Hi friends. So I didn't blog last week - sorry about that. I am struggling out of my winter funk right now and trying to get back into the activism swing of things. Last week's clinic was ok; still some very vocal female protesters, which is such a nuisance. This week (ie yesterday) we didn't have clinic, so I can only hope that the protesters were out in vain. Although it isn't that cold so it's no biggie.
I went to see Jack Layton speak at the Wu Centre a couple nights ago. It was pretty good. There was a much bigger crowd than had been planned for, which was a bit annoying because no one had set up an overflow room or anticipated in the slightest that they might attract more than 150 people. Oh, Fredericton. Anyway, Jack was speaking about what to do about the economy, and looking for ideas and suggestions from us common folk. He's a good speaker and there were no nutbars or anything, so it was good.
I've got a lot of feminist stuff going on right now that I'm very excited about. There will be an International Women's Day potluck brunch here in Fredericton on March 8th - contact me if you want more details. It should be awesome; at least two groups I belong to are co-sponsoring, so I'll be there co-repping. :)
I did want to blog about the whole campus pro-life thing, at the University of Calgary, and the GAP event shut down at Saint Mary's in Halifax. I feel like it's all been blogged to death, though. And now that I sit down to write about it, I'm not sure how I feel. The first issue, of student unions refusing to fund pro-life groups on campus, seems pretty straightforward to me. Student unions are allowed to choose to fund any groups they want - that's their prerogative. Groups can still exist, but no group is entitled to funding. I'm not sure how people think this is a freedom of speech issue.
The other one is not so clear to me. In case you missed it, the horrible Centre for Bioethical Reform had a speaker go to Saint Mary's - I guess he was booked by the campus pro-life group there. Well, during his speech he was shouted down by pro-choice protesters, and things got ugly enough that the campus security/police shut the event down (it was moved to a nearby church). I feel like the police did the right thing; after all, a threat to public safety is a threat to public safety. And I believe in the protesters' right to do what they did. Free speech goes both ways, after all. I just don't know if it's what I would have done.
It makes me wonder about what the best way is to show dissent in a situation like that. Certainly their actions were good in that they got the speaker off campus. But might it have been more productive to just go to the presentation and ask some thought-provoking questions? Or some other kind of protest, like standing up and turning their backs? I don't know. I've been wondering a lot lately about effective forms of protest, and whether some things are even worth doing at all. It's kind of a depressing train of thought.
Anyway, kudos to Halifax Pro-Choice for being gutsy and representin'.