Sunday, March 28, 2010

Protesters....Who are they?


You see them everywhere........in the media for sure, and in cities at locations and sites where they will garner a lot of attention. What are these people doing and why?

I was in the city yesterday at a national 'outdoor' store. At the entrance were a few protesters passing out pamphlets. I remembered them from a few months ago. They were protesting the fact that this store was selling products that were made in Israel and they feel that we should boycott the store because they believe that Israel has a very dismal human rights record....especially when dealing with the Palestinians.

A few months back I emailed the store's head office and asked for their take on the situation. They replied saying that the majority of their members (it's a Co-op) on the board support the purchasing of Israeli-made products. They also indicated that the Canadian government supports Israel, and, as long as it does, so too will they.

I have been reading and listening to a lot of opinions over the years about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Nothing is ever resolved it appears. Both sides are adamant that they have the RIGHT answer. It is to the point, I feel, that major compromises are necessary on both sides........if any peace is to be established in their respective countries. Or should I say territories.

I do not pretend to know all the details in this conflict, but I do know that it appears to be heading to a similar situation that occurred in South Africa. And we know what happened there..........the majority in that country had finally achieved control of its destiny. This is what the Palestinians want also. They feel they are systematically being denied their rights and are being pushed out of their own territory. They are not the majority but their human rights are being quashed.

So why should we care? Well, I think that it is paramount for individuals to take a stand on issues that not only affect them directly, but also on issues that affect their fellow human beings.

We can all take some time and look at issues that we care about and that we want/need more information about to get all the facts........what both sides are talking about. Then we make a decision as to what 'side' we want to support. And go ahead and do just that, in whatever manner we are able.

With the example I gave regarding the store, I will vote in the upcoming Board elections and my vote will hopefully help address the issue surrounding the boycott.

I am having a difficult time here in not taking just one side and really pushing for their cause. Don't know why, guess I don't want to offend someone? It's not productive/helpful to feel this way on an important issue. So, I think it is crucial to take a stand and do what you can. Their will always be those who are better at this stuff than you....and they are generally good at what they do.

The whole point of this blog was to try and get people to look around them and assess what is or what isn't happening that should or should not be. Why? Because it affects us all in the end some way or other. And some people have it very badly as far as quality of life goes.....education, human rights, health care, food on the table, etc. etc.

So next time you see 'those' protesters waving the pamphlets.....don't be afraid of them, they won't bite you. They are just trying to get their point across and want to share their point of view with you. Do you think they are standing there for hours because they have nothing better to do? No. They feel so strongly about something that they decided to 'take a stand' and in their own, small way do something about it.


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