It was the biggest rally I’ve ever seen in Winnipeg. And the best organized. Too bad the mainstream media dropped the ball on it.
On Sat. May 30, more than 300 people gathered to protest against Bill C-51, the federal government’s new anti-terrorism legislation, that recently passed Parliament and the Senate.
According to rally organizers, Bill C-51 effectively makes Canada a fascist state. And they say they are not exaggerating when they warn we are on the verge of a nightmare scenario out of George Orwell, complete with secret police monitoring of the public and improper arrests of law abiding citizens.
The event was organized by a group called Winnipeg Alternative Media (WAM). Also helping out were several unions that donated funds to print 10,000 leaflets.
The unions participating were UFCW local 832, Unifor (Manitoba), CUPW Winnipeg Local and CUPW Prairie Regional office.
Local Communist Party member, Darryl Rankin, said the pamphlets enabled WAM to reach 1 in 29 homes in Winnipeg, something he said he‘s very proud of as he reached into his bag for more leaflets to distribute.
There was also a large Green Party presence, complete with a banner and James Bedome, the leader, standing behind it.
I think I may have been the only Progressive Conservative party member in attendance at this rally. I feel sorry for the rest of my party for missing out on such an opportunity.
We marched in slightly chilly weather from City Hall to the Legislature. Thankfully, my plantar fasciitis cooperated long enough for me to make it through the walk.
When we arrived at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature, the powers in charge would not give us the use of a microphone, so organizers brought out a megaphone instead.
The entire event was tasteful and well-done – a dream of democracy, if there ever was one. Not only did representatives of WAM make speeches, but they passed the megaphone around endlessly until everyone who had anything to say could say it.
I had never seen or heard such a well-run, meaningful procession of speeches, all from the heart.
There was chanting. There was shouting. There were thoughtful words spoken. Even the local Twelve Tribes cult showed up, kids in tow, to give us all free tea in hopes of generating some public interest in their community.
In other words, it was a real “happening”, as they used to say in the 60s. And it was about time.
Apparently there were some folks from mainstream media who showed up, but they seemed to just get their usual crowd shots before leaving shortly after. I wondered why they weren’t more creative in their coverage; why they didn’t try asking people the reasons they were protesting. I thought they would have found many in the rally who were prepared to offer comment.
As for the Bill – well, we all know that it passed. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. My suggestion is to ask your local MP what’s in this legislation. And when you discover the details, I would be interested in finding out if you agree with me that this new law is dangerous because of how it denies fundamental rights accorded to all Canadians.
Personally, I’m going to be talking to Joyce Bateman, my MP, as soon as I can get an appointment. I strongly urge all citizens to do the same.