16 March 2009, late morning
The second giant Tamil protest is taking place downtown right now. The protesters hope to form a human chain that goes up Yonge from Front to Bloor, across Bloor to University, and back down to Front. If they pull that off, they would have basically choked off all of downtown. In Sri Lanka there are Sri Lankans trapped inside a small region of the country, trapped in a perimeter controlled by the Sri Lankan army. They are being shelled by their government, and shot by their liberators. To contrast, in Toronto, there are people who are going to have to cross the protesters to drink cocktails at Holt’s for fashion week, who will be late to their appointments because Union Station is packed, who can’t finish their business plan because it’s too noisy, who are stuck in traffic, etc. This might be the very definition of White Whine.
As to whether a protest is actually a good way to bring about change, I have my doubts. The Sri Lankan government isn’t going to slow down now because Canada asks them to. And because of the way these protests are almost always conflated with support for the LTTE, it’s doubtful our current federal government is going to pay the protesters much attention anyway. Still, if they pull things off, it will be a very impressive feat.
There is some discussion going on in the BlogTO morning brew post today. It’s not particularly illuminating, though I am now arguing there with way too many people about stuff I really don’t care about. I get annoyed too easily. It will be interesting to see if BlogTO or Torontoist have much to say about the protest. Their coverage of news in Toronto tends to be very niche. (Though, BlogTO did cover the last protest.)
Update: I’d change this URL, but it would break incoming links. Apparently the protesters numbered well over the 25,000 people goal.