As thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Canada on Sept. 20 to protest LGBTQ2S+ inclusive education in school curriculums and pronoun usage in classrooms, we have to set the record straight and make one thing clear: those fighting against Trans rights are against human rights.
This is an anti-human rights march that is happening in Canada — read that twice.
This anti-human rights march impacts the vast majority of Canadians because if you think this movement stops after they come for Trans rights, you aren’t paying attention.
Remember, Canada's foundation is rooted in colonialism. So what is terrifying to contemplate is if a far-right/right movement feels emboldened enough to target Queer and Trans people — many of whom are white — in 2023 — then is anyone who isn’t either incredibly wealthy or a cisgender, straight man with a decent savings account safe from it’s growing power?
“We have to protect the children” — agreed, so why are you working against their human rights?
Children should have their human rights upheld and protected. In fact, this is protected in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But do you know what isn’t found on any official document? “Parental Rights” — because they aren’t a thing.
So here are some alternative avenues to direct your “protect the children” energy that actually helps children.
Advocate in favour of all children having…
Access to free universal healthcare - including mental health, prescription drugs (including insulin),
a well-rounded, comprehensive education
free post-secondary school education
a safe, livable planet with air safe enough to breathe
meaningful, safe, and affordable opportunities to engage in sports, arts, nature, as well as STEM
education delivered in a way that is inclusive and accessible to those who are neurodivergent or disabled
parents/caregivers that make livable wages so kids can have healthy meals and have their needs met
What are you even protesting? Our right-wing provincial governments are already promoting and passing anti-human rights legislation.
If you want to take in the ridiculousness (still unacceptable and dangerous) of this entire protest/march, you have to understand two things.
Education is a provincial matter, and almost every province in Canada is run by a right-wing government (which, in our opinion, effectively upholds far-right beliefs). These provinces are already switching to anti-human rights legislation in schools.
So, what are you protesting over? You’re already “winning”?
Let's have a look at some systemic failures shall we?
Systemic Failure #1: Several months of warning, and no counter- narrative from our government (again)
In our one post about the anti-human rights march, we could immediately tell what the prevalent disinformation narratives were by reading the comments. So our founder dropped everything to write this response to address the disinformation.
Our question is, why couldn’t our government, who would have known about this anti-human rights march for months, adopt this strategy?
If our government had created educational media around this issue and directly debunked disinformation campaigns (like this Instagram post does), perhaps the number of people believing the disinformation could have decreased.
Systemic Failure #2: We still haven’t learned from our mistakes
After the trucker convoy illegally occupied Ottawa in early 2022, there were calls for the government — largely from QTBIPOC (including us —see any of our convoy posts via our Instagram guides) — to directly and actively combat the far right and white supremacy.
We saw the convoy for what it was: not an isolated incident but a symptom of a larger, insidious and growing movement in Canada — the alt-right/far right/modern-day right.
Today, yet another mass country-wide organized movement from the far-right/right (two in two years if you’re keeping count, Canada) has occurred - and still no counter-narrative or strategic response from governments claiming to care about human rights.
Those of us who believe in human rights are left trying to mobilize against a well-oiled (read: resourced, organized, coordinated and strategic) machine.
On Canada Project is a social advocacy group made up of neighbourhood nerds who are here to dismantle the status quo and champion change in our lives.
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