The Time Press

Creature comforts for protesters too

What is it about protesters trying to make their conditions at protest sites more comfortable that gets the goat of people? If there was much snide commentary about farmers at Delhi borders protesting against GoI’s since-then repealed farm laws using foot massaging machines and making tawa pizzas, now it’s the time for anti-Covid restriction protesters in Ottawa whose cause is being questioned because they are having haircuts and receiving massages and saunas at the protest site outside the Parliament building in Canada’s national capital.

Granted, they are digging their heels in after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would invoke the country’s Emergencies Act that allows authorities to dismantle the three-week-old protest by force if necessary.

But to fault them for availing of some creature comforts, even as their protests may be unwarranted — central Ottawa has apparently come to a standstill because of the demonstrations — is a self-righteous complaint.

There is no rule in the book that says protesters can’t ‘live a little’ while protesting. This applies as much to pizza-eating as it does to utilising saunas. Those who conflate the tactical objective of a protest with the quantum of ‘suffering’ — going on an ‘indefinite fast’ to protest easier access to wine in stores, for instance — need to get smart and chill out.

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