Canadian Privilege In the Light of Occupygezi

It’s easy to forget just how privileged we are in Canada. Yes, we still have class struggles and we are still striving for an equality that has yet to reached, but Toronto is one of the best cities in the world to live in and I strongly believe that. If I didn’t have a friend in Turkey who was (and still is) dealing with a violent suppression of what were meant to be peaceful protests. Said friend was worried that Turkey was going to erupt into a civil war between the opponents of the Prime Minister and the proponents of him.

If I didn’t know a person there who was suffering in Turkey, these riots (while moving) would be little more than a headline for me. Perhaps I am as detached as people have previously stated about me, perhaps I am cold, but I know that in my heart I am not an activist and while I can become deeply emotionally involved in the plight of others, I am much more likely to care if there’s someone I care about involved. I guess this is true of most people.

Turkey though, is an example of escalating police brutality that turned what should have been a peaceful protest into something far more dire. Torontonians complained about the way that the police acted during the G20 riots, but imagine if there was no assurance that once the G20 ended that things would go back to normal. Imagine if for speaking out against the government and their manner of handling a situation you were labelled as a terrorist? There are no bombs, no terror plots, not even much in the way of violence unless you count the police beating the protestors, but you would still be labelled a terrorist.

My friend asked me to pass on the message that the protestors are not terrorists, that they are not violent and I have watched the footage. These are normal people fighting to regain control of a government that has taken too much onto themselves. We would do the same if we were put in their situation.

But my words are paltry, so maybe Tilda Swinton can say things more eloquently.

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If this were happening in Canada or a European country, there would have been outcries from the political leaders of our nations. Yet, there is nothing. Radio silence.