Does protesting accomplish anything?

Was big brother really watching us all those years?

We seem to have entered another age of protest.  For those of us in university during the late ’60s and early ’70s how could we forget protesting everything under the sun.  I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend because I worked my way through university but with protests being a daily event participation was easy. Yes, we had great success bringing attention to very serious issues like Vietnam, civil rights, and gender equality, but in the mix there was a barrage of foolish political rhetoric that ultimately overpowered all else. And, by the way, what did we accomplish by invading and trashing Peace Arch Park?

Then we graduated, got cleaned up, went to work, retired, and now we’re back at it. We’re protesting everything under the sun again. That’s embarrassing. Forty years ago we listened to Neil Young’s protest songs and, wouldn’t you know it, we still do. In the old days we railed against “The Military Industrial Complex” , we screamed corruption every time we didn’t see the political decision we wanted, we just knew industry and government were colluding on every issue, we knew that the police were nothing but the fascist arm of big business, the judges were puppets of big business, and we knew that organized religions were simply tools to pacify the masses. Oh, did I mention that we also wanted to overthrow the government?

Now 40 years later what have we learned that the young protester wouldn’t know?  Was big brother really watching us?  Was there really a conspiracy by big business and government to enslave us all, to destroy organized labor, to sell our country lock stock and barrel to the US? Were profits really put ahead of cancer research, hospitals for children, work safe, education, public transit, caring for our elderly?  Despite the dire warnings screamed out by our young voices the second ice age didn’t happen, we didn ‘t run out of fossil fuels by the year 2000, and the world did not come to a fiery end by way of nuclear holocaust. Instead of the Orwellian police state that we were convinced was inevitable, we have seen with our own eyes a Canadian society that has flourished for 40 years.

Four decades ago we blamed our parents and grand parents for creating the culture that we viewed as an utter failure. In our eyes we inherited this dysfunctional society that so badly needed to be fixed and we took it upon ourselves to fix it.  If the young protester today has the same view, don’t forget that they inherited their dysfunctional society from us.

Today, I have a soft spot in my heart for the young activist full of energy and sincerely wanting to make the world a better place. On specific issues I think they ‘re right, but even if not, they certainly have a perfect right to be just as wrong as we were.  Right or wrong, though, they have my best wishes.  But as for the old and grey Neil Young fans, didn”t the last 40 years teach us anything? Yes, protest all you want, focus on the issues, but stop spewing those tired old corporate greed/dooms day clichés from the ’60s.  This is a new age.  Let the young people have their day and let their voices be heard.

Kevin Sass

Hemlock Valley

Just Posted

Harrison approves budget, considers future of business tax rates

Residents and businesses will see a 2.37 per cent tax increase for 2019

Chilliwack-Kent MLA unimpressed with ‘classic NDP high-tax-and-spend budget’

Laurie Throness said there was nothing in Tuesday’s presentation for Chilliwack

ACES grows the love of gardening with annual seed exchange

The event will be returning to Harrison Mills Community Hall on March 1

Murder charge formally dropped against woman accused in downtown Chilliwack killing

Stay of proceedings ordered for Victoria Purcell; Kirkland Russell to be sentenced for manslaughter

WATCH: Latest Heritage Minute episode filmed near Hope and features some dark local history

Airing on Feb. 20, the 60-second film tells the story of the Asahi and features the Tashme Museum

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Most Read