(en) Windsor Day of Action - letter to an editor

Saul Chernos (schernos@freenet.toronto.on.ca)
Sat, 18 Oct 1997 19:40:09 -0400 (EDT)

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Thought the following was worth reposting. Saul Chernos, Toronto freelance journalist schernos@torfree.net

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 16:58:27 -0700 From: Dr. James Winter <winter@uwindsor.ca> To: caj-list@eagle.ca Subject: Windsor Day of Action

October 18, 1997

Editor, The Globe and Mail

Dear Sir:

I would like to thank you for providing me with yet another example, for my classes, of your anti-union, anti-worker bias ("Protests target Ontario Conservatives," Oct. 18)

Your page 3 article on Windsor's Day of Action was exemplary. First, it kept the news off the front page (although you did run a picture there). Next, it began with seven paragraphs devoted to a considerably smaller protest against Mike Harris by 1,000 teachers in London Ont. This served to bury the main story about how 40,000 protestors disrupted border traffic and virtually closed down Windsor.

(As the Toronto Star reported, "The [Windsor] event is being described by many as the most successful of a series of Days of Action protests.")

Next, you referred to the protest as, "a sometimes ugly display of anger," choosing to focus on a minor incident involving some shouting at a Day Nursery which was picketed.

(The Toronto Star reported, accurately, "There were a few minor confrontations" during the day.)

You gave prominence to an estimate of lost production from the Chamber of Commerce, and claims by the big three automakers. You devoted six paragraphs to Mike Harris's dismissal of the demonstrations. You ignored the community and labour leaders who planned the day of action, refusing to interview them.

But by far your major accomplishment is that after days of protest spread over almost two years in eight cities, you have managed to duck the central point of it all.

This is not about "lost production" or an alleged failure to impact on the policies of Mike Harris and Jean Chretien.

It's about tens of thousands of Ontarians from all walks of life, demonstrating our disapproval of elitist and unpopular policies. It's about community: talking, marching, singing, and holding hands in solidarity. And it has affirmed for us what we knew to be true, despite your news media coverage: we are not marginal, militant, or powerless, and we are neither isolated nor alone.

It's about the caring and compassion which remain in our society, despite the vested corporate interests at the Globe, Queen's Park, and elsewhere.

And make no mistake about it: it is about how we shall overcome.


Dr. James Winter, The University of Windsor (519) 977-7079 (Faxed unsigned, directly from computer)

Dr. James Winter, winter@uwindsor.ca Associate Professor, 519-253-4232 Ext. 2911 University of Windsor Fax: 519-971-3642

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