August 5, 2011

Hamilton says f-off to Harper

As Stephen Harper set foot at McMaster University in Convocation hall on Thursday August 4th 2011, he was met with a loud diverse group of protesters outside the building he was speaking in. With only 12 hours notice, students and the community came out in good numbers to make some noise and let Harper know he's not welcome in Hamilton.

Under the slogan "Stop Harper” an array of various groups came out. Anti-war organizations, trade unions, students, anti-poverty activists, environmentalist, and women's rights groups all came to say that the Harper Conservative majority government has no mandate for their anti-people, pro-war agenda.

One demonstrator indicated that protesters were out speaking on a variety of issues stating, “The community came to talk about attacks on collective bargaining rights, to wars in Libya and Afghanistan, to billions in student debt, to the Tar Sands, Status of women's centres being closed and women no longer being able to sue for being paid less than men, to the poverty right here in Hamilton.”

The YCL Hamilton was involved in the demonstration and made the point that Harper represents big business interests. When asked why not instead of protesting just engaged in a discussion with Harper to change his mind the, the YCLer from Hamilton said, “If only politics was that simple -- a reasoned debate on politics between people. If you want change then our job is to organize a real opposition to these types of policies and the class agenda behind them.”

The Hamilton YCL pointed out the need for youth struggle. “We never got anything in Canada just out of a sound, reasoned debate alone. Implementing healthcare in Canada took decades of protests and struggles including occupations of MP’s offices by the labour movement to implement. Maternity leave, setting the standard so women could return to their jobs after child birth, took the Postal Workers and large public sector workers going on strike. Gay marriage took massive mobilization of the gay and queer communities and their allies since the 1980s and onwards,” they added.

“The Harper Conservatives have no interest in implementing the types of change we want, and they have a stake in making sure progressive forces do not succeed" A YCLer from Hamilton said, “Harper is a war criminal who is dropping million-dollars of bombs on Libya while bringing poverty to Canadians, all in the interest of big business.”

As long these policies continue, the protestors said, whenever Harper steps foot in Hamilton this is the welcome he will get.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular stories