I have wished for unrest in the streets and now we have it, but I feel heartsore that the massive protest by Quebec students and their supporters, while tinged with new concern about constitutional rights and freedoms, is, at its core, self-serving and small, when there are bigger things to fight for. Yes I believe in classless access to education, but I have to ask the question, where is the massive street protest against Canada’s auctioning of the far north to mining companies? Where are the banners unfurling against our federal cuts to aboriginal health programs? Who wears a scrap of felt for the land and air and water our federal government refuses to stop treating like its personal casino, and where are the angry young women and men who will speak up against our society’s commodification of everything?
I wonder why no one has questioned the form university education continues to take: that of supposed all-knowing professors pontificating in the old-fashioned way from an outdated mindset in a completely irrelevant charade. Who wants a university education these days, grounded as it is in the very class-entrenched illusions from which we are ostensibly trying to awaken? What about walking the earth for a year, and listening to indigenous people and to animals and to forests and oceans? What about self-directed study combined with individually-chosen mentors and focused pilgrimages through real terrain, instead of the overcrowded and outmoded and senile fossils of our so-called universities? Where are the radicals, the idealists, the visionaries who see beyond the issue of tuition hikes for counterfeit education? When will our society wake up to the fact that we have sold everything out to the illusion that money means all?
I wear a white square because I feel we have become so polarized we need to stop and listen, not just to each extreme of any argument, but to more of the wisdom available to us. We live in a threatened natural world and the voices of our leaders, especially our federal leaders here in Canada, are the washed-out clangings of idiot bells. Where is the uprising against our mercenary, short-sighted and criminal federal government? Is it enough to limit our fight to the issue of tuition hikes that hurt our personal pocketbooks? There are bigger things to fight for, and were the streets of Montreal filled with hundreds and thousands of us fighting for justice, humanity, equality and respect for our planet, I would unfurl my banner and shout alongside.