Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anti-Bush Rally: George Bush in Saskatoon

Yesterday, while catching a city bus from the Saskatoon ‘international” airport to downtown, I happened upon a large, loud, and angry crowd corralled by police and barricades. This crowd, made up of mostly young scenester kids, goth kids, and a few old school revolutionaries, where there in protest of George W. Bush’s speaking engagement here in Saskatoon. This crowd had all the elements of a revolution: social misfits, music of the people, accusations, and the alternative media to tell the story of David-vs-Goliath injustices that “the people of the world face.” The speakers/presenters/agitators played on the naivety and emotion of the teenaged crowd whose chants of “shame on you” were as monotonous as the speakers themselves. Additionally, this crowd was ripe with marijuana activists that would have made Tim Felger proud to be Canadian.

The other crowd, the hundreds of suit-and-tie people with their long wool jackets and trendy scarves, slowly filed into the building while smirking at the young protesters from the safety of their police line bunker. These – the obviously affluent or lucky – had tickets to see one of our times’ most controversial leaders live and in-person. This crowd seemed unfazed by the bullhorns and guilt-trips and, as one suit I interviewed stated, “We couldn’t give a sh!t about what some 18 year-old with fingergloves and a bullhorn cares about.” As ticket holders looked down their noses at protestors, it became glaringly evident that the seeds of this revolution will not be won or barely even advanced on the street.

Anyhow, the strangest thing was the protestors calling for justice. They – alleging Bush to be a war criminal – were demanding justice for his alleged crimes. Whether Bush should be tried for war crimes or not is a different story, but what was interesting here was watching drug dealer’s (at least the ones who offered to me) chant that justice be held for criminals. It reminded me of a story one man told about having a plank in an eye. It seems that hypocrites can be found in many places…


A funny moment that emerged out of the event came when a man in his late-50’s placed a twenty-foot pole down the back of his jacket with a small sign on the top. The sign read, “Terrorist. Torturer. Moron.” As this man was walking around with a twenty foot sign coming out of the back of his jacket, he walked under a tree and became tangled in the branches. With sign man stuck in the tree I fumbled with my phone to get a picture before he escaped. Moron? At very least, it was ironic.

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