Thou dost protest

More on this in a bit, but here is the news.

A loud protest in the visitors gallery of the House of Commons led to several arrests and the brief shutdown of question period on Monday. About 200 protesters chanted slogans to support Bill C-311, an NDP private member’s bill on climate change. The protesters yelled, “I say 311, you say ‘sign it.’”

NDP house leader Libby Davies seems not to have minded the disruption. Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth dismisses the young people as “thugs.”




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Thou dost protest

  1. Why would this shut down question period? They were probably better behaved than the politicians.

  2. Methinks they doth protest too much.

  3. I don't agree with their cause but it is always good when people show a bit of gumption when it comes to politics.

    And interesting that Libs supported Con motion to not have to deal with C-311 just yet. Weren't Libs the green party last week and talking about the benefits of green economy? Have they realized yet that people aren't keen to go back to icebox era?

  4. At least they raised the level of debate in the house from its usual cluster and manufactured outrage.

    • You mean bluster, right?

      • No, cluster as in clusterf…

        • You've given me a great idea for a new word: "Blusterf__k" (e.g. "That debate was a real blusterf__k").

          • Awesome word and totally bang-on for Parliament. Pretty much a good description for any mass gathering of politicians actually.

  5. They should have treated the protestors the same way they treat climate change: ignore its existence for as long as possible despite mounting evidence, then pay the matter lip service will doing little to nothing to address the issue.

    • But those protesters have a readily identifiable cause and a remedy much less painful to society.

  6. C-311 sets a medium-term target of reducing GHG emissions to a level that is 25% below 1990 levels (more than 50% below current levels) by 2020.

    In other words, the bill is pure fantasy.

    • Whyever would that dissuade the sort of person who chants slogans from the gallery?

  7. Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth on Twitter: "Parliament disrupted by thugs in the Gallery. Not that Parliamentarians always employ democratic debate. it's a shame."

    I'm not sure what's more disturbing: that a former school trustee refers to young environmental protesters as thugs (what is this, 1955?); or that he can't seem to decide whether the chamber is actually a place for "democratic debate".

    • What's most disturbing was if I didn't have the story as context, I would have assumed he was talking about the MPs.

    • Yeah, well, a priest on the board with him at the time refused to go into the Catholic highschools because there were thugs there (I swear, that's the gist of his excuse), just to put the "former school trustee" into its proper context. Woodworth rarely showed up either, although specifically invited, but at least it wasn't his job to look after the spiritual wellbeing of said thugs. Yes, very 1955ish.

  8. So, when millions protest Obama's policies, it's racism. When a few lefties shout down elected Parliamentarians, it's raising the level of debate? Whatever.

  9. I don't mind protests, they happen all the time. I don't see why these people think they have the special right to shut down parliament. Some people are more equal than others, I guess.

    • Right – it's anti-democratic to prorogue Parliament, right Harper?

      • Why would it be anti-democratic if the constitutions allows for it, the GG approved it, and it was done to thwart an undemocratic coalition power grab?

      • Your attempt at equating the two is FAIL, as Dennis describes. Whether you like or not, Harper's move was within the rules of parliament.

        • So was the coalition.

    • They didn't shut down parliament. They delayed QP by a few minutes. Not a big deal, as the MPs do the same all the time when they get a little too excited. It is not as though these folks had a "special right" to do it – you can too, if you are willing to accept the consequences. This was a well-organized protest where it seems the 200+ participants knew the risks. You make a ruckus in the Gallery, you get kicked out and banned from the building for a certain amount of time. In this case a few of them have been banned for a year. No biggie, but definitely an attention-grabber – which is the entire point.

      • That was probably the most authentic thing to happen in our parliament in a very long time.

        • You know, I just love it how when left-wingers protest, it's some kind of miracle. When conservatives do it, their motives, credibility, funding, and ancestry are questioned endlessly. Ain't fairness in a democracy a lovely thing?

          • Who's questioning the right of cons to protest? Not me. Fact is a troll like you's hardly likely to get off his fat ass to protest anyhting.

          • I don't know who's questioning the right of cons to protest. But I do know who's attacking others personally because they can't carry their arguments on these boards. lol

        • I doubt it. The whole staged protest was as authentic as processed cheese.

          • I agree, the lead guy looked like he was conducting an orchestra, it was a stunt.

          • These were young people expressing their views. What's not authentic about that. i didn't say it was unscripted. Anything would look authentic compared to the gong show parliament decended to.

          • Yelling, shouting, and being carried away is an example of expressing views to you, is it? That's not a surprise.

      • I disagree with your cavalier attitude towards breaking the law. They were not kicked out, they were arrested for disrupting parliament and refusing to leave. It was only a few minutes because security got involved. And we have the elected representatives from the country trying to do business for all of us in that chamber. So, to me, it is a biggie.

        • scf, you will have a hard time convincing some of this inconvenient common sense. Recall the bizarre support of a certain group of hyphenated Canadians who dragged their kids up onto a major urban highway not too long ago.

  10. Jerk them knees, boys!

  11. In other words, this is all you have. Thanks. Next.

  12. I wouldn't say that Harper's move was "within the rules of parliament."
    At best, it was a grey area, where precedent suggested that he should not have been allowed to do what he did.
    If anything though, it certainly puts into doubt the roll and powers of the GG.
    It is bothersome to have so much power with someone who is not elected by the people, and who does not have to disclose what actually went down when she met to discuss the matter with the PM.

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