bill-swift - June 10, 2012
What is it with people in other countries getting naked in order to protest what they perceive as an injustice? This month during the Euros there are groups getting naked to protest the sex trade (yea, I don't get it either). Now there are college kids in Canada protesting the government's hike in tuition by getting naked too.
Yep. Canadians are baring all to protest tuition hikes.
With the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal this past week folks have been gathering by the hundreds to march and protest the tuition hike and air pollution (because the tuition thing is just ridiculous). Before you laugh too hard (never mind—go ahead and laugh hard), folks are treating this pretty seriously.
Our brothers north of the border have been breaking out the riot police and have actually had some pretty tense standoffs and situations to deal with. Cops have been forced to use pepper spray, batons, and even sound grenades (Celine Dion music maybe; I've never heard of these either). At least 39 people have been arrested so far (hopefully the fat guy that thought wearing a speedo was a good idea).
If you are having a hard time taking this seriously than one of the common chants crowds have used will not help: You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suit. No word on whether any officer actually did.
As laughable as this all is, the protest is working to the extent that some people have voiced support for the protesters (whether it's because they really want some of the guys to put their clothes on or because they back the cause is the question). One spectator commented in the Vancouver Sun:
"I think it's a worthy cause now. If you're willing to take your clothes off I'm willing to shave some dollars off your student fees."
In the U.S. we call it going to a strip club.
Someone should tell them that the protest loses a lot of steam when most people just take off their shirts (especially the pot-bellied guys) and the crowd has more dressed people than naked ones. Folks should also tell them that there are much better reasons for getting naked in the streets. In the U.S. (and many other countries) we call it Mardi Gras.
(Guys, before you start planning an impromptu trip to the Great White North, I've watched a video or two--the protesters are mostly dudes).