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Protesting The Protest

October 14, 2011

My college experience was slightly unique. I went to college, Canada’s biggest college, but the campus I attended was quite small and within the campus of a larger university. This was not a university in a small town known best for having a university, this was a university in the nation’s largest city. I think that this school has become a magnet for students who have gone to university because they think that’s what they are supposed to do and not because they see a future for themselves as adults. This is the school you go to because your parents have told you to go to school and you don’t have a clue as to what you are going to do once school is over. In other words, a lot of students with money to burn and time to kill.

When you mix that attitude with the textbook university liberal arts education lifestyle, what you get is a breeding ground for pointless civil unrest.

Also, when I was there, some pretty big international events took place. I was in class when the World Trade Center attacks occurred. I was in class when NATO launched into Afghanistan. I was in class when the USA invaded Iraq.

I can understand some protests. If a group of pro-Taliban radical Muslim fundamentalists got together and decided to protest NATO’s attacks in Afghanistan and their attempts to overthrow the Taliban and held the protest in front of an embassy, I could see a point in that protest. I wouldn’t agree with them. I’m anti-Taliban. I was anti-Taliban prior to 9/11. I’m still anti-Taliban today. Call me crazy, but I think women should be allowed to go to school and have jobs and speak freely in public. I don’t think women should have the right to vote, but I’m willing to throw them a bone and let them get an education.

And when the United States decided to invade Iraq, I thought it was about time. I think my exact words were “‘Bout damn time!” The US had been battling Iraq on and off since Operation Desert Shield which was back in 1990 or 1991. It’s obvious the two countries don’t like each other. The sooner the inevitable war begins, the sooner it will end. No more of this half-assed bombing raid bullshit that went on in the years between Desert Storm and Bush’s Axis of Evil speech.

So that was the international political situation during my time in post-secondary education.

In the university campus, there was the one spot that was the hub of any protests that happened. During protests, I would avoid that part of campus. Generally I only went there when I was meeting a friend for drinks or something. Usually the protests made little to no sense to me, but at least they had something to do with the school itself. Often I would see students protesting tuition fees. Sure, tuition fees are one tenth the cost here as they are one hundred miles south in the US while the education is worth seven eighths the education that one would receive one hundred miles south. If you ask me, that’s a good deal. What the school really needed was a “Take back the night” rally. Way too many women being sexually assaulted on campus. And I don’t think that has changed in the years since my graduation.

But what am I going to do, the students want to rally and protest things that show them to be ignorant to the outside world, that’s okay, as long as they stay out of my way. Which they always did… except for this one time.

One morning I was getting a ride into the campus from my father. He works near the school and would sometimes give me a lift. This particular morning had been a trying drive in. The previous night saw quite a bit of snowfall. The roads were slow but the two of us were determined to get into the campus. I had a big test that morning.

Once we turned off the major street into the campus driveway, the slow traffic turned to a full stop. The only time we moved forward was when a car ahead of us made a u-turn and drove away from the school. Me and my father starting spitballing ideas as to why the traffic had stopped moving altogether. Our best idea was that there was a car crash. Snowy roads, youthful inexperienced drivers; bad combination.

I couldn’t wait any longer and I told my father to turn around and leave. I was going to run across campus. I had a test. I couldn’t afford to be late. I jumped out of the car and dove into the snow and started running. Okay, not so much running. The snow was too deep to sprint. But I didn’t take my time. I buckled down and made my way through the snow and ran towards the building that housed my test.

As I ran I saw the cause of the traffic holdup. Protesters were clogging the narrow streets and not allowing cars to pass. The protesters were protesting the US invasion into Iraq.

That was the most pointless protest I’ve ever seen. In what way was anybody at this school in any way involved with the war? Canada did not endorse the war. Our only involvement came from the limited number of soldiers then went to fight as they were imbedded in US forces while fighting under the NATO banner in Afghanistan. The number was so limited that our own Prime Minister at the time was unaware that we actually had a handful of troops in Iraq.

What mattered most to me was that these protesters were inconveniencing me and preventing me from getting the education I paid for because of a war halfway around the world. Had I not been fearing being late for a test, I would have stopped at the protest and gave the protesters a piece of my mind. I would have protested the protest.

Why bring all this up? Tomorrow a group of protesters have announced that they will be starting a three month protest in downtown Toronto. They are calling themselves Occupy Toronto. I don’t know why they are protesting. I don’t care to know. Despite all of its faults, Canada is the greatest nation in the world and it provides an unequaled quality of life for the 32 million citizens and residents. But I make a promise to those protesters. If anybody inconveniences me, I will show them how amazing a country this is by sending them to the hospital so that they may receive first class medical care, free of charge.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 9:20 am

    I am guessing that they want to copy the Occupy Wall Street protestors? Might be better if they joined their friends in New York. At least they might experience some good old fashioned Police violence!

    We had some police violence last year at the G20 Summit in Toronto. Protesters still bitching about having been beaten by cops and it’s been over a year. They’re nothing but a bunch of fannies.

    • October 14, 2011 11:11 am

      Hm, I guess either definition works there!

      Or maybe we could start using G20 Protester as slang instead? As in “my G20 Protester was THIS BIG!”

  2. October 14, 2011 10:33 am

    I was trying to figure out this morning what this whole “Occupy Toronto” thing is.

  3. October 14, 2011 3:09 pm

    If they’re protesting the band who shall not be named, they have my support.

  4. Riot Kitty permalink
    October 15, 2011 1:18 am

    I don’t know why they would protest there if they are protesting Wall Street, which is in NY. Your country has a good healthcare system, which mine sorely lacks. They should come protest here instead.

  5. October 15, 2011 3:39 pm

    Aren’t you glad you don’t live downtown? There’s always some crap blocking the streets down there. Protests, movie filming, marathons… It’s crazy.

  6. October 18, 2011 1:04 am

    When you mix that attitude with the textbook university liberal arts education lifestyle, what you get is a breeding ground for pointless civil unrest.


    You’re full of brilliance! Clearly the result of your education. I wish more kids got one, instead of sitting around and getting high and complaining about how hard their life is.

    John Lott’s Website: “People Should Pay My College Tuition Because ‘That’s What I want'”.

    Result of my incredibly cheap education.

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