Friday, May 15, 2009

Tamil Protests in Toronto

The Tamils in Toronto have been protesting and holding marches for the last couple of months in the city.

Even though the LTTE has been hostile to Muslims in the past, and much of the Tamil protests have been due to the LTTE losses, it's still important to support the rights of Tamils to protest and disrupt and make their voices known.

1. To fight comments such as "tell them to go back home to their country if they care so much".

WHAT THE FUCK - these protesters are Canadians and they are making their voices heard. So what if their issue is about a far off land, suddenly they can't protest about it in Canada? Who decides what issues you should protest on - you should be allowed to protest whatever you want to.

Telling the protesters to go "home" only shows racism - it shows you don't really regard these people as "Canadians". It's time for Canada to acknowledge that immigrants are also Canadians and it is perfectly valid for Canadians to have non-Canadian concerns.

2. Politicians are paying interest.

The Tamil protests have shown the value of numbers, steadfastness, organization and media relations - all things Muslims can learn a lot about.

We are hardly organized - it takes weeks to organize a protest with a semi-decent turnout. At that turnout, speakers go on a rant with hardly any thought as to media sensibilities or even basic decent intelligence. You have to be smart with what you say and pick your fights.

The Tamils have also shown the value of good press/media relations. Even after they disrupted the Gardner Expressway the news reported how the organizers were cleaning up the garbage left by protesters.

Steadfastness - the Tamils have done repeated protests and finally a big one that got everyone talking. Suddenly McGuinty has remembered his daughter in Sri Lanka, Ignatieff found a voice, and even Conservative Bev Oda has dropped her fight against red flags.


There is a legal way to protest. As long as they stick to legal protesting no one should grumble about the protests. Rather, marvel at how committed they are to the cause.

Yet when they take a highway hostage and stop people from visiting their families on Mother's Day, that's bone headed. And wrong.

Note: I am supporting the right of Tamils (or anyone) to protest. Which may or may not translate to supporting what they are protesting.


mystic-soul said...


I watched the video. Its OK to protest but the way Gardners EXWY was taken hostage - was actually shocking.I don't blame ppl. who were angry on protestors. Being in civilized world, I hope they learn to respect rights of others. They are not spreading very positive image of desi ppl.

(Toronto is my second home and so I feel strongly about it)

mezba said...

Mystic-soul: I know.. one can get pretty angry when watching that Gardener protest. I wonder what the Tamils are thinking now. One has to say ultimately people get their just desserts.

tani said...

umm mezba, those disclaimers at the end of your posts are verrry entertaining! loll

mezba said...

tani: lol, tani, had to be said!