me at least, an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness.