By Rob Granatstein
Oh no, a protest! Send in the doc!
It seems like the first call made at the start of any protester these days is to a spin doctor.
How are we going to turn this negative outcry into a positive?
Well, let’s take a look at last week’s Day of Action protest. Beforehand, students said this year’s outrage was aimed at the banks because “King and Bay represents the power behind Queen’s Park,” according to Gord Tanner.
This anger spilled into a sit-in at the CIBC.
Enter the bank’s spin doctor. “We’re certainly not enemies on this issue … we agree with the demonstrations,” said Sandy Ferguson of the CIBC, adding student anger against government is well placed.
Ball’s spun into your court next, Tories.
The protests will raise awareness of the federal government’s lack of support for post-secondary education, said Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Way to spin the focus, Dr. Harris.
So Grits, whadda ya say?
How about a Millenium Scholarship Fund, our PM John Crouton said. A billion bucks for post-secondary study. Great, but you announced that last year and it isn’t starting until the year 2000.
Well spun, folks. But where does all that leave us?
A protest with a lot of attention, but no further ahead. It’s not our problem, it’s someone else’s.
And what does the rest of the world read about the protest? Just soundbites from student spokespeople, not plain old students who are hurt by high tuition the most.
Well, it’s time that we, as students, figure out who we want to nail and then not let them out of our choke hold. We have to get those spin doctors in a position where they can’t squirm out from under the pressure.
A sit-in at a bank won’t overdo it.
Voice heard? Yes. Overlooked? Unfortunately, also yes