“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”, Elie Weisel.
May 13, 2011
I found the recent Canadian Federal Election fascinating, galvanizing, and completely absorbing. Those who know me know that I was actively involved in the democratic process.
However, in the midst of all the discussions, the protests, and the rallies, there was a constant undercurrent of powerlessness. People who were in protests with me told me that they refused to vote, as it would make no difference. I know people who voted based on which politician was “cute”, which one had the best name, or for whomever his/her family was voting for. I know people who said they would go into the voting stations and write their own name on the ballot, as a protest. I know people who just couldn’t be bothered showing up, on any of the advanced polling days or on election day itself.
I found myself incredibly disheartened, and frustrated. I was more than a little rude to a number of people. I sent out what was, in retrospect, harassing texts ‘encouraging’ people to vote. …and then I saw a wonderful on-line lecture by Dave Meslin on www.ted.com . I realised that what I was most angry about was a general trend I had seen growing over the last decade or two. I also realised that it was about time that I ‘put my money where my mouth was’, and try to do something about it.
Hence, the creation of this blog. I will write about all kinds of ways to make a difference in the world, through formal protest and volunteering, and through small and quiet ways.
I will advertise upcoming events and ways that people can get involved, and I will endeavour my best to keep my personal opinions regarding those events to myself. Pro-life and Pro-choice rallies will be advertised; Conservative, Liberal, NDP, and Green Party events will be mentioned.
I will also provide a forum for celebrating all kinds of successes, ‘small’ and ‘large’. Shovelling snow from an elderly neighbour’s drive-way will be celebrated, as will raising $20,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis research. The real goal of this blog is to fight for involved citizenry, to help build community, and more than anything else, to fight apathy.
I will also try to post at least once a week, so this site does not get stagnant. Please bear with me as I struggle with, and eventually master, the technical aspects of blogging. I sincerely hope that all of you will contribute ideas and notices (email@example.com) , will take comfort in the fact that there are many of us who continue to work for social justice in all its forms, and I invite you all to work towards the end of apathy!