Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kind of a Downer

Hi friends. Yesterday's clinic was a bit crazy. It gets like that here sometimes. I don't mean that in the sense of how busy it was (or wasn't, or whatever), but more in the sense of there being something in the air.

I think it's the weather. We had a huge snow storm at the end of the weekend, and woke up on Monday to what some would call a winter wonderland. And by some, I mean naive assholes who don't have to live in this ridiculous climate. SERIOUSLY! There was a lot of snow. By yesterday (Tuesday) things were back on track in terms of school being back open, and resteraunts and banks and so on. The snow doesn't just disappear though. It's all piled in snowbanks that go over my head - you can't see around them, making walking and driving a big ol' pain in the ass.

That was just my little complain-y bit for the day. As always, things were worse for the escorts; there were very few places they could stand outside to make themselves visible to patients. Also, the sidewalk on Brunswick Street wasn't plowed, so a few of the more heroic escorts shovelled a little path to the front door of the clinic. I don't know if you've ever shovelled a path through a seven-foot-tall snowbank (I haven't). It didn't look like fun.

At least the protesters had nowhere to walk.

So yeah, it was a little crazy. Nothing drastic, just the kind of things that make you think there must be something in the air. I feel like that in February, a lot. Like I really can't wait for the stupid winter to be over, and I might stab someone with a pair of scissors if it doesn't end soon. Presumably this is why March Break was invented, right? Too bad I'm stuck here in snowsville.

I'm thinking we can probably look forward to another big flood this year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Musings on Jack and the SMU Fiasco

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'.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nothing much

Hi, friends. I don't have much to blog about, sadly. Nothing special happened this Tuesday. No word yet on Dr. Morgentaler's standing. The only pro-choice-related news I have is that the Chatelaine article I told you all about many months ago is finally coming out, in the April issue. So keep your eyes open for that.

I just thought I would check in and say hi. When I'm not so swamped in my personal life I would like to sit down and blog about the goings-on at the University of Calgary, but not today.

I hope you can all forgive me. :)