Oh I am so excited! Today I have a special treat and a confession for you. First the confession. I didn’t watch any coverage of the G8 or G20 Summits. I read the paper in the weeks before, but on the actual days… I packed up and shipped myself off to London, Ontario for some golf, some drinks, some friends, and a hangover. I missed it entirely.
Lucky for me the internet exists, and I have been largely filled in on the protests and the drama, but I didn’t really feel I could comment on it since, you know, I didn’t pay attention at the time.
Enter the special treat, my guest blogger. You see, I also write the blog for my work. That’s right, you can find me all over the internet now. Well, mostly here and at the WCYR website. My coworker Faith wrote a post for our company blog, that she wasn’t sure was appropriate. I thought it was, so I posted it there, but I also offered that if she was having second thoughts she could use my blog as a vehicle for her message. She could be my first guest blogger. She apparently LOVED the idea – because she is now featured both there, at the WCYR blog, and here today!
Before I hand it over to her, I just wanted to send a big thank you to her for honouring me by wanting to be part of my blog, and agreeing to be a guest blogger! Thanks Faith!
Without further adieu, I give you Faith on Having a Voice:
Now that the G20 and G8 Summit is over I must say that I am pretty disappointed. It’s not the protesting and increase police presence in the city of Toronto, but more with how mainstream media neglected to cover the real issues that brought activists together to Toronto from June 25th to June 27th in the first place.
A few years ago I was very fortunate enough to take a Contemporary Mass Movement course in my fourth year at Ryerson University. In this course I was learned about grassroots movements and the different tactics used by community groups, mainly in third world countries who organize rallies and protests against issues relating to poverty, discrimination, homelessness, immigration, environmental and gender issues.
At the WCYR we work with clients impacted by many of these. As counselors and front line workers we hear the traumatic stories and ‘narratives’ from women who have been severely impacted at one time or another in their life by violence, oppression, racism or inequality. We understand the struggle and we give them a voice to express their concerns. We empower and give women a safe place to raise their voices and to be heard.
During the Summit I heard very few words about genocidal policies that cause women to be violated and abused, corporate policies and laws that cause impoverished countries to be oppressed or about indigenous communities that have been exploited and have very few rights to their land and resources. Instead what was projected on television was violence and police brutality.
So I have chosen to raise my voice and to express my sadness about the real political and cultural issues that were ignored during the summit. I think it is my responsibility as a human being to support individuals who may not get an opportunity to have a voice.
I will make it my goal to be the voice for the voiceless.