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The One Million March is not about Parents’ Rights, It is Simply Anti Trans Rights
by John Wilson - The so-called 1 Million March on September 20 against the rights of trans students across the country was reminiscent of the "Freedom Convoy" that plagued Ottawa recently. That is no accident. Most of the March's organizers came from the same political cesspool of bigots, racists and outright fascists.
One good aspect was that this mobilization of haters was in the vast majority of cases decisively outnumbered by supporters of trans and queer rights, including a small town in New Brunswick.
The pretense that the "March" was organized in support of "parental rights" and was not anti-trans and anti-queer was shown to be a lie by the actions and statements of its participants themselves. In Xtra, an article cited a video from Calgary that showed a young Muslim boy, obviously coached, who declared "gays are psychopaths". Presumably no one told him that he was more in danger from "psychopaths" among the people he was with.
A new element of the "March" was the participation of right-wing Muslim religious groups, oblivious to the fact that many of the organizers came to the hard right through Islamophobia. There were probably some parents present that were manipulated into joining by consciously dishonest propaganda about their kids being victimized by "gender ideology" in the schools, but they were likely a very small minority.
The corporate media were complicit in minimizing the anti-queer thrust of the "March" by largely ignoring much of what they saw and heard. We should realize that many newspapers, in particular, have substantially been taken over by the hard right in Canada and elsewhere. The National Post prints anti-trans propaganda and panders to anti-vaxxers, as do other papers in the Postmedia collection. Conrad Black (the convicted felon) writes articles supporting Trump. Meanwhile, even supposedly 'liberal' media constantly sanitize the "alt-right" by deceptive terminology, such as "Christian nationalist", "controversial", and "social conservatives". All of which means that the task of educating people about what's really taking place will take longer and be more difficult.
Make no mistake, this issue is going to be critical for a long time; "March" organizers plan to have another cross-country action on October 21st. All supporters of trans students' rights should be supporting and planning for another counter-mobilization now. Many are already involved in that.
While there was significant participation of unions (and some NDP activists) in the Sept. 20 counter-protest, this needs to be ramped up. The labour movement must play a key role in opposing this dangerous development. Lives are at stake. Making-the-record tokenism never made sense; it certainly doesn't now!
And while we certainly can't trust the capitalist media, even less can we trust the police, who have plenty of hard right supporters in their ranks, as they always have. The history of police action and attitudes when there are fascists present is very clear; their priority is the protection of the fascists, carried out under the usual mantra of "safety". (On September 20, the cops cordoned off half of the whole south portion of Queen's Park -- totally unnecessary since the anti-queer thugs met in the north end of the park.) Many in the NDP and the LGBTQ+ establishment will urge reliance on the cops; they should be ignored.
Queer communities and others should rely on organized self-protection. Union locals could help by offering to train marshals and by providing marshals themselves.
Photo: Protesters hold signs in front of counter-protestors at a demonstration against sexual orientation and gender identity programs in schools, in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle (Source)