2012-06-09

Blocking the Metro to the F1 Race is Dangerous

This is just wrong on so many levels. "Ligne jaune" (yellow metro line) is the way the vast majority of spectators will get to Montreal's F1 race tomorrow. To get to the yellow metro line from Montreal, you'd use the Berri-UQAM station. To advocate that people should congregate in protest at the bottom of the station (the yellow line is under the other two lines at the station), in a very confined area, adjacent to a track powered with a deadly electric rail, is at best ill though out, at worse completely immoral. The platform will be jammed packed with race fans, continuous fed with a never-ending flow down the stairs from the other lines and the station above. 

I've been on strike working in the public sector. I get that being annoying jerks is part of the process. And thousands and thousands of fellow citizens within earshot is understandably appealing. But the platform of the yellow line on race day? No.

The other call to action at the adjacent-to-the-station, and above ground, Place Emilie Gamelin, is far better. People can get noticed without fear of third rail electrocution. Smoke and tear gas will dissipate. And if the police start arresting protesters, it is fairly easy to leave (and come back). There certainly won't be as many people passing by (changing from the green and orange lines doesn't require going above ground), but it is exponentially safer (call for blood notwithstanding).

Now, although I'm a New Brunskwicker, I'm also a huge F1 fan. So I'm not exactly neutral. However, there is a difference between being a jerk and annoying in order to get the population and their elected representatives to give in and give them their cost of living raise (or in the student's case, keep tuition increases at the rate of inflation) and protesting the Formula 1 because you are against the Formula 1. Stay on message. The message is tuition.

Oh and by the way, on average, people who graduate from university pollute far more than people who don't. The reason? Their salaries are far higher, on average, than those who don't. The more money you spend, usually, the more you pollute. You could even argue that delaying purchases of cars and houses is a good thing, environmentally. 

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