‘Actions like these provide the answer to the Harper government’

by Aaron Wherry

Brigette DePape explains herself.

Media and politicians have argued that I tarnished the throne speech, a solemn Canadian tradition. I now believe more in another tradition — the tradition of ordinary people in this country fighting to create a more just and sustainable world, using peaceful direct action and civil disobedience.

On occasion, that tradition has found an inspiring home within Parliament: In 1970, for instance, a group of young women chained themselves to the parliamentary gallery seats to protest the Canadian law that criminalized abortion. Their action won national attention, and helped propel a movement that eventually achieved abortion’s legalization. Was such an action “appropriate”? Not in the conventional sense. But those women were driven by insights known to every social movement in history: that the ending of injustices or the winning of human rights are never gifts from rulers or from parliaments, but the fruit of struggle and of people power in the streets.




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‘Actions like these provide the answer to the Harper government’

  1. Hear, hear!

  2. ” …… and helped propel a movement that eventually achieved abortion’s legalization.

    But those women were driven by insights known to every social movement in history: that the ending of injustices or the winning of human rights are never gifts from rulers or from parliaments, but the fruit of struggle and of people power in the streets.”

    Ms Page is stuck on stupid but that is her right because their is no law against stupidity. I wonder how dead babies feel about their murderous mothers heroic struggle to fight injustices or winning of rights. 

    I have never understood why dippers are in favour of big government while at same time saying “… injustices or the winning of human rights are never gifts from rulers …. “.

    How they square the circle, I don’t know.

    • And I’m always amazed that Conservatives claim to want small government to protect freedom and then build up police forces, prison sentences for non-violent crimes, jails and so-called security measures. How do they square that circle of protecting freedoms by removing them?

      • Really?

        Conservative ideologues believe in freedom for law-abiding people. Pedophiles, and other criminals, don’t deserve freedom to continue their wicked ways or to terrorize grocers. 

        There is also a freedom from being constantly harassed by menaces who are harming civil society.

        Now the State reduces criminals sentences so they will testify against law abiding citizen. This makes sense to progressive, I am sure, because they are all about freedom and justice.

        Progressives seem to think that time in jail, shared equally between criminal and victim, would be justice because everyone treated same.

        Conservative Party is not in favour of small government, or at least not that I have heard or seen, because State continues to get bigger. 

        “Wang “David” Chen, the Toronto grocer charged for detaining a thief ….. The testimony painted a picture of a harried shopkeeper who works 19-hour days, preyed on by petty thieves and frustrated by the glacial response of Toronto police ….. A court last year convicted Mr. Bennett of stealing from the Lucky Moose, but reduced his sentence from three months to 30 days after he agreed to testify against Mr. Chen.”

        http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/10/07/david-chen-strip-searched-at-52-division/

        “Canadians now know just how simple it is for a man who preys on teenage boys to have his criminal record wiped clean. Over the past two years, 1,554 sex offenders applied for a pardon; only 41 were rejected. 

        Thanks to Graham James, Canadians also now know that a standard criminal background check doesn’t disclose the fact that a potential volunteer might be a pardoned predator.” 

        http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/04/22/unpardonable-omissions/

        • Wow so Lepape is “stuck on stupid,” but you, who would put women in jail for having abortions, you are the smart one.  F*cked up world.

          Okily dokily.  Also dead babies don’t feel anything, hon, cuz they’re dead.  And a feotus was never a baby. 

          • Everyone who has used contraceptives knows when life starts.

            The rest is sophistry to ease society’s lack of conscience.

          • It really isn’t, Tony.  Ah well, hold strong to your beliefs, but at the same time, try to understand that the world doesn’t see everything the way you do. 

        • They also tend to believe that there should be a lot more laws.. such as restricting women from determining who or what uses their body.

    • Square the circle? How ’bout octagon?

      /STOP
      |Harper|
       _____/

    • Big government with the power to help, rather than restrict.

      Conservative governments tend to prefer behavior restrictions and financial freedom.
      Non-conservative governments tend to prefer the opposite

      • the Conservatives tend to prefer behavior restrictions( IF THESE PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH THEIR POLICIES-G20 summit) and finacial freedom (AS LONG AS THEIR RICH FRIENDS BENEFIT FROM THOSES FREEDOMS)!!  

  3. Definitely not a spur of the moment thing….  or an action without reason.

    Well, Rick Mercer wanted young people to get involved…..

  4. Given the purported Harper-shift, I’m surprised the support this woman has gotten. In any event, nations are blind to their own shifts toward autocracy, but see others’ clearly.

