Friday, June 8, 2012
Clowns and cretins
I was embarrassed at what went on in downtown Montreal last night - not embarrassed BY the protestors, but embarrassed FOR them.
With the city's most pretigious international event as a backdrop to get their message out, the best student demonstrators and their loose coalition of anti-establishment allies could muster was a combined total of about a thousand people, split between several hundred half or fully-naked student marchers who paraded their assets through the downtown core, and a lesser number of anarchist riff-raff who demonstrated outside a Canadian Grand Prix gala fundraiser in Little Burgundy before trying to crash the Formula One party on Crescent Street. They were relatively easy pickings for a strong police presence that rightfully kept the demonstrators contained and away from a substantially greater number of people exercising THEIR right to indulge in their passion, pump tens of millions of dollars into the local economy and raise money for the Ste. Justine and Sacre Coeur hospitals.
It's the height of irony when students and the anti-capitalist crowd rage against F1 revellers as the "crass elite." It doesn't get much more crass than marching down the street with Big Jim and the Twins swinging in the breeze, or the profanity-laced website set up by the anarchist group that caused most of the trouble last night (whose spokesman, by the way, was stuck for an answer when asked what they proposed as an alternative to the existing political and economic system).
The demonstrators succeeded in getting their message out, alright, and that message is this: "We are a fringe element of immature, leaderless rabble with a chip on our shoulder, awash in self-righteous entitlement but bereft of ideas or credibility. And check out my tits."