Dawson College “The Plant”, section, voices. “Montreal, we need to Talk.” Editor: Undisclosed for privacy reasons. Writer: Undisclosed for privacy reasons Vol. 40, issue 22—Thursday, April 26, 2012
Montreal, we need to talk.
It’s been a while, and I understand things haven’t been great between us as of late. You seem angry, about a lot of things. Occupy movements was a little spat, but then there were brutal anti-brutality marches, harpings about Harper, not to mention the student protests (and protests and protests). If I see any more red squares on historic monuments, I’ll scream.
What’s gotten into you, city? You’ve always had a habit of standing up for yourself. It’s one of the things I love about you. Sure, we’d get into little scrapes one in a while, a little hockey riot here and there to keep things interesting, but you’ve hit a whole level of “crazy” over the past year. It’s not if there was a conflict, it was where. Can’t someone walk down St. Catherine’s without getting tear-gassed now-a-days? Is it so much to ask that when I get off the metro, I don’t walk into a warzone?
“But it’s the police’s fault!”
I’ll be the first to admit that Montreal Police can be a bit…strong-willed, to say the very least. They have to put up with you. And yes, they probably pushed it a bit too far.
But you guys brought a gun to a knife fight. Throwing rocks at the police? Bricks on the metro? Smoke bombs? Setting buildings on fire? How is any of this supposed to help your cause? How can you not expect police to go full-force, when you’re forcing yourself into the Palais? (Besides, it really doesn’t help that one of the “peaceful student organizations” refuses to denounce what’s been going on. Stay classy, CLASSE!)
I was watching the news recently, and they were speaking about the uprisings in the Middle East. To paraphrase, they suggested that to win a battle, to change a regime, you have to have the people on your side.
Guess what, Montreal. You’ve lost us. Occupy accomplished nothing. We know we hate Harper, we’re Quebec for god’s sake, it’s our job, but we have a couple years of him left to go. The police can be brutal, but when you start flipping cars, they need to be. And if you’re going to throw rocks, metal rods, and try to crash a metro car, then guess what? The police aren’t the enemy. You are.
I don’t know what you’ve become, but I don’t like it.
To be honest, I’m scared of you, Montreal. You’ve become a violent caricature of the city I knew. I don’t want to drive down the Ville-Marie waiting for rocks to go through my wind-shield. I don’t want to spend half of my work-shift cleaning red paint. I don’t want to walk out into the street and worry about batons and blood on my way home anymore.
Where’s the place I fell in love with? Where is the random music on the street, or the lazy Sundays on Mount Royal? I miss being able to walk to the Palais de Congres, if only to play hop-scotch in the shadows of the coloured window panes. Now, I find only broken glass, red pain and battle cries.
We can fix this. I’m fine with you standing your ground, but now you’ve lost the ground to stand on. I can’t, in good conscience, say that any of this is right. I don’t even know what you’re fighting for anymore.
So, let’s take a break, Montreal. See other cities for a couple of weeks. I’ll pop back in the summer. Maybe some sunny weather and a Sunday on Mount-Royal will cool your head.
If not, well…I hear Vancouver is nice.
((This was in my school paper that I finally picked up today. This is how students view Montreal now. This is not right.))