seeing all the riot cops last night, and about the (several) experiences I’ve had in my life of “riots” – plus the many more stories I’ve heard from friends and others in my circle. And – as I’ve felt for ages but not expressed in so many words – I have grave misgivings about the situation. Notwithstanding my past as a political theory student and very minor-league activist, I think I’m a bit of a poster boy for “non-radical” in most ways. I now work in Big Industry. I own things, I pay taxes. I enjoy considering a purchase of a new car for the first time in my life in a couple of months. Also – I live in a community, I try my best (and succeed to some extent) to contribute to my community and society in various ways. I have an ever-deepening commitment to urban living.
Time was when I was exactly who the cops were “serving and protecting”. When people like me were precisely who was enfranchised by our society to the exclusion of many, if not most, others. But now, for me, I don’t feel that included. I don’t think they represent me. I don’t feel that they in any way reflect my values or wishes as a citizen. And if they can’t even represent me – well, there’s a fundamental problem there. And, thinking back to Quebec City, it’s obvious that many, many people are in the same boat as I am. Poster kids for “doing pretty well” and completely nonplussed by the government and its institutions – indeed, convinced that they are actively undermining my values and those of my friends and community.