At a time when concerted effort is required to address the overlapping crises of the climate, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality, and racial injustice, perhaps more activists should, in fact, seek a seat in the House of Commons. And maybe, when the votes are counted in the next federal election, there will be another Lewis pounding on the desk, demanding justice and equality for all Canadians.
I left Quebec City with the knowledge of how far my government would go tosilence us. And I am a coward. So I have never participated in another protest since that weekend in April 2001. I lost my faith in elected governments. I lost my faith in direct action. I lost my faith, in some ways, in social change. Maybe I just grew up. I try to keep fighting, but Quebec City changed me forever. It turns out that was what democracy looks like.