Opening Statement



Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wednesday's Protest in the Park!

[TODAY'S NEWS LINKS ON BLOG BELOW]


Wednesdays evening's protest theatre out front of Queen's Park was another fine success. I quite enjoyed the earlier production described in my blog Bill 115: Funeral for a Friend. The performances are organized by a friendly group of local ETFO and OSSTF teacher activists, at the grassroots level. If you read my earlier blogs from this week you will know that our OECTA teachers were cordially invited to attend.

The premise? Basically a group of evil capitalist bankers in top hats with cigars, laughed it up and drank wine in front of a huge $100 bill, celebrating the prorogation of the legislature and the austerity wage freeze. Speaker after speaker came up to the microphone to challenge them and make a statement. I arose on behalf of the disenfranchised OECTA teachers who read my blog. My OECTA believes in status quo, staus quo plus and no concessions. The MOU is contract stripping plain and simple. I made it clear I was there on my own and made no pretenses. I was well received. Well, at least there wasn't any tomato throwing. ;-) A lot of folk recognized me from my blog, and wanted to talk about different postings afterwards and so on and so forth. I'm really glad I went. I miss a good protest.

I saw City TV, City Pulse 24 and the CBC. The media are certainly coming to these events. None of the effort is wasted. They make a clear point. The teachers are just activists like myself and many of you too. It was great to sit around and talk protest and school afterwards at the pub. I  missed when we'd have a table or two of OECTA protesters join in the lively discussion and good fun.

I am not sure why so many of our Toronto members remain in a political stupor. We are very unhappy with the MOU but not willing to do anything about it. Of course with any type of political movement you need to begin mobilizing well in advance, and provide a steady source of info to help develop a protest conscience, and a good understanding of the issues at hand. That is clearly not happening at OECTA today. Provincial, of course, isn't going to sponsor it. They seem more cozy being in bed with the Liberal government, even as Tim steals our pillow of comfort belief that all is going well. Still very few of us have risen to the occasion either, at least here in Toronto.

The prorogation of the Ontario legislature is a no-brainer issue. One still awaits impatiently to see what our union will say and do. Surely its not a part of the MOU deal to sit quietly and just let the Liberals do what they will? That's not my OECTA anyway, the one I love and have fought for through so many past political battles. I can recall countless past protests, near riots and demonstrations on the same hallowed ground where we met today out front of Queen's Park last night. The Harris-Eve years readily come to mind. Perhaps some of you also remember the Bill Davis protests in the early 70's? I was a student then of course. It made a big impression. What are we teaching our students today as we sit by and do nothing in the face of political and economic injustice? It just isn't right.

I will keep you informed well in advance of any upcoming protests that we are invited too. We can attend as private members, that is our right. We are the OECTA membership, not the office politicos at St. Clair Avenue. It is time to start reclaiming what is ours from the protest grounds right on up, if need be. That applies to our democratic rights as Ontarians, and our union rights as Catholic teachers. Hope to see more of you polish up the old OECTA protest boots and come help out next time around

I will want to address the darker side of our OECTA mindset in a future blog, the part about authority and just doing as you are told. For today I am posting this blog, the photos, and the slide show which should start soon at the top left of my site screen.

In solidarity!

David C.


PS: Another photo at: https://twitter.com/OPSEU/status/258690665553199104/photo/1

TODAY'S NEWS LINKS BELOW...........>>>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Every local OECTA unit needs to hold a symbolic MOU vote by ballot box at every school like Halton elementary unit held last week.

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