Well, that was interesting
Been banging a pot for half an hour at Jarry and Saint-Denis.
Lots of people are out. In a way it’s too bad it’s taken this crisis to get people out, moving around, making a joyful noise, dancing with their neighbours.
Tonight people were being less scrupulous about keeping the demo mostly on the sidewalk and crossing mostly at the lights. By the time I wandered away the crowd had pretty much occupied the intersection and police were redirecting traffic away from it. As I left, people were beginning to process southward again as they did last night.
As had been promised, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois turned up. I have no idea whether he planned to make a speech but nobody had brought any sound equipment so I doubt he’ll manage to get the crowd to pipe down so he can be heard. Several media outfits were following him, CTV and Radio-Canada interviewing him (nattily dressed but with a spoon and pan in his hands) against the background din.
But this was the thing.
People knew who he was. I saw an old lady hug him, with tears in her eyes. I saw men and women coming up to shake his hand. I saw a little kid speak to him. He wasn’t glad-handing, though. He was just there talking to people who came up to him.
He’s also a little guy, but being a short guy has never been an obstacle to political success in Quebec. René Lévesque and Pierre Trudeau were neither of them tall men.
Not saying GND will necessarily use this whole thing as a springboard to political life – he’s very young – but weirder things have happened.
It also crossed my mind as I walked home that it’s typical that people are talking about GND and Léo Bureau-Blouin in admiring tones, but neither Martine Desjardins nor Jeanne Reynolds have received anything like the same adulation nor are their names becoming household words – and yet Reynolds just got the Lieutenant-General’s medal for being topp at skool, at a time when she’s also helping direct a major organization through a tricky strike. Maybe we just have an archetypal thing about the strong male leader, as a culture, or even as a species.