I'm not what you would call political in a social sense. I'm not the type that typically joins things, groups, organisations, etc. I'm like Squiggy's pal Lenny: I'm a Lone Wolf.
I'm not one to protest, either.
Yet, driving home from work last night, listening to Mainstreet and the coverage of the Souris blockade of the seiners, I had a momentary compulsion to go and join the Souris fisherman. Granted, I don't know the complexities of the situation, but on the surface it sure seems like what the seiners do is bad for local fisherman. And right or wrong, it can't be denied that the fisherman feel strongly enough about the state of affairs to risk going to jail.
That got me wondering what is important enough in my life to risk going to jail for. I can come up with plenty of if/then scenarios where I'd do whatever I had to do in order to try and right something I thought was wrong. Things like if my son was molested by someone and that someone was being protected from prosecution for whatever reason, then I'd willingly risk anything to try and get justice. All the scenarios I come up with, though, have personal or selfish motivations to them. Yet, nothing in my life currently is in such a sorry state of affairs where I feel compelled to rectify it through protest or other drastic measures. I guess for that I should be thankful. Or else I should be shown my blindness to the injustices around me.
What about the people who travel to protest G7 and World Trade meetings? Do they protest from a specific personal need to do so, or is it a general sense of social outrage, or are their motivations something else altogether? I suppose for some, trade summits are akin to seiners. If I feel a momentary compulsion to stand with the Souris fishermen, I suppose that I can imagine myself, in an alternate world, feeling compelled to go to BC and stand with the G7 protestors too. In my current world, though, things like mortgages and living paycheque to paycheque tend to temper any simmering social activism in me.
Locally, I see people who protest Social Injustices. It's usually the same group of people at each event. It almost seems not to matter to them the specifics of what they're protesting, just that they're protesting. Whatever the protest, they sure sounds like it's important to them. I suppose it is, otherwise they wouldn't bother? However, when you're protesting legalised abortions on Wednesday and protesting dog leashes on Thursday, it seems to me that you end up devaluing both.
So, I guess I'm keeping quiet until compelled to stand up against whatever it is that ends up pissing me off enough.