How Not To Protest

Have we forgotten about democracy in Canada? Last week, pro-Palestinian protestors blocked an entrance and ‘roughed up’ people trying to attend a public speech by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Apparently we’re supposed to support the plight of the Palestinian people, but without the benenfit of free speech? Just because Israelis and Palestinians are savagely murdering each other in the Middle East, it doesn’t give them permission to bring violence to the streets of Montreal.

Ahmed Abdirahman, a spokesman for one of the groups that organized the protest, was quoted in the Montreal Gazette saying, ‘As responsible citizens, we have to be here to say physically to Netanyahu that his hatemongering isn’t permitted in Montreal.’ That’s quite a euphymism, ‘say physically’. I think we know how he’d feel if the Israeli army started talking about making “physical statements” against Palestinian citizens.

And how did Concordia University (the locale for the speech), address this incident? By banning ‘speeches, rallies and exhibits about the Middle East.’ Nothing like a little censorship to foster hatred and distrust. Way to go.

There’s peaceful political protest, and then there’s acts of vandalism and violence. I didn’t see any footage of this, but I hope the police waded in with batons and pepper spray. If you protest in a violent fashion, you deserve to be dealt with violently.

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