G-20 Protest Ramblings

Does anyone even know what the G20 Summit is about now? The media has focused so much on the protesting that there is relatively very little news about what the summit is actually discussing. In fact, this post isn't even really about the G20 Summit. It's going to be about the 'hipster revolution'.

Hipsters look like they're intellectual, artistic and well-intentioned individuals who strive to defy the mainstream trends. Yet we'll tell our future generations that back in the day, hipsters are just reincarnations of the 60's hippy and that people will never change.

 Jasmin-O-Saur: fervent advocate of free speech and destroyer of the opposition's signs. File Under: Hypocrisy.

UBC's full of them. For instance: the infamous SDS' (Students for a Democratic Society) fervent and outspoken resistance to the university, campaign to rid Canada of the military [1] and hilarious bonfire next to the grassy knoll [2] which resulted in student arrests. They decried police brutality which is utter blasphemy. These over-privileged kids are so used to complaining that they forgot to propose an actual practical solution. They're so young (in fact, they're a couple of years older than I) that they still hold on to their glorious ideals of world peace. But I must say that these protesters are a step up from the G-20 riots which are not only violent but none of us have any clue what they're actually protesting about...

This reminds me of the protesters that hung giant "Free Tibet" banners across the Golden Gate Bridge. When asked to point out where Tibet actually is on a map, some protesters had no idea. If you have a cause and want to do good in the world, maybe you should spend some time figuring out exactly what the hell you are advocating for before you start making a fool of yourself.

Stop giving hipsters a bad rap.


[1] I actually attended the SDS public discussion at UBC about the 'evils of the military' and the 'conspiracy behind it'. Everyone seemed to be invited to this forum so I went with two of my friends who happen to be in the Canadian military. Obviously they didn't show up in uniform. We in fact sat quietly in the back of the room while we listened to them preach to the choir. At the front of the room was a table set up for SDS executives and speakers.

They started the meeting by appreciating the fact that we were on "stolen native land". They passed around a petition that was against the UBC underground bus loop. On the back were valid points on why we shouldn't have this new development. Yet when I watched the petition being passed around, I saw that no one had read it. They just signed--blindly.

As the speakers were talking, I can see heads nod in agreement. I wondered how much these people actually knew about the military and the topic. Then my favourite speaker, whom I affectionately called "Jasmin-o-Saur", stood up to talk. She was passionate but made very few arguments and spent most of her time complaining and accusing. I was infuriated and had to step out of the room to breathe. When I re-entered, she looked smug.

When it came time to ask questions, my friend bravely stood to ask a question. He wasn't angry and the question was valid but it was obvious he wasn't one of them. You can see one of the panelists look in shock and the first thing that came out of their mouth was, "Are you in the military?" It was an irrelevant question. After attempting to dodge the question, my friend eventually answered "Yes" The room was tense and awkward. Since then the tone of the forum had dialed down from extreme to moderate. That sucked. Then they were outraged that my friend had brought along a voice recorder to record this. We were stunned because there were shouts like "This is how the government gets you!" (By the way, these shouts came primarily from guests that were invited to come speak from the US). It wasn't until after the forum that my friend and I spent time emailing and phoning government groups about voice recordings. It turns out that it was ok to record the forum as long as it was a public forum. Well, that was an SDS fail.

Finally when the discussion was over, we all had an opportunity to speak to the guests and panelists. They're pretty chill when they're not all angry. They asked us if we liked the idea of war. No, none of us, not even my friends in the military, like the idea of war. Ideally war would be non-existent but the SDS was asking for a movement to abolish the military. Great; So Canada would be the first and probably the only country to rid themselves of military defenses. Smart move. Oh, and what about peacekeepers?, we asked. We ask our peacekeepers to stand in-between two countries that hate each other and don't give two sh*ts about the collateral.

This is when I legitimately started hating on the SDS.

[2] Then there was the grassy knoll protest. It was the epitome of the 60's protests. People dancing as if they were perpetually high, horrendous live music (honest to goodness bad music), ribbons, tents and hippies that I never noticed on campus before. It was as if you took an old hippy film and have it regurgitate it's contents in the middle of our student space.

As a joke and a statement, some students came out and protested the protest. We were armed with signs like "10 Things Better Than the Knoll" and symbolic shovels. In fact, I had a lot of fun reading the discussion boards and wall of the FB group "Students for Reasonable Protest". Even Emporer Karl Palpatine got involved, srsly. The content of that group was both seriously thought-provoking and ROFL-worthy. Jasmin-o-Saur, who is obviously a big proponent of free-speech, also dropped on by to leave a few... encouraging... words behind.

But I digress. Back to the bon-fire. At night a giant bon fire was lit next to the knoll. I suppose it's some sort of hippy ritual to dance and sing around it. Oh, and did I mention that it was a giant bon fire that was right beneath some dry and very low overhang? When the fire department and police came to put out the fire, the protesters stood in their way (literally). So they arrested them and rightfully so. They were there to save the very knoll the protesters sought to protect. Why would you jeopardize the very thing you want to save?


  1. We live in totally different parts of the globe (I'm from the Philippines) but I share your sentiments about blind, reactionary activism. It just doesn't solve anything to let your advocacy's every move be a reflex action.

    I super love the protesting the protest bit! That must've been awesome!:D

    Btw, found you on stereomod. I think I clicked on your profile because you were one of the people who liked some of the songs I did. I think. Just signed up for stereomod and am still puttering around with the features. Anyway, it's awesome how music can connect like minds.:) Have a great day ahead.:)

  2. Of course I meant, stereomood.com.:) Sorry for the typo.

  3. Hey Nikki, thanks for the comment!

    Stereomood is the awesome-er-est.