Calling the marches, riots and demonstrations which have been taking place in Montreal (and their accompanying violence, vandalism and intimidation) student protests is a gross distortion of the facts. They are anything but.
The student protests against a proposed increase in tuition which began last February have been hijacked and have evolved into something much bigger…an attempt by anarchists, radicals, left-wingers, nihilists, disenchanted, self-serving, Occupy types and other malcontents who have annointed themselves as guardians of the public good to bring down the freely elected government of Quebec and put in place a new government that is even more socialist and ideologically driven than the old one. What’s going on in Montreal now has nothing to do with protesting against modest hikes in tuition. The marches, riots, demonstrations, violence, vandalism and intimidation which is occurring on a daily basis are an effort by societies unhappy ideologues to force fundamental social change, nothing more. Student protests against an increase in tuition? Not any more. In fact, only about one-third of Quebec students protested against the proposed tuition hikes in the first place (the majority choosing to go about their business and carry on with their education) and the vast majority of people taking to the streets each day aren’t students at all…opportunists of all stripes yes, students no.
Make no mistake, it is the violence, vandalism, intimidation and general flouting of the law that the police are reacting to, nothing else. No one is denying anyone’s right to express themselves or to demonstrate peacefully within the boundaries of the law or to try and bring about government or social change through peaceful means. Canada is a free, democratic country after all…its citizens have every right to do all of those things and there are a myriad of ways that they can be done. No one has the right however to be a part of a mob and take over the streets…no one has the right to commit violent acts, to vandalize and destroy property, to threaten and intimidate dissenters or to prevent ordinary people from living their lives as normal. Mobs don’t rule in Canada and everyone who was arrested was part of a mob trying to take over the streets.
Arresting people who are part of a mob and committing unlawful acts…good. Let’s hope the police keep it up until the mobs are dispersed and the streets are made safe again. If we want to prevent mob rule in Montreal, in Canada, that’s exactly what going to have to happen.
Sad but true.