It’s the evening. It’s 8pm. Dinner has been cleared away, the children have finished their homework. What is a family to do?
Take to the streets, of course.
Pots and wooden spoons in hand, the family all gathers in the street. They exchange pleasant conversation with their neighbours, who are carrying a colander and a tiny pan designed for frying a single egg.
They walk down the street, encouraging the children to make as much noise as possible. They meet up with other neighbours, with people from the surrounding streets, taking over the roads and joyfully raising their voices to protest the actions their government is taking. “On s’en calisse de loi speciale!” they chant, giggling self-consciously as their tongues stumble over a language they haven’t spoken since high school.
They’ve been doing this every night for a few days now, and every night they notice there are more and more people in the street, making more and more noise. They’ve spent their days reading about Loi 78, about the manifencours, about the erosion of civil liberties in Quebec. They’ve met people on the street who are as angered by the Gateway Pipeline as they are, or Bill C-38, or the gutting of the CBC. They’ve made connections to people who are fighting for issues they care about, and they’ve started to think about what actions they could take to affect change.
They’ve heard they’re not the only ones doing this. They’ve heard that people from Kelowna to London are in the streets come 8pm, and that more cities are joining in every night. They’ve even heard that Stephen Harper is worried about the demonstrations.
They’re part of a national movement to take back their country, and they feel proud.
While the above might sound like a piece of fiction, I prefer to think of it as prognostication. The manifencours in Quebec have proven that protest works. Public support for tuition increases has dropped 41%, and support for Loi 78 has dropped 36%.
Enter Casseroles Night in Canada and #MapleSpread, movements that aim to take the protests from the streets of Montreal and help them take root all across the country. Far from just wanting to show solidarity to striking students, they are movements aimed at mobilizing Canadians to stand up against a government working against Canada’s best interests.
Getting involved is easy. All it requires is communication, determination and some household goods. There are more arduous ways to change the world.
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