Matt Forney
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North to Canada

So I’ve decided to change gears. I’m still walking across America to Portland, Oregon. But before I do that, I’m going north to Montreal to cover the student protests.

That is, assuming they don’t die out by the time I get there.

One of my bigger recent regrets was not joining #OccupyWallStreet before it was broken up. While I’m not big on its supporters’ political inclinations, I was happy to see my fellow Millennials stand up and speak out against the clusterfuck that our country is in. As Howard Beale put it, “First you’ve got to get mad!” The ideological details can be worked out later.

The Occupy movement is still around, but despite what its supporters say, the various police crackdowns took the wind out of its sails. New York, Portland, Albany; none of them were the same after the pigs descended upon them. The mojo’s gone.

The Occupiers fell because they weren’t mad enough.

Everything I’ve read about the Montreal protests suggests the opposite: despite the provincial government’s clampdown (arguably worse than anything any stateside protesters have faced, because we have the First Amendment to protect us), the protests haven’t dispersed. The crowds have gotten bigger, the people have gotten angrier, and the movement has grown beyond students to become a expression of general discontent at the direction Quebec and Canada are going in.

These guys aren’t going down without a fight.

Not only that, the Montreal protests are getting literally zero coverage from the mainstream media. I know, I should have expected this considering they ignored #OccupyWallStreet right up until the last minute, but even going by the logic of “if it bleeds, it leads,” Montreal should make a pretty good cover story. It’s utterly amazing that CBS, CNN, the New York Times etc. can cover riots and revolutions half a world away in the Middle East, but they have no interest in something that is happening in America’s own backyard. From what I’ve read, the Canadian MSM has been doing their best to ignore the protests as well, beyond the usual “buncha welfare queens!” finger-wagging from Anglo-Canucks.

My own feelings are the same as what I felt about the Occupiers. Yes, the tuition increase that the students are rioting about is pretty mild compared to American tuition, but that’s not the important part.

The important thing is that they’re mad. They’re not taking it anymore.

I’m not going to let history pass me by, so I’m heading north of the border in less than two weeks. I have to see it with my own eyes. Plus, it and southern Ontario will make for a more interesting trip than western New York. Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto versus Auburn, Geneva and Buffalo? No contest.

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