There’s Something Happening Here…
It’s 6:30 Saturday morning. The sun is already warming us up for what promises to be a unusually warm, dry long weekend.
Last night the helicopters were circling overhead again which they have done every night for the past few weeks.
If you haven’t heard, we’re experiencing serious social unrest here. (Montreal protest)
It was supposed to be about the proposed increase in student tuitions but has since morphed into a anti-establishment/corporate movement with Québec nationalists, anarchists, and militant unions heavily involved.
There are nightly marches of thousands of people that regularly result in vandalism, closed accesses, subway shut downs and injuries.
Both sides are digging in and the tension is higher than ever as the government passed a very restrictive law against demonstrations yesterday and the protest leaders vowed to ignore it.
As a Canadian in Québec, I’m made aware of this every day. For instance, we’re celebrating Victoria Day in the rest of Canada; a day that essentially celebrates our British heritage.
Here in Québec, we’re celebrating National Patriots Day, in recognition of the anti-British rebellion of 1837.
The sixties saw a huge cultural revolution led by a generation that was blessed with the time and education to dream of a more egalitarian world. Great achievements in civil and human rights were accomplished.
But the movement imploded in the seventies and “flower power” morphed into “greed is good”, the individual became more important that the collective.
We live in polarized times.
In Canada, it’s seen in regional and language tensions, in the States, it’s political ideology, in the Mideast; religious fanaticism and in Europe, economic and political extremes.
These have always existed. We could say that we live in the most “peaceful” of times. But what I see now is an unwillingness to engage in real dialogue with the purpose of coming up with a resolution that will benefit the whole community.
This country was forged from compromise.
Now, it seems compromise has become a dirty word; a word that is being redefined as weakness by those who score political points by appearing to be a strong and principled leader. We’ve seen this before; Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Duplessis etc..
It’s ironic that the internet has given us the ability to communicate instantaneously with anyone in the world yet there is less actual dialogue going on.
The medium has evolved; has the message?
I’m just posing these questions on this beautiful pre summer morning because as much as I would like to think of nothing else as we plant some flowers and drink a few cocktails on our deck later, I know that when the police sirens wail and the choppers circle overhead again this evening, my mind will be going back to the summer of ‘68 and I’ll wonder if history is indeed repeating itself.
I wish all my fellow Canucks a great weekend whether it’s cooking on the Barbeque, planting gardens, opening up the cottage or a case of “two-four” on this Victoria Day/Journée nationale des patriotes.
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.