Media from the anti-prorogation protests

Today’s Ottawa protest against the prorogation of Parliament drew fewer people than the Fill The Hill climate protest, though it enjoyed much nicer weather.

Here is a slideshow of all of my photos from today. Higher resolution versions are available on request.

One of the more entertaining parts of today’s rally was Trevor Strong‘s song “The Wild Proroguer.” This member of the Arrogant Worms modified a traditional song to include lyrics about Canada’s second prorogation in about a year. The MP3 is on his website; I uploaded a video of the performance on Parliament Hill to YouTube.

This might be the funniest sign I saw today. The owner will never need to make another one, regardless of how many protests or counter-protests they decide to attend.

Note: all this content is covered by a Creative Commons license. Feel free to use it for non-commercial purposes, with attribution.

[Update: 24 January 2010] Other Ottawa bloggers also attended the event: Zoom, Watawa Life, and Coyote.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

22 thoughts on “Media from the anti-prorogation protests”

  1. I’ve looked at so many photos I forget what was where… but I enjoyed the “I can has democracy?” cat sign that I observed somewhere, and I think it was in Ottawa.

  2. 2010-01-23
    Ottawa’s anti-prorogue rally

    Ottawa’s prorogue protest, timed to coincide with several dozen across the country today, wasn’t exactly slick. It was long. The student cheer leaders were endearingly amateur. A speaker or two wandered lengthily off-track. And there looked to be a lot of ad-hoc cooks trying to salt their own spice into the bouillabaisse.

    But ya know what? If it had all been slick clockwork, I would have been more concerned. That might’ve meant some oily pro had pumped backroom grease into what looks to be real Facebook populism, rising spontaneously among concerned citizens.

    Ya know what else? It was big. Far larger than the coalition rally after Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued in late 2008.

  3. I had heard some 3500 for this rally, about the same as Fill the Hill. Not bad for -9C weather (albeit sunny vs. rain).

    I have a few shots on my blog.

    Given your shots of Layton and Iggy you must have been right in front of me.

  4. While fringe groups like 9/11 truthers, and politically dubious lobby groups like the CFS will show up at every gathering of people, what I thought was great about the protest today was the sense that it was not just vanguard cliques, but a more multicultural, multi-class, multi-racial, multi-level-of-intelligence protest.

    It’s also the first time I’ve ever felt that I understood the meaning of “The people, united, will never be defeated.” It’s not trivially false (as I previously believed), but trivially true. The trouble is, trying to unite the people.

  5. I thought the same but did find it more of an anti-Harper protest than an anti-proroguing protest. Right down to the NDP coloured manufactured signs, though obviously many people made and brought their own.

    The only other embarassment was they had an otherwise nice girl lead the signing of the national anthem, but I am fairly certain she screwed up the lyrics. Could be she thought she was doing alternating French and English lyrics but she missed a few lines in either language. Given the nature of the rally you’d want to make sure you get the anthem correct.

  6. I think getting the anthem wrong is a good thing. Nationalism is on average, a bad thing. It might be used for good in specific situations. It might be good in this situation to avoid immediate recourse to partisan values. But, I mean, there is no reason to know the words to it in advance. In fact, not knowing the words shows you’re serious about not-caring-too-much about propaganda.

  7. Will the prorogation of Parliament set off a populist revolt?

    The people speak
    by John Geddes on Monday, January 25, 2010 9:58am – 20 Comments

    Of all the possible issues to trip him up—the deficit, stubbornly high unemployment, Afghan detainees—who would have predicted that a four-syllable term for a parliamentary procedure would send Stephen Harper’s poll numbers tumbling? Yet prorogation, the antique-sounding word for suspending Parliament, has done it. Harper’s Dec. 30 decision to send MPs on an unscheduled break until March 3 galvanized dismay over both his leadership style and the state of a democracy in which the Prime Minister feels free to wield such unchecked power. “It’s solidifying a very deep sense that there’s something wrong with the way we govern ourselves,” says Rick Anderson, a long-time advocate for democratic reform who, like Harper, worked for Preston Manning back when Manning’s Reform party embodied a grassroots desire for politics less dominated by prime ministerial power.

    Harper, though, never really swam in that populist Reform current. Manning wanted to change the way Ottawa worked in order to give more clout to ordinary MPs, and in turn make them more responsive to voters; Harper was mostly interested in economic policy and conservative ideology. Later, after uniting the right to create a winning new Conservative brand, he proved himself an uncommonly disciplined top-down organizer, first of his party and then of his government. Harper’s underdeveloped populist instincts never seemed a serious liability—until lately. He clearly underestimated the backlash against proroguing for the second time in about a year. In late 2008, he suspended Parliament to avoid being defeated in the House by an opposition coalition. Last month, he resorted to it again, this time, his critics say, to cool the Afghan detainee controversy until after the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

  8. Database and IP Records Tie Election Fraud To Canada’s Ruling Conservatives

    “Canada’s election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party’s CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign.”

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