So who, you might well ask, are the violent demonstrators who torched four police cars Saturday night and are set for more violence today? 300 of them ended up in jail . Their supporters quickly organized an all night jail solidarity dance party from midnight till morning via their website and social media. Doesn't sound too violent does it? Nor does the prayer vigil scheduled by the Student Christian Movement or the "Bike Block" which calls for " hordes of cyclists to storm the streets of Toronto in a festive parade" today, Sunday, June 27th.
It smells like the '60's with the rebellious and idealistic young insisting on "love not war." But this is not just some sort of 21st century Woodstock. There are darker forces at work here because the world is more connected than it was then. Because of so many things, including the internet, we no longer think in purely nationalistic terms. We can't. People flow over national borders. Workers in India know what working conditions are like in Europe or North America and visa versa. Education is global and so are schools and friendships. The ground rules have changed a lot since the '60's but human nature clearly has not. We have those same hunter/gatherer brains we had when we were living in caves and wearing bearskins.
How we are going to adjust to a world in which narrow national interests and who has the biggest army are no longer appropriate ways to resolve conflict? It requires a new way of thinking and frankly, torching cop cars and breaking windows is not helpful. It is just more of the same old angry victim crap acted out by the less stable and more angry of every generation as they come of age.
In most cases, it is deeply personal and not really very idealistic. It is about feeling empowered rather than finding answers. Anarchy is not a new idea. Nor is Nihilism. Both are not very helpful in a day and age when the world economy teeters on the brink, the planet is warming, and the world population is growing as resources shrink.
Like it or not we are all in this together and the kids who are torching cop cars in Toronto should be turned over somebody's knee. Message to protesters: Grow Up!