Does your child go back to school after Labour Day? Do you have to pay for your child's school supplies? How much does your after-school program cost?
Here's another difference. Take a look at the top left picture, which I took last week in front of my daughter's school. The students (I've blurred their faces) have made placards and are reminding drivers to slow down on Laurier Avenue, the busy street in front of their school. They are chanting the slogan "C'est la rentrée. Ralentissez!" or Slow down! We're back at school. You'll also notice two Montreal policemen in the picture, as well as a parent and a teacher who are standing by. In fact, I was on the other side of the street next to a cop in uniform who was also taking pictures of this mini-demonstration.
Demonstrating or protesting is our right and a sign of a healthy democracy. I'm pleased to see that the children at my daughter's school are being taught the importance of exercising this right. Not only are the students given time to demonstrate (the morning bell has already rung), but they are also backed by the school and police force. Protesting for change is a worthy lesson for children, and a good way to remind area motorists that "We're all late for work!"
Although my view is not shared by everyone, particularly the forces of order at this summer's G20, I think that protests are a useful way to raise awareness and effect change. You'll recall that earlier this summer, I wrote about a group of seniors who were protesting the closure of a borough street for an open-air market, and I was surprised by how organized they were. Not only did they have their placards ready, but they were also handing out leaflets with their laundry list of arguments.
Peaceful demonstration is alive and well in Quebec! Thank goodness.
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