The G20: A woman's role...
There’s so much to say about the last few days.
I share some of Pat's feelings, and others. But I have been, for the most part, at a loss for words. I know, I know…this is really very unlike me.
Many have already spoken in the press about the nature of that Saturday march, how peaceful it was, how calm until….well, until everything went to hell in a handbasket. I was there during the march on Saturday, with my small little devoted cadre of trade unionists.
Dripping wet, cold, flags pasted to flagpoles…the very flagpoles we considered leaving home lest they be mistaken for potential weapons. And there were some moments where, save for the miserable weather, I could have sworn it was a Labour Day march… happy families marching with toddlers in tow, babies in strollers, teenagers with their arms draped over their parents. Happy by-standers waving at us. Samba bands, chinese drums.
Except for the rifles (rubber bullets, I was assured) trained on us down University Avenue.
And the riot gear.
And the general chill that swept over us when, while those rifles were staring us down, the Black Bloc came rushing past….
So, in many senses it wasn’t the ‘usual’ protest. And that’s certainly not how it ended up.
Amidst everything that has been said over the last few days, I came across Giorgio Mammoliti’s statement on the event, which made me shriek in laughter and horror and disbelief: "I applaud Police Chief Bill Blair and his entire staff for their tireless efforts to restore order to a city that has been cast under a dark cloud because of a small group of thugs that feel they can impose their will on us with destruction and chaos, and I am especially surprised to see the number of women involved in these demonstrations."
Ahem. Well, now here’s something I can sink my teeth into.
Er, Giorgio, where the hell have you been for the last century. Okay, that’s too easy… let’s just say the last forty years. Because I know you’ve been around, Giorgio. You were hard to miss on that elephant. Let me explain this to you. We women, we tend to have opinions.
I know, I know, we are often urged to keep them to ourselves. But strangely enough we still have them. They are often hard to suppress. Especially, like say when someone threatens a right that we have fought, yes fought to achieve and maintain for these many years.
Indeed, when women around the world who do not have that right actually die -- yes Giorgio they die -- trying to take control of their lives and those reproductive rights that they are denied. And that they would be denied these by OUR government.
Wow. That’s a real kick in the stomach, so to speak.
Oh, Giorgio, sorry if that violent reference offended your delicate sensibilities. Maybe they are just mad about things like, I don’t know, maybe oil spills, or the rights of temporary workers, or well us women we have lots of interests. Some of them might actually just want to fight for no particular reason, or cause harm to businesses, or do bad things generally, or lash out against authority, capitalism, what have you.
You’d be surprised. We're a complex bunch, us females. I don’t like the approach some take to these things, like breaking windows and hurling bottles.
I actually do believe there are better and more effective ways to express one’s opinions and influence others. But something really galls me about the notion that we should have stayed home, protected and quiet and hidden away, while these protests took place. Like when Senator Nancy Ruth told us to STFU. WTF?
Giorgio has a little something to learn about protests clearly, and the role of women, and well, just about everything else.About Marit Stiles