Omnibudget Meets Kitchener Casseroles ~ June 13th

Although I support Fairvote Canada I’m not a member, as I’m not a member of any political party. I feel this is necessary for me as a citizen journalist, because it is important I speak only for myself, retaining the freedom to speak out against what I think are bad policies even from organizations I may otherwise support. I’m a writer, not a leader.

But I will attend and even photograph protests I find important. And occasionally I’ll stick my oar in. As now.

On Wednesday there will be another round of “Black Mark Budget” protests against the federal government’s Omnibus budget. Because we are currently cursed with a majority government, the only way this budget can be stopped is by convincing 13 sitting conservative MPs to be heroes and vote against it.

In Waterloo Region, two such events are planned for

Wednesday June 13, 5:30 PM

1) Peter Braid’s office,
22 King St. South, Waterloo

and

2) Stephen Woodworth’s office,
300 Victoria St. North, Kitchener

Wednesday night will also be Day 122 of the Quebec Student Strike, and so will be the third Casseroles Night In Canada.

This protest is to support the students fighting for education for all, as well as to protest Quebec’s unconstitutional Bill 78, which contravenes civil rights guaranteed Canadians under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as breaches Canada’s international human rights obligations.

my idea

I’m throwing this out there in case it’s useful, but it’s about as much organizing as I can do.  If the two protests at the MPs offices incorporate the music of clanging pots and pans, after perhaps half an hour, at, say, 6:00, the protest chould turn into two parts of a casseroles parade heading toward Victoria Park for a last bit of citizen musicale and any speechifying anyone cares to do could take place.

The marchers will probably arrive at the park long before 8:00, so I think the Casseroles time should be moved back to 7:00 pm. Maybe people can bring a lunch (everyone should have water) and make it a picnic at the park.

I think it will continue to be family friendly, and, like the previous Casseroles protests, will be untroubled by police, especially if the march manages to stay on the sidewalk.

Possible route:


My idea is offered as a suggestion because I think both groups would benefit from cross pollinization. Maybe the distance is too far for a walk, especially on a hot day.  Feel free to take the idea and run with it.  Or not.  The point is that we *all* have a voice.

My reasons for supporting both initiatives can be found in my previous article Two Protests for June 2nd, 2011

I’ll leave you with Elizabeth May’s attempt to summarize the horrific environmental problems with the Omnibudget:

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Wednesday – La soirée des casseroles au Canada

protest march

The next time anyone tells you that it is too expensive to make post secondary education free to all Canadian students think about this:

“Cost of F-35 fighter jets over 20 years: $25 billion…
Cost of wiping out Canada’s student debt: $20 billion”

— Alice Klein, rabble.ca Quebec student protests by the numbers

Casseroles Night In Canada continues today in Kitchener and around the world.

Kitchener-Waterloo
Wednesday June 6th,
8:00pm ~ Victoria Park Clock Tower

The protest begins at the Clock Tower in Victoria Park, at the entrance to the park off of Joseph St, between Gaukel and Ontario, accross the street from the bus Station.

Next week on June 12th, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) is presenting:

A Discussion on the Quebec (Student) Strike 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
6:00pm

MC 4042 (Math & Computing Building, University of Waterloo)
This multi-media presentation and discussion will provide a recap of the history of student strikes in Quebec over the last thirty years, and offer critical reflections on the context and developments of the student strike in Quebec at this moment from an ‘on the ground’ perspective.

About the presenter: Emma is an organizer from Montreal who has participated in, and been heavily involved in the student strike movement in Quebec.

list of participating events

The Casseroles is a truly grassroots movement.  The fact of ordinary Canadians, English Canadians,  all Canadians all across Canada are hitting the streets in support of  Quebec is perhaps the biggest benefit to Canada so far.

Casseroles transcend the language problem, and have done more to cement Canadian unity and citizen solidarity than any of initiatives sponsored by the Federal government over the years.

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Casseroles Night In Canada

Today is Day 108 of the Quebec Student strike.

I am impressed.  These young people are standing up for what they believe in ~ and what I think they should be entitled to ~ in a rich country like Canada.

Regardless of what our intrepid leaders would like to believe, the recession in Canada is not anywhere near over.  Jobs are thin on the ground.  Wouldn’t it be clever to have citizens actively engaged in getting higher education with government assistance rather than collecting welfare until they can luck into some unskilled work that probably won’t even cover the rent?

Even if reducing education funding was a good idea, (and I don’t think it is), the time to do such a thing is not in this economic climate. This policy is not just ill advised, it’s stupid.  Quebec wants to raise  education costs at a time when people can least afford it.

This is their lives, we are talking about here. Why would these kids blow off half a year of university?  The alternative for many is that dramatically increased higher education will no longer be an option.  Many are certainly just barely managing the financial load now.  The first increase will bump many students.  And that is certainly worth striking for.

Our kids are our most important resource.

Isn’t it interesting that the Quebec is raising the student cost of higher education at a time when Ontario is lowering it?

Instead of negotiating, or even simply *listening* to these young people — whose lives will be trashed by this law — the Quebec government simply passed a law — Bill 78 —  thought by many to be unconstitutional — in an attempt to stop the strike.

Has it worked?  No.

A pot over crossed spoons on a field of red with the legend Keep Calm and bang On
download the poster to wave

Has it helped?  No.

The latest strategy is the participative ephemeral 15-minute roving #casserole protests documented in Xopher’s blog: Nightly ‘Casseroles’ (pots and pans) Protest.

These light hearted brief happenings are occur around 8:00pm every evening across Montreal.

This is to show citizen dissatisfaction with the government’s actions and policies.  In a nice way.

Maybe it’s time the rest of Canada joined in and did a little pot banging of our own for

It’s something we all know how to do, one of the things every child has done at some point in their lives.  And if you haven’t, no experience is required.  Lets get out there and do a little banging in communities all across Canada.

All ages welcome . . . it only takes 15 minutes.  Oh… and bring your own pot…

black and white photograph of citizens of all ages banging on casseroles

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Image Credits

Une banderolle géante, à la hauteur de la taille de la foule under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license by Robin Dumont

Casseroles Night Poster  under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license by Juan Madrigal

Casseroles 26 mai, Place Emilie Gamellin under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license by scottmontreal