free canada!

posted by andrea

It pains me that this submission is purely a rant. A straight-forward rant with few complexities and structure. But here goes …

Not long ago, there was, and possibly still is, a pretty heated debate on this year’s Nobel Peace Prize award receiver, Liu Xiaobo, for his long and non-violent diplomatic struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He is, however, put in jail by the Chinese government for “inciting subversion of the state power”. Many criticize the Chinese government for violating human rights, and generally the lack of free speech for residents in China. I’m sure one can find tons of information on this issue on the world wide web, so I don’t wanna get into this. But today, I am not ranting against this, instead, I am ranting against the delusion Canada is creating to citizens, residents, and immigrants that similar violations don’t happen in this “democratic” stolen land.

Throughout my years in Canada, I have definitely heard many people saying they like residing in Canada because it is a liberal, democratic country. Well, here I am, saying “bullshit”. Numerous G20 activists have been arrested. Alex Hundert and others were discouraged from speaking to the media. Aboriginal issues are constantly being ignored by the government. Hate crimes, including racism and homophobia are still prevalent. Murder-by-suicide rates on queer youth is a fact in Canada (and don’t begin the “but gay marriage is legal in Canada…”, because if you do, you miss the point).

In my humble opinion, Canada government is engaging in similar levels of human rights violations and information control to the public as the Chinese government. So, my questions are: why do most people hold different perceptions regarding equity and human rights towards China and Canada? Why are people more reluctant to affiliate with the Chinese than the Canadian government? Because, to me, they are both, fucked up.

All I want to say is, back the fuck off. If I see another “Free Tibet” shirt or if some white dude comes over to hand me a “Free Tibet” flyer, I might blow up and engage in very violent behaviour. Somewhere along the lines you’re sticking your head in places where it shouldn’t be. Because, if you are going to criticize, do it locally. Don’t point fingers at countries you don’t know shit about.

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1 Comment

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One response to “free canada!

  1. David

    I find it troubling that you equate human rights violations in China with events in Canada.

    Before I jump into this I want to point out that I do agree that we are on land that wasn’t always ours and that reprehensible acts were necessary to secure that land. I assume that you are reasonable enough not to suggest that all immigrants return to their “homelands,” so I’m guessing that you believe reparations are the most appropriate solution. (I don’t mean to put words in your mouth so please correct me if I’m wrong). Given your belief that we are on stolen land, and that reparations are appropriate, why not lead by example and return your own personal property to the First Nations people?

    Now, back to China and Canada. First, where are our political prisoners? We have no one in a situation like Liu Xiabo. Instead Canadians are often celebrated for criticizing the government. You are not writing this in prison, correct?

    “Numerous G20 activists have been arrested.” Yes this was unfortunate but it was an isolated event. I’m not making excuses for the government but the key is that it was isolated. The government doesn’t consistently crack down on opposing views or gatherings like the Chinese government does. Most of them were released soon after, not shipped to labour camps like in China http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/11/19/a-joke-on-twitter-a-year-in-labor-camp/

    “Alex Hundert and others were discouraged from speaking to the media” Discouraged!?! Oh no! How terrible. Thats almost as bad as China putting all Liu Xiaobo’s friends under house arrest so that none of them could accept his award or speak on his behalf.

    “Hate crimes, including racism and homophobia are still prevalent.” This may be true but it is not state sponsored. If anything the Canadian government has made huge strides to accommodate and welcome immigrants and minority groups. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe we are the only country that has enshrined multiculturalism into our constitution.

    “Canada engages in similar levels of… information control as the Chinese government.” I have to question the seriousness of this article after reading this sentence. Facebook, youtube, and Twitter would be the most obvious examples of why your statement is inane, however I’ll leave this list with you for a refresher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China
    As far as I know, the only website ever censored in Canada was a Telus union website. And the website was not blocked by the Canadian government, but by Telus themselves to prevent their union workers from organizing themselves.

    I think you should follow your own advice, because apparently you don’t know shit about Canada or China.

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