Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:24 on 2022-10-02 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a big rally Saturday in support of protests in Iran.

    I have mixed feelings about this. Not all movements for more democracy in some countries turn out well. Look what happened in Syria after the Arab Spring. We don’t always understand the implications of supporting dissent in other countries.

    • D. T. 11:26 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      Last week you complained about paid agents of the Russian government being subjected to a minute of nuisance in the form of legal protest, and you soft-endorsed physical intimidation of those protestors. This week it’s Montrealers shouldn’t be supporting movements against dictators in other countries because we don’t know how they’ll turn out.

      Do you believe in anything in particular other than not rocking the boats of governments who kill women and children and the elderly? Or do you just believe that power is its own excuse? Nobody’s asking you to show up and protest yourself, but why have you elected yourself a critic of people protesting against homicidal dictatorships? It’s a disgusting position for anyone to hold.

    • DeWolf 12:00 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      I was cycling by the protest as it was wrapping up and nearly everyone I passed was speaking Farsi. It was a huge rally so a pretty significant portion of Montreal’s Persian diaspora must have been there.

    • Kate 13:35 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      D.T., I did not soft-endorse physical intimidation of the people protesting at the Russian consulate. Please do not impute to me things I haven’t written.

      My point here is that it is often easy to see issues in other places in black and white terms, and elect oneself the righteous champion of the “right” side. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes, the issues are more complicated than we can know if we are not in the thick of it ourselves. Very easy to make moral judgments from a distance, and it’s possible for our actions to complicate matters for the people directly involved in the situation.

    • PatrickC 14:37 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      Do these kinds of demonstrations have any real effect, anyway, other than to make the participants feel good, and perhaps to give some moral encouragement to people within countries like Iran (assuming the images get through)? That is, unless the goal is to get Canada to institute some particular policy that is not already in place. The reality is that governments are not as worried about being shamed even to the extent they used to be.

    • A perspective 16:37 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      American here living in Montreal. Fully Iranian. I didn’t take part in the rally here, didn’t even know it was happening, and wouldn’t have taken part even if I’d known. Kate is correct in her assessment. That’s because there is currently no organized opposition in Iran; it would create an extremely volatile and dangerous power vacuum if the current government is overthrown.

      This is a major reason why the clerics have been in power as long as they have in Iran. When the revolution happened in the late Seventies, Iranian people thought that nothing could be worse than the shah. Then they got something that was at least as bad if not worse than the shah. So, for decades, there was a general reluctance to have another revolution because people were apprehensive of what might follow.

      This current generation of teens and twenty-somethings is far removed historically from that earlier revolution. All they know is that life there currently has too many restrictions and they want more freedom. We should support them fully in that desire for loosening of restrictions, but beyond that, the picture gets much more complicated. A complete overthrow of the clerical regime, as much as it is needed, wouldn’t necessarily resolve the issue as there are a lot of bad actors in the region, both local instigators, as well as foreign forces like US, Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and China who all want more influence and control over the country. All in all, it’s a volatile scenario that has played out many times in the region and there is no clear solution at the moment. The Western theme of ‘just overthrow the current regime’ is naive and wouldn’t solve the problem by a long mile (kilometer for the Canadians).

    • Kate 18:42 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      Thank you for this, A perspective.

    • Chris 10:28 on 2022-10-03 Permalink

      DeWolf, I’m curious: did you see any Hijabis there? I’m curious if they’ve been showing up in solidarity the way non-Hijabi’s did for Bill 21 protests. I’ve seen none in any of the pictures and videos I’ve seen.

  • Kate 09:42 on 2022-10-02 Permalink | Reply  

    A five-alarm fire destroyed a condo under construction early Sunday in the Plateau, at the corner of St‑Dominique and Napoléon. Nobody was hurt despite the drama of the scene. Good photo on Reddit.

    • Ian 10:04 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      Lots of crazy footage on IG too. Amazing nobody got hurt and the fire was contained.

    • Patrick 14:05 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      Hum… , it seems sketchy that a fire would break out in the middle of the night…

      I don’t live in the neighborhood, but I passed in front on bicycle at the beginning of summer (I would say June) and then again in September and construction seemed to have stalled.

      Even the Google Street view shows that it was supposed to have been completed this summer.

    • CE 15:02 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      I lived around Rosemont metro about 10 years ago. There were dozens of condo buildings going up in the area on both sides of the tracks. Over the course of a few months, I saw 3 different fires in buildings that were under construction (including one that caused a pretty loud explosion). Either these types of construction sites are prone of catching fire, or something else is going on.

    • Kate 17:45 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

      CE, I thought of that too. In the 20 years I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve seen reports from time to time of condos under construction (or buildings undergoing transformation) going up in flames, usually in the older parts of town.

      If someone is doing this, they’ve been scrupulous not to get anyone hurt, because these buildings usually burn when nobody is on site, but nobody’s living there yet.

    • Meezly 09:55 on 2022-10-03 Permalink

      My neighbour was telling me about that fire later that morning as we chatted about the recent crazy things that’ve been happening in our hood. This was while I was hosing down the horrific mess left after a random person defecated in my front yard, which I had the traumatic misfortune of witnessing.

    • Joey 13:36 on 2022-10-03 Permalink

      @Meezly you can add ‘someone broke into an SUV in the middle of the night’ to your list…

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