LETTER: Protests are the basis of freedom

I see no discernible connection between the headline and the body of a recent Tom Fletcher column and it left me confused.

READ ALSO: B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Is Fletcher arguing one protest march means the students have hijacked our education system (a brilliant coup), or is he arguing that B.C.’s students protest entirely too much (stunning persistence). Are there numerous protests that lead to a hijacking? Or is he arguing that the students are nothing but puppets of the BCTF, and the teachers are hijacking the system (and for the climate, not their paycheques)?

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria youth strike for their future as part of global movement

In any case, he appears to be less concerned about hijacking than about protest.

As Fletcher points out, our students marched with others “around the world, at least in places where citizens are still free to take to the streets,” like the convoy of Alberta truckers who descended on Ottawa in February.

READ ALSO: Pro-pipeline convoy reaches Ottawa

Perhaps marches by students and convoys of truckers are not so much the benefit of living in a free country as they are the basis of freedom. That’s the argument Gandhi would have made.

In the four years between a government’s triumphal mandate in the outcome of one election, and the uncertain result of the next election, politicians sometimes get it wrong, or act too casually, or negligently. At such times, we can be glad that we have means of expressing our discontent.

Civil disobedience means having the courage to act and having the courage to accept the consequences of our action.

David King

Oak Bay

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