Editorial Board 1999-2000
Making the world watch
Making the world watch
In an age dominated by mass media, where