Tag Archives: squatters

The Latest fromTrudeau’s Post National Canada: The Beat Goes On

Posted on by
The Latest fromTrudeau’s Post National Canada: The Beat Goes On

Today was “Day 11” of the protest of the so-called “Imperial Squatters” in South Burnaby. This group has been camped outside of a two story “walk-up” apartment building on Imperial Drive that is scheduled for demolition.

On the face of it, their grievances are legitimate. As they point out, there are officially 2,770 homeless people in the city, and this particular building is among the very last few that still house some 3,000 low-income residents in Burnaby. There is obviously a dire need for social housing on a grand scale.

Of course, there is no understanding that immigration-driven population growth in the city, plus the influx of wealthy Chinese investors, accounts for this crisis. Oh no, we can’t go there, can we? It is never the fault of The Other. Blame it on capitalism. Blame it on climate change. Climate change is the root of all evil, don’t you know? Traffic jams, varicose veins, PMS, bad hair days. Everything.

What was most conspicuous about these protestors was the fact that they chose to align themselves with identity politics. Two signs made this point.

One included the phrase “Black Lives Matter”, and another read “Gays against Gentrification”. Then there was an Aboriginal protestor beating a drum in the background. If you can’t come up with an articulate explanation for why you are there and what exactly you are protesting about, then just chant “hey-ya-hey-ya-hey-ya-ya…” in tandem with a drum-beat.  You know, like they did in Dances with Wolves. It need not be an authentic native language, as long as it sounds like one. Whitey will never know the difference and besides, no journalist today would dare to check on it. Too bad old Chief Dan George is not around to coach you.


It seems that drum-beaters are now an essential feature of every demonstration of any kind in Canada it. It’s the new normal.

There is always a drumbeater among radical students trying to shout down a visiting lecturer at a university. Or a drumbeater at a pipeline protest, like the one at a Burnaby tank farm a couple of summers ago. Or a drumbeater at Occupy Vancouver or tent city at Oppenheimer Park. There are drum-beaters here, there and everywhere.

Perhaps drumbeating is now an obligatory lower-level course at Indoctrination U. Perhaps in the immediate future, whenever the national anthem is played, drumbeating will accompany it. This is 2016 after all.  Perhaps a drum and a stick will replace the Beaver as our national symbol. Maybe CBC icon and boomer has-been Buffey St. Marie will be selected as the next Governor-General or Speaker of the House of Commons, with drum and stick in hand. But please God don’t let her sing the national anthem. Not with that voice.

One notices that even white protesters are to be seen beating a drum these days, the famed members of the Wanna-Be tribe. Try as they might however, they lack the credibility and gravitas of a fat brown woman in a buckskin jacket with a feather in her wide brim black hat chanting and drumming. When anyone in native garb does that, politicians genuflect and journalists feel a sacred presence.

These are the drumbeaters that I want in my demonstration.

Tim Murray

July19, 2016