    Vladimir Putin is widely, and correctly, viewed internationally as a horrid little spider in a web of corruption, institutionalized organized crime, elimination and/or neutralization-smears of critics, but is immensely popular with the Russian people. Only high-profile critics such as Gary Kasparov and Mikael Gorbachev can get away with opposition, and that of the mildest sort.

    Of course we don’t have that sort of problem. We have Harper.

    But, you protest, Harper is nothing like Putin!

    No, he isn’t.

    That’s why I say you are blind. But this young woman sees.

    • Given the purported Harper-shift, I’m surprised the support this woman has gotten

      Is it all that surprising? 

      After all, the “Harper shift” was an increase in votes of less that 630,000 over 2008, representing an increase in their share of the popular vote of less than 2%, to 39.62% of voters.  Meanwhile, the NDP picked up nearly 2 million votes and increased their share of the popular vote from 18.18% to 30.63%.  Basically, this means that 24% of eligible voters voted for the Tories while 18% of eligible voters voted for the NDP (while the Liberals got the support of about 12% of eligible voters, and the Bloc less than 4% of eligible voters and the Greens less than 3%).  In a world in which 40% of eligible voters don’t cast a ballot, I’m not suprised by the level of support anyone gets, in any section of the political spectrum, since the election results really give us no idea how about 40% of the country feels about anything.

  5. What she misses is that civil disobedience was disobedience for a specific civil cause.

    “Stop Harper” is not a specific civil cause.  Although it may be of general benefit to our democracy, and although I may agree with it in a general sense, to call it civil disobedience is to cheapen what that actually means.

    It was a protest. It was a principled protest. It may even have been a high-stakes principled protest. But that’s all.

    • “It was a protest. It was a principled protest. It was a high-stakes principled protest. But that’s all”
      What exactly was “principled” about it?  She took advantage of her office within the fundamental institution of our democracy to essentially shite upon that democracy that a few weeks prior installed the subject of her contempt.  Now she likens herself to icons of civil disobedience.  She’s not just a moron, she’s delusional.  She’ll fit in very well with the likes of Michael Moore and his fellow proggie cheerleaders.

      • Hint: Your principles are not the only ones out there.

      • And you fit in well with your hero Harper. Somebodyyou disagree with so let’s start call that person names like Moron and delusional. If you don’ agree with what she did then logically agrue the case but don’t resort to name calling, please!! grow up !

  6. So she’s comparing those women’s fight to legalize abortion to her struggle to….um….STOP HARPER!

    From doing….um…um…um…

    Where did my tin foil hat go?

    • Harper thinks that his coronation as the king of Canada is “more democratic than our electorla system”  Three defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate. Heh.

  7. For heaven’s sake.

    I’m disappointed to see Macleans giving yet MORE attention to this self-promoting individual and her cheap stunt from last week. Isn’t there any *real* news you can write about?

    • RIGHT! let’s change all the news to the “I LOVE HARPER” and “Everything that Harper does is wonderful”, just like CTV and all the other TV news media. I know that in YOUR world everybody that does something must gain from that action but isn’t it possible that Brigette DePape just did this to point out that Harper is dangerous and something must be done to get rid of him? Not to self-promote herself!! Way to get it right Macleans!!

      • She was promoting herself, period. You don’t have to be a Harper supporter to see that: it’s only the most deranged Harper haters who *don’t* see it.

        • B.S. She wasn’t promoting herself, period. Like I said, the right believes that everytime somebody does something there must be something in it for themselves. The left, that wacky-crazy left, has a tendency to do thing that will benefit the “many” instead of the “few.” Look at the facts: health care (Tommy Douglas) the Peace Corp. (Liberals), labour unions, Yes, Labour unions, etc. Now look at the Conservatives: Business, business, business, business,….. etc.  i’m not a Harper hater, I just feel sorry for him!

          • So according to you everyone on the right is selfish and evil, while everyone on the left – including trade unions – is angelic and pure and made of sweetness and light? Spare me.

            You obviously are part of the “wacky-crazy left” you speak of, which just goes to prove my point – only the most gullible or dishonest of left-wing extremists try to portray Ms DePape’s cheap stunt as heroic or selfless.

          • Yea, and I’m a tree hugger, I think David Suzuki rocks and Brigette DePape is wonderful, honest, heroic and selfless. Now why don’t you go out and cut down an old growth forest or pollute something, you know, the things you people like to do. Maybe you can make some big profits from it. Spare Me. In the throne speech Harper didn’t even mention the environment. I suppose your one of those idiots that believe that there is no such thing as climate change just like your hero Harper. For your sake I hope that future generations can forgive you for your greed. After all money is God, isn’t it?

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