It could have been so perfect...
33 leaders descended upon the Summit of the Americas to discuss their utopian visions of free trade and democracy. Meanwhile, the people they are supposed to be representing were forced to watch helpless behind a giant wall. What better protester press than an image of hundreds of solemn protesters of every race, age and background looking on from behind the chain link fence as their elected leaders preached about democracy.
Instead we had a handful of anarchy nutters who saw the opportunity to stir the pot and smash some windows. Luckily most press were quick to point out that it was just a handful that was causing all the problems. But even so will the protest actually make a difference?
George dub-ya Bush with his wonderfully open mind was quick to say "skeptics are welcome to express their opinions but it's not going to change my opinion about the benefits of free trade" Ahhh, there's nothing quite like a democratic leader who's not afraid to admit his mind is made up and he's going to fast track this thing no matter what you think.
Even Chretien was surprisingly quick to say a provision such as chapter 11 of NAFTA would be acceptable. What's chapter 11 you ask? Oh it's great! Let's say you make a product that is incredibly harmful to children and the elderly. Well if our government says "sorry, you cant' sell your product here because it's killing people" said company could come back and sue the government for loss of revenue. Neat hu?
And with George Dub-ya throwing out each and every environmental standard there is, it won't be long before us taxpayers are paying through the nose to pay for such lawsuits.
Ahh yes, free trade. Much like communism, it is a beautiful
piece of the utopian puzzle. That is when it's on paper. However, we're
dealing with humans, not just any humans but rich and sneaky humans.
No, all free trade will really do is widen the ever growing chasm between the rich and the poor. Yes, every year the rich get richer and the poor are left to scrape cheese off the neighbors pizza box for dinner.
As for the protest. Well, most of the 33 leaders have their minds made up. In the end we can only hope that Joe/Jane average will see that there's something seriously wrong with the whole deal. As for the riot. Well everyone can see that building a wall was just plain stupid. They could have saved a lot of money and grief by taking a cue from Squamish's elected officials. Make Quebec an illegal protest free zone.
Bryan editorializes beneath the poverty line in