ParkTales on Raging Grannies

ParkTales

Hail the Raging Grannies who set up a monument

dedicated to victims thrown under the Harper bus

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
 
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

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Congratulations to Ottawa's Raging Grannies for your latest “Event”. 

The Grannies set up a Harper Bus monument dedicated to all victims “thrown under the bus” by the Harper government. It was located on the front lawn of the Supreme Court, just steps west of the Parliament Buildings, and was removed soon after.

  Image: Ottawa Raging Grannies display - Harper's bus is out of service.
  This is how growing numbers of Canadians see Prime Minister Harper

According to a press release, September 26, 2014, by the Grannies: “The Ottawa Raging Grannies have constructed a monument to all victims “thrown under the bus” by the Harper government. The large blue cardboard bus is labelled Monument to the Victims of C, (for Conservative), and popped up near the proposed site of a monument to the Victims of Communism.

 “A sign next to the bus read “Dedicated to all the victims thrown under the Harper bus.” The  bus, driven by Stephen Harper, had an “Out of Service” sign on the front, the license plate read, Oil #1. Victims’ feet extended from under it, with toe tags identifying them. Some of the victims identified were, Veterans, Environmental Protection, CBC, Democracy, Native Women. But there were more. According to one of the Grannies, ‘We had so many victims that sadly we couldn’t include them all in our monument. In fact, we made a decision not to use names of individual victims such as Nigel Wright, because the list is so long.’

The Grannies built the monument for two reasons:

First, they hope it will remind Canadians of the many, many victims thrown under the bus by Harper.

“The number is overwhelming according to one of the Grannies, ”As we identified Harper’s victims, we were saddened by how many of them are highly valued by Canadians. We hope people will not forget them when it comes time for the next election.”

Second, the Grannies hope that their prototype monument will inspire abandonment of the Harper government’s plan for a Monument to the Victims of Communism in the Supreme Court precincts, instead of the planned third building for the Federal Court.

They also spoke of their outrage at the abuse of the dignity of the Supreme Court precinct for such a partisan political monument.

“People have certainly fled to Canada as a safe haven from Communism. However, people have also fled from Nazism, Fascism, religious extremism, dictatorships, and military juntas,” said one of the Grannies. “This is clearly pandering to a small segment of Canadians for political purposes,” she added. That is why the group decided to highlight some of the many ways in which the Harper government is demeaning Canada’s political institutions and eviscerating the public services and active citizenship that are the pillars of our democracy."

The installation was removed shortly after the group left the scene.

Image: Victims of Harper government cuts in effigy beneath OUT OF SERVICE bus.  

Harper blamed for demeaning Canada's political institutions, eviscerating the public services and active citizenship, the pillars of our democracy.

 

 ”This proposed monument has a price tag of four million dollars, and would greatly detract from the symbolic importance of the site, not to mention the irony of building such a monument after signing a free-trade agreement with China.”

The Grannies, who dress up in outrageous hats, long skirts and shawls, are well known for their satirical songs, set to traditional melodies, addressing current issues. At this event their song was based on “The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round”. For a complete text check out:   http://ottawagrans.net/bus-harperland/.

It is too bad the monument didn’t stay up long enough for more people to see this wonderful initiative of the Grannies to bring our attention to the casualties of the Harper government.

Congratulations Grannies I only wish I had been there in person to witness and enjoy your Harper Bus”. To see more activities by these amazing Ottawa Raging Grannies please go to http://ottawagrans.net/action/

My Parkdale/My Canada
Frances Sedgwick

 

 

 

 

 

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