The G8 is the biggest comedy of errors our city has ever seen. It's worse than the Stampede, worse than the so-called C-Train improvements--even worse than the mentally challenged process of getting our city a new logo. The G8 is a waste from every angle, be it for the businessman, the protester or George W. Bush.
Why is over half a billion dollars being spent on this event? Why do G8 leaders have to meet in person? Is videoconferencing not safe enough? Does email not work? A lot can be said for face-to-face contact, but it would probably be cheaper to meet in space and travel via space shuttle.
Dissent is at the very core of democracy, but what happened in Seattle is not. Why is there tight security in Calgary? Because some idiot threw a brick in the name of democracy.
Did he have the "right" do that? No. Members of the sane majority think rioting and looting is as democratic as flying an airplane into a building. If you don't like something in a democracy you get elected and change it. Riots without the support of the majority change nothing.
What's the point of even coming to Calgary? There is no message when there is no forum. You should write letters, send reports and promote your noble cause. But you can't do it here and you can't do it now. In the current agitated atmosphere, you're a bunch of unwashed hippies and G8 leaders will disregard everything you have to say. If you say anything intelligent you will be the only ones listening. Intelligence does not sell in Calgary right now. Look at our logo.
Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier did not set aside a site for protesters. Will this keep the jackasses out?
This will keep out those who want to protest peacefully. By denying the protesters a place to stay our mayor is provoking the jackass to violent action. The "get tough" attitude is a nice way to put a brick in someone's hand.
The majority of the media are here for blood--they are not here to listen to the leaders or to report on the G8 itself. They are here for another Battle of Seattle, another death, another gas canister and another riot. Example: there was a Calgary Sun cover before the 2000 World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. On it was an ominous looking protester wearing a gas mask. The headline read "Peace for now."
That's great. Everybody wins. The peace remained, and the Sun sold a lot of papers by taking advantage of people's insecurities.
Oddly enough, these are the only ones who come with a job to do. They will be cooped up behind an army in Kananaskis, they will discuss economic issues and they will make the world a better place. They will not end poverty, kill greed or cure AIDS, but they will do their best to fix what they can.
Now imagine how much more they could do with an extra half a billion dollars, an intelligent voice of dissent and an atmosphere where what they say is more important than a flying brick. Not this time. But at least there's peace--for now.