06 June 2011

When Old People Ignore Young Heroes (or Worse)

Sorry to any readers in other parts of the world. This week's post is decidedly Canadian.

We need to get very clear about something. When a young person takes a risk to tell us oldsters something important, we need to listen — not criticize!

I was away at an educational convention this past weekend, and came home to news that Canada has a new hero! Brigette Marcelle DePape was a page in the Canadian Senate who simply couldn't listen anymore without "saying" something. Why is it that Brigette's generation has all this courage while we elders keep denying that there's anything awry?

So, Brigette does this brave thing (check out the video) and what's the response of the "elders"?
• She disrupted the reading of the Throne Speech. Ah, no. She stood and held up a sign. Nothing disruptive there! The fact that the Senators were disrupted says more about how distractible they are or how boring the Throne Speech was.

• It was a breach of security. That's such a funny one! We live in such a dangerous society (not!) that a piece of cardboard is now a security threat. (Mike Duffy, you're such a ....)

• She showed a lack of respect for democratic institutions. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Oh my, if this one's true, we can certainly point to the man who taught her everything she knows. No, wait, his name was on the cardboard! Yeah, you know, the prime minister who was found in contempt of parliament!
Besides something to do with hockey, it must have been a slow news week to turn this young woman's plea for sanity within our political system into a media circus. But do let's remember that our prime minister — not elected by a majority of Canadians — has sinister motivations that entail liquidating the future for Brigette's generation in the name of profits for his cronies today.

Come on, CBC et al. Harper has already made a farce of our parliament. Quit pretending he hasn't.

Meantime, Brigette Marcelle DePape just joined my list of climate change heroes.

By the way, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has this to say about Brigette's small act of civil disobedience:
"For a young person to do that and to do it peacefully, and quietly and with grace, I thought it was a very powerful moment. Every now and then there is an iconic moment where an individual takes action, and it inspires others to think .... I think that Canada and Canadians probably need to put aside the full respect thing and bring out their inner hockey stick and get to work on preventing their government from turning into a version of ours."


  1. Wow, Evan Solomon makes me rage. "I'm not trying to dissuade you from having a political opinion..." but I will frame all of my questions so your political opinion appears disrespectful and illegitimate.

    Check out Jian's defense of Brigette http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2011/06/06/jians-essay-on-brigette-depape-on-q/

    And the main reason why Brigette did what she did (scary) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/31/carbon-levels-peak

  2. Hi Nadia,
    I couldn't watch the rest of the Solomon interview, knowing where it was going. And even Jian keeps repeating the criticisms before throwing in a compliment or two. I'd like to ask every single person who has criticized Brigette what action they would like to take to stop the bulldozer we in Canada call our prime minister that is
    - peaceful
    - professional
    - not cute (apparently "cute" is now bad)
    - smart
    - eloquent
    - heartfelt
    - did I mention peaceful?

    Yes, Brigette is among the very few in our country who recognize that the future is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Bless her and her courage.


I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?