Friday, 6 December 2013
When Nelson Mandela Visited Montreal: When Canada Made a Difference (Are You Listening Stephen Harper?)
This was not a simple goodwill turn: Canadians and Canadian politicians played a crucial role in pressuring the South African government to end the cruel and discriminatory system. Two of the most influential politicos were Progressive Conservatives: John Diefenbaker who led the fight to get South Africa expelled from the Commonwealth and Brian Mulroney who was a leader in maintaining economics sanctions against the country.
Apparently Mandela was scheduled to visit Toronto and Ottawa, but not Montreal, until city officials with the help of Mulroney and company, arranged a lightning appearance on the Champs de Mars on 36 hour's notice. Some 15,000 or more showed up to welcome him, and we were among them. It was Lukas's idea that we go. Then 10, he had already formed very definite ideas of what was right and who merited being considered heros.
I don't remember a lot about the event, aside from it being a beautiful late afternoon and early evening and the atmosphere was exhultant. In retrospect it seems even more important because I can't imagine the current version of Canadian Conservatives going out on a limb for decades on a princple as initially unpopular as fighting apartheid.
Stephen Harper, are you listening?
The tiny picture, by the way, is among the few I could find on the web. Seems that the even was not as mediatized as it should have been.
Monday, 2 December 2013
Here's a shot through the front window of the bus I took from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonaldo in Peru. We are approaching the second pass on the route across the Andes, and should be about 4,500 meters high. The mountains of the cordillera are still snow covered even though it is late spring--but, after all, they're 5,000 meters or higher.
More later when I get more of the grut work done.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Monday, 11 November 2013
Yes, I know that we are not to forget the Great War and the other ones because we don't want to repeat earlier mistakes. That at least is the official line. But when the jets flew low over Montreal at 11 a.m. this morning this is what I thought of: