History proves APEC protesters correct

By Collin Gallant

Ever since the Prime Minister committed peace keepers to East Timor, I’ve been starting to think that those APEC protesters may have had a point.

You remember APEC don’t you? The Asian Pacific Economic Conference and the resulting scandal that held our nation’s fickle attention for a few shining months (give or take a few) almost two years ago.

The irony of Chr├ętien announcing Canadian peace keepers will protect the rights of the Timorese is overbearing. True, he isn’t arming militia’s to influence voting under threat of violence, but something stinks about APEC and Indonesia. Hasn’t anyone else noted the connection here? I can’t believe I’m getting the scoop.

Don’t you find it jarring that Canadian protesters who opposed Indonesia’s military dictatorship are still milling about the Canadian justice system waiting for God-knows-what? Meanwhile history has obviously proved them correct in their outrage.

When word of the latest round of state sponsored violence (in Indonesia, not Canada) came to the front pages of our finest publications, it pushed even further downward those articles pertaining to the possible quashing of free-speech in our fair dominion.

With the inquiry into the apec incidents dragging as the grinding clutch of justice lurches forward through legalese challenges, we relinquished our interest.

I like the fact we have due process and strictly-adhered-to rules which ensure fairness, but the outrage should have lasted longer then this. If the PM ordered the RCMP to keep protesters from embarrassing then-dictator of Indonesia Sohurto, then our rights have been violated.

Geez, our government has an easy time. All they have to do is call an inquiry or (gasp) a Royal Commission, we cannot help but nod off. We’ve been forced not to care. How could you care? Canadians believe the grass will grow, there’s no need to watch it do so.

The role of the Prime Minister’s Office in the Vancouver demonstration is still not known. But let’s face facts, it will never be known. Aside from the intricacies surrounding whether or not our the head of our government conspired to keep protesters silent, the inquiry is mired down in muck and legalese. Not even interested parties watch it on C-span and the last newspaper snippet was snipped over the summer.

One last time, for the record: A group of university students were peppersprayed then hauled off. by the RCMP for protesting against a dictatorship. And peace keepers’s to East Timor to help guard against that dictatorship’s abuses.

All we know from the past is that Chretien enjoys making pepper jokes, Andy Scott resigned as Solicitor General for trying to rig the proceedings, and the RCMP are not the gentle red-giants that Disney would have you believe.

Now that it is official Government of Canada policy that Indonesia’s citizens require shelter from their own government. At the very least, an apology is in order.

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