The Council of Canadians applauds the courageous action of 21-year-old Senate page Brigette DePape, who held a ‘Stop Harper’ sign during the Governor-General’s reading of the Throne Speech yesterday and lost her job for doing so. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke with Ms. DePape this afternoon and offered her our support. Barlow commented that, “She is adorable and brave and committed.”
In media interviews Ms. DePape has highlighted that civil disobedience and support for social movements are needed to stop the Harper agenda. DePape says, “Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation. We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations.”
In an article for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ms. DePape wrote last summer that, “On June 21st, I travelled to Toronto in a van filled with activists and journalists from around the county to participate in protests at the G20 meetings. Using brightly colored rainbow paint, we displayed our concerns with the G20 agenda on the doors and bumpers of our caravan. From ‘shut down the tar sands’ to ‘sign the UN convention on the right to water’, our messages expressed our beliefs that issues central to our vision of a more just and sustainable world are being ignored by the leaders of the G20.”
She adds, “What made Toronto truly important and memorable were educational forums and lectures by well-known activists like Naomi Klein and Maude Barlow and creative and peaceful demonstrations. However these aspects of the Toronto protests and the valid reasons that brought thousands of people together to protest were virtually ignored by the media.”
The Council of Canadians dismisses the criticisms by a Liberal senator and Conservative minister Peter Kent that this action was ‘a breach of protocol’ and a ‘breach of security’. In fact, a CBC on-line poll shows that 58 per cent of respondents believe that her action was ‘appropriate’. To vote ‘Yes, DePape’s form of protest was appropriate’, go to http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/06/page-protest-was-it-appropriate.html.
For more information and video on this Throne Speech action, go to the Huffington Post Canada at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/06/04/brigette-depape-senate-protest-marcelle_n_871331.html. Ms. DePape’s commentary on the G20 protests can be read in full at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/protesting-g20-waste-time.