Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Students in Medicine Hat Demonstrate Against Bill 44

The political fallout of Bill 44 continues and the opposition to it's darkness and danger grows. In the immortal words of Buffalo Springfield, "Something's happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear. Think it's time we stop, Hey what's that sound, Everybody look what's going down."

Well in Medicine Hat yesterday the "sound" about Bill 44 from 200 high school students was silence. A group of students from Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat acted as engaged citizens yesterday. They staged a protest by taping up their mouths with the message "I've been silenced by Bill 44." They are right at so many levels. The really cool thing is that a group of high school students get it about their role and responsibility as citizens. They are showing the rest of Alberta, by this protest, that we have to dust off our citizenship and re-engage in the political and public policy culture of our society.

Once again we see the power of social media in gathering like-minded people into a community to make their voices heard. Daniel Jessome and Dylan Beyak started a Facebook group and put up posters around the school about the protest. There is a very powerful Facebook group "Student Against Bill 44" that has over 7100 members as I write this. It started just 10 days ago encourage you to join.

These students rightly fear that their teachers "...will start holding back in class for fear of being hauled up in front of a human rights tribunal." They get it when they say "It's going to affect our education, because we're not going to have those sporadic discussions in class anymore." "If we can't talk about the issues of today, how are we supposed to learn anything" is another accurate observation by these student leaders.

Congratulations to the students of Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat. You are right. Your freedom of speech has been diminished by the backward thinking that is the basis of Bill 44. Your actions speak louder than your words ;-) Thanks for showing up and not opting out. You set a good example for the elected representative that form your government. Keep up the good work!