No-ProRogue Rally Etiquette

As I write this, the Facebook page Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament stands at 210,316 members. Tomorrow Canadians from all across Canada will be standing out in the Canadian cold to protest Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ill advised decision to prorogue parliament and thumb his nose at democracy.

On Saturday I’ll be out with my family in Waterloo Square rallying for democracy. If you aren’t sure where to go in your neighborhood, check out the Google Map of Rally locations… not just across Canada, but around the world. Anywhere where Canadians are, really. Whether 1 or 1,000 we will be out there tomorrow.

Waterloo Region’s Rally for Democracy
Saturday January 23rd,
11:00am to 1:00pm
Waterloo Square

Just thought I’d pass along the pointers I got from Katie at No Prorogue! Waterloo. I would pretty much assume that many of these hints would be helpful for most any peaceful political gathering.

kids in winter wear

  1. Come, and bring a friend!
  2. Please dress warmly!
    There is a kids figure skating show at 2:00, after our rally.
    The salt on your boots melts the ice, making it dangerous for the skaters.
  4. Bring your Canada-Pride! Wear Red and White (if possible).Bring Canada flags, or make a sign to hold up!
  5. This is a PEACEFUL PROTEST.
    Any violent or disruptive action of any sort is not permitted.
    There will be police on site. If you see anyone doing anything dangerous to disrupt the rally, please practice the “Separation” method:
    Step away from the person and isolate them from the crowd, thus allowing the police to easily locate the disruption – do not attempt to stop the disrupter yourselves.

    I don’t anticipate any violence, but this should be mentioned regardless.

  6. Please respect and obey all requests made by the police. They’re here to help ensure our safety.
  7. All event volunteers will have yellow ribbons tied to their arms. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask one of them.

A Different Drummer

Maybe it’s because I was a little kid in the sixties, or even that I’ve watched too many movies, or something, but I think political protests make great family outings. My sister and I took our toddlers to a protest in Ontario’s bad old Mike Harris days. I have no idea what became of the darling little protest buttons we got for the kids that day that read:
“Toddlers Against Mike Harris”.

Sadly the damage done to Ontario’s education system just keeps on keeping on. That doesn’t mean we should stop fighting for electoral reform. It just means we have to fight harder.

For families who rally together

If you’re going to be out waving flags with small children, or elderly family members, it is especially important that you check out the location to make sure you know where important things like public washrooms and escape routes are. With small kids, anyone with health concerns or any difficulty getting around, it is good to have a relatively easy time of it getting to a warm place, or just a quiet spot when you can feed the baby or give Grandma a chance to rest her weary bones. With older kids it’s a really good idea to establish a meet-up place if, say, the pre-teens get separated from the parents. Rallying for democracy is one thing, but being seen in public with your parents is something else again.

It’s always good to pack portable kid snacks, but remember it is winter and keep an eye on the temperature, particularly because the need to warm up is greatest for the youngest and oldest of us.

On the fun side, this is a great time to use all those flags all those politicians hand out on Canada Day. If you don’t have one, the dollar store will. If you’ve a full sized version, It’ll make a great “Captain Canada” cape for the mid sized kid.

Just as on Canada day face painting can be fun; If you want to make your own Maple Leaf clothing, a bit of red acrylic paint can put maple leaves on a white shirt. Just print out a maple leaf shape at the size you like, cut it out and trace around the outside on the shirt or any fablic or carboard. You can trace around the edges with a red Sharpie marker (warning: do NOT try to colour it in with the Sharpie unless you have excellent ventilation for the bad fumes. Then paint the leaf. Or flag.

Acrylic paint adheres beautifully to fabric. Don’t put it on thick and it will pretty much dry within an hour. If you let your shirt (or whatever) set for a day or two after
painting, turn it inside our before laundering ant it will last you for years. This is a great fun thing to do with the kids.

Democracy NOW!

I think we badly need electoral reform, so I tell everyone to check out Fair Vote Canada. I expect that Fair Vote Waterloo Region folk will be out at the Waterloo Rally tomorrow. I suspect it might be a pretty big turnout, as Waterloo is awash in bastions of post secondary education.

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