The Mail

The Mail

April 16 2001
The Mail

The Mail

April 16 2001

The Mail

Protesting too much

It seems that Macleans has become the voice of the new left, but without much to say about the difference between lawful demonstrations and out-and-out anarchy (“Battleground Quebec City,” Special Report, April 2). The People’s Summit, taking place at the same time as the Summit of the Americas, is described as “more than 10,000 opponents of the official summit congregating in the old port area for six days of panel discussions, speeches and other events culminating in a big protest march.” So far so good, until you read “Protest 101,” where it says that “some activists argue that violence would be acceptable when confronting police in Quebec City.” Hold on. The new left is not above the law just because it doesn’t agree with some issues it seems to have little or no understanding of. It seems that the need for tolerance

falls on the democratic people of Canada, and no accountability ever falls on whatever crank protest group is the flavour of the day.

Tony Warren, Edmonton

I Every act of violence, no matter how I small, allows the corporations to write

1 off the substance of protest as simply hooliganism by troublemakers. The way to embarrass them is to mount a dramatic and profound demonstration that emphasizes nonviolent resistance. Imagine half a million people in Quebec City, arriving gradually over several hours prior to the meeting. They are all dressed in black and keep moving slowly around the perimeter of the secure area. There is no sound. No damage. Imagine the TV coverage. If Canadians really believe the current form of globalization must be stopped, they have to turn out en masse—a few truculent students are not going to do it. James Cass, Stirling, Ont.

Why is the professor who joined University of Ottawa students in drawing “their impressions of the Batde of Seattle” described as hip? Does Macleans support the violence that opponents of globalization encourage? Maclean’s, after all, is a brand just like those considered the enemy and should be boycotted as well.

T. F. Chambers, North Bay, Ont.

These protesters can’t see past their noses. Because of their shortsighted thinking and selfish attitudes, they are throwing a wrench in the gears of world progress. When the dedicated designers of the World Trade Organization have the results of their wise efforts running even more smoothly, all barriers, borders, duties, tariffs and embargoes between countries will come down like Berlin Walls. Higher standards of living and lower taxes will be for everyone.

Cy Poissant, Blairmore, Alta.

You wrote, regarding anti-globalization demonstrators, that “sorting out exactly why so many people are so stirred up is not easy.” What is so difficult to understand? Until our governments can negotiate trade agreements that are not anti-democratic, and until global capitalism can be constrained to serve people, cultures and the environment instead of the other way round, the protests will get larger and larger. Matthew Nicoll, Courtenay, B.C.

Recent articles about the anti-globalization protesters lead me to conclude that there will always be a segment of the population (usually young and idealistic) who will have a need to seek excitement and violence.

George Dunbar, Toronto

Truth and scandal

I have always regarded Canadians and the Canadian media as having class that is so often lacking in many other wellknown countries. Must we scrape the bottom of the barrel so that we, too, can join the long list of countries familiar with scandals? I am tired of hearing stale stories about the alleged affairs of the Grand-Mère Golf Club (“Caught in the rough,” Canada, April 2) because, quite frankly, we have more important

Passion embraced

I don’t have a problem with the cover image of the apparendy naked young woman from March 5 (“Redesigning work”), but according to recent letters (“The naked truth,” The Mail, March 19), apparendy I should, and apparendy I should also be critical of the cover image “Passion play” (April 2) with two Canadian ice skaters, David Pelletier and Jamie Salé, in an openly and obviously passionate embrace. Imagine that. Sexual innuendo or not, I appreciate that Maclean’s is able to embrace passion as a virtue, and not as something to be hidden behind closed doors, where we just might be naked.

Rob Allan, Lethbridge, Alta.

Letters to the Editor

should be addressed to:

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things to concern ourselves with, not the least of which is the flood of talent to the United States, our ailing healthcare system, lowering taxes, parliamentary reform and crime prevention.

John Starkey, Seattle

The recent truth-defying events involving MPs Rahim Jaffer and Hedy Fry (“Apologies R us,” Canada Notes, April 2), coming in the middle of questions about Prime Minister Jean Chrétiens credibility, are sadly indicative of a more disturbing trend—the general social decline in truthfulness. In a consumer-driven culture, truthfulness is replaced by believability, reality by image and, inevitably, character by narcissism and narrow self-interest. If truthfulness is the glue of civilization, it is no wonder we are starting to come apart at the seams.

Jim Cohoon, White Rock, B.C.

Hockey conundrum

“Rink rage” and “Bane of the bleachers” (Cover, March 26) were very disturbing, but not surprising. Some parents seem to look upon their children as extensions of themselves, and through them attempt to achieve unfulfilled dreams and goals. I love my child and hope I have given him the tools to live a full, happy life. But I want his life to be full with his ideas, hopes and dreams, not mine. Anne Watson, Belgrave, Ont.

As referee-in-chief for the Sault Recreational Hockey Association, I have seen inappropriate behaviour all too frequently over the past four or five years. We have had everything from garbage cans and coins thrown on the ice by fans/parents and coaches throwing sticks and water botdes, to parents accosting young officials as they leave the ice or outside the arena. It is the same for baseball, football and soccer, a truly sad state of affairs for our youth. Roy Hele, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

While I and, I’m sure, most sports fans abhor the abuse of officials, these extreme parental reactions usually only occur after officials have proven to be horrendous. Quality control of officiating would go a long way to easing the incidents of which you wrote. Good officiating means good games, good competition and good fan behaviour. The opposite is also true.

Ken M. Whitehead, Dartmouth, N.S.

Freedom to worship

The right to practise one’s religious faith without interference, censure or violence has long been an unfulfilled dream of humanity. In Canada during the Second World War, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were deemed seditious. A few years later in Quebec, their members were thrown in jail in an attempt to stigmatize and eradicate them. Considering our own experience, should it surprise anyone that in Russia a similar scenario is being played out with other faiths (“Defending the faith,” Canada and the World, March 26)? The world’s long-held religious customs and prejudices are being challenged by an increasingly multicultural, human rightsoriented global community. The worm has turned. After centuries of fleeing the Old World, religious groups are now returning and bringing the message of religious freedom and tolerance with them.

Rev. AI Buttnor, Director, Public Affairs, Church of Scientology, Toronto

Free-trade dumb

After reading “Duelling chainsaws” (Business, March 26), I have come to the conclusion that free trade almost always benefits the United States, not Canada. It seems that if the agreement benefits Canada, there must be a law against it, but when the United States benefits, we just give in and let them do as they please. Sean Bohle, Terrace, B.C.

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