Love him or loathe him former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau knew what to do when radicals, left wingers, self-defined revolutionaries and useful idiots of all persuasions committed violent acts and civil insurrection to challenge the legitimacy and authority of the state, to bring the state to its knees and change and reshape it because they thought that it didn’t serve the needs of the people and that the people would be far better served if they were in power, to in effect destroy liberal democracy in Canada. He struck back hard when freedom and democracy were threatened on his watch and he was absolutely right to do so. Indeed, it was his duty and responsibility to do so.
Trudeau refused to cave in to the dictates of the mob and defended and protected freedom and democracy in Canada and that is what the government of Quebec is doing now through its creation of an emergency law to end ongoing, longstanding, violent street demonstrations and its use of the police to take back the streets from the mob, to detain and arrest those who commit violent acts against public order and return the streets to ordinary citizens to go about their business. Its response is entirely appropriate, if somewhat overdue.
Mob rule and freedom and democracy cannot coexist in Quebec or anywhere else and if the mob is allowed to dictate policy through violence and intimidation you can kiss freedom and democracy goodbye. Trudeau knew that and the government of Quebec knows that and its emergency law and use of the police are serving to defend and protect freedom and democracy against the rule of the mob, against the robotic, unthinking, simple-minded, manipulated, walking cliches that make it up, the socialist something for nothing crowd in present day terms. Just like it was Trudeaus duty and responsibility to strike back hard so too is it the Quebec government’s and it is heartening to see that it is taking up the cudgel.
The demonstrations in Quebec started off as peaceful protests and a subsequent boycott of classes against modest tuition hikes by a minority of university students but they have long since morphed into much more than that. Chaos, riots, violence and intimidation are the order of the day, smoke bombs have been set off in Montreal’s subway system, property damage and destruction is endemic, huge bonfires have been set off at intersections, thousands of people have marched on streets and bridges disrupting daily life, masked rioters and demonstrators are roaming the streets, students who wanted to attend classes and obtained court injunctions allowing them to do so have been beaten up and so on…the original student movement has been hijacked and the rioters and demonstrators are now made up mostly of people who think that violent protest against societies ills as they see them are a legitimate means of trying to redress them, who think that violent protest against whatever it is they don’t agree with is a legitimate way to bring down a freely elected government. The same thing happened to the Occupy movement. That too started off as a peaceful protest movement by well meaning individuals but that was hijacked as well.
Whatever it is that these people believe in it certainly isn’t freedom and democracy. The vast majority of the people of Quebec are fed up with the demonstrators and rioters and simply don’t agree with their rhetoric, tactics or goals. Only about one third of Quebec students were involved in the original protests and boycott…two thirds of Quebec students were not, and are not, involved and went to classes and carried on with their lives as usual. The demonstrators and rioters are well aware of all that but it doesn’t matter to them because they think they know better than everyone else, just like the Occupiers, their fellow travellers. Some freedom and democracy that is.
Good for the government of Quebec and good for the police. They are defending and protecting us against mob rule and safeguarding freedom and democracy in Canada.