frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
[personal profile] frandroid
Joe Fiorito: Sometimes price of freedom is gloriously inconvenient. Another good column in the Star profiling some of the Tamil protesters. I think the "they're not Tamil, they're Canadian" premise a little facetious (why not say "also" Canadian?), but Fiorito only has the best of intentions. hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] culpster.


The line is long and narrow.

Sometimes it is drawn here, along an expressway on a Sunday night; and sometimes it is drawn there, in another country, by rockets laden with explosives. To read between those lines, know this:

In the first place, the protesters on the Gardiner were not Tamil, they are Canadian.

In the second place, what's the point of a democracy if you cannot take your beef to the streets?

In the third place, if my relatives were starving in camps or being killed, I'd protest, too, and so would you.

In the fourth place, no one here got hurt – Here, of course, is not There, where very many people are being hurt.

In the fifth place, you might prefer all public protest to take place out of sight and out of mind. Sorry, this is a free country; there are days when the price of freedom is gloriously inconvenient.

It was gloriously inconvenient yesterday morning – 100 people, bullhorns, flags and chants – at the Sri Lankan consulate on St. Clair just west of Yonge.

I talked to a young man who would not give his name, afraid that someone would make a link to his relatives in Sri Lanka and take it out on them.

He said, "I was on the Gardiner last night. I came directly here. I did not sleep." He looked tired. He is young. He studies business administration and works in a restaurant.

Just another Canadian.

Why bother to protest at the consulate? "I just want someone to come out. We want a permanent ceasefire. We want them to give us an answer."

I said he was not likely to get one. He said, "We have to try. People are spilling blood."

A yoga mummy pushed past us with her pram and her designer baby. She said, peevishly, "Get out of the way." I wonder how she'd feel if her family were under the gun.

An older man named Vaithilidam – first names only, please – said, "I am not political, but I saw what happened on the Gardiner and that touched my heart. Kids, women, everyone was there – that's why I came here."

Normally, Vaithilidam would be at work – he runs a lighting store – but business is down; as you know, these are not normal times.

He said, "Everyone has relatives there. Everyone is worried. People don't like us to do this protest, but there is too much heart-pain, there is killing."

Too much to bear silently.

At the other end of the line stood Rajasekaran. He runs a knitting machine, making sportswear. His machine was idle yesterday.

"I can't work. I'm affected. I see the pictures on the Internet. My grandparents, my brothers, all of them are there. I can't eat or sleep."

He said, in reference to the international protest about the seal hunt, "There are animal rights. Where are human rights? Everyone has to help us."

More of the same at Queen's Park. A man named Ravi said, "I'm a factory worker – we make concrete slabs and mouldings – and in the evenings I am a cleaner."

Hard to get time off? "I called my boss. He's an Italian. I've worked there 15 years. It's okay. But after this, I have to go to my other job."

He said, "I have three kids, 6, 4 and 2 years old. They are a present from Canada. If I was still in Sri Lanka, I might be dead."

To those who may have been inconvenienced by the protest, he said, "We have to say we are sorry, we don't want to disturb."

Like I said.

That's so Canadian.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
frandroid

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
1617 181920 2122
2324252627 2829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Active Entries

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 07:38 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios