I like George Brown college. I lectured there about the Occupy movement a couple of months ago- the students were smart, inquisitive, and turned on to the issues of social activism. So, when I heard they were having their first Caserolle March, I ran out of the house to cover tonight’s event!
There were about 200 people who came for the march- it seemed that a bit over half of them were students. Most of the remainder were the ‘usual suspects’, and there was at least one very special guest!
Yep, the big kahuna of CUPE Ontario, Fred Hanh, showed-up for the march. And look at him with his Trotskyist friends! For those of you who can’t read French, that sign behind him calls for a North American socialist revolution. No wonder he looks shocked to have his picture taken! I really should have asked him about his thoughts on CUPE’s deep connections with the Black Bloc, or their racist Israel policy. Hopefully he’ll be around at the big march tomorrow…
And, of course, there were a few Black Bloc tumors- including our good friend Trey “Whiney” Winney- he’s still wearing his silly black hat, and didn’t miss the opportunity to shoot me a bird. What was interesting about some of them today was that a few had major changes in their appearances. Little things like beards being shaved off, and dreadlocks removed. Are these guys taking lessons from Luka Magnotta?
The evening began with a couple of speeches, including this very interesting one by a member of Toronto Canadian Federation of Students telling everyone they had donated $30,000 to the students in Montreal! On hearing this, one student beside me expressed his unhappiness saying “hey, I didn’t vote for that to happen!”
Then, there was another student leader who spoke. I’m guessing he was trying to look all French chic by smoking while doing his speech. Gee, how beatnik of him!
Well, this guy spilled the beans, and told us what is obvious to most people by now- this movement is not only about student fees, but it is about austerity, Quebec’s Bill 78, and a whole lot more! He didn’t mention that this is also about a socialist revolution. But, a some of the attendees made that loud & clear by bringing one of the International Socialist’s favourite Waffle-era banners!
Here lies the problem with the student fee’s movement. As the previous speaker said, it is not only about lowering student fees, but they are looking for a full-blown Marxist/Trotskyist revolution. I’m 100% behind the student’s request for lower/no fees. My cousins benefited from this in Europe, while I was left with 10’s of thousands of dollars of student debt.
I believe that most Canadians are also against letting the International Socialist stooges into power. So, by letting these people hijack their movement, the students are facing a real uphill battle. What’s wrong with these kids, and why don’t they have the strength to not let these people hijack their movement?
Once the speakers were finished pontificating for a socialist revolution, the march turned-onto Queen street on their way to Ryerson university. But, of course, they first acted like they were heading a different direction- making things difficult for the incredibly patient police who were trying to keep the demonstrators safe from oncoming traffic. I must say, this wasn’t at all fair to the hard-working and polite officers who were only trying to help.
The march continued on its way, and the crowd were generally well-behaved. There was a lot of yelling, chanting, and some singing. Here’s a video of some of the parade’s leaders revving-up the crowd:
The march finally found its way to Ryerson university for a pre-arranged rally. There was a large public address system setup, and a few Ryerson students joined-in. I also heard some negative rumblings from students standing on the periphery. It seems that not all students stand behind the idea of a socialist revolution. Quelle surprise!
There were a few impassioned speeches at Ryerson- talk about things like the unfairness of student fees, debt, and austerity. I’m sure that if there were Greeks in the crowd they would be rolling their eyes up into their sockets at this point. It is kind of disrespectful to call what is happening today in Canada ‘austerity’. People in Europe have it so much more worse than we do here.
At the end, the demonstrators left Ryerson and marched down Yonge street and caused some more traffic mayhem. I really don’t think this endeared them to Toronto’s 99%…
I’d like to give a special mention to a lovely woman who came up to me and thanked my for my writing tonight- I was truly honoured to hear your appreciation for my work. She told me that she doesn’t agree with everything I write, but still appreciates what I am doing. I must say, I truly respect that you can see past differences where our opinions may diverge, and not let that filter-out the things that you do like. This is commendable, I only wish everyone could be this open-minded- we’d have a much better world that way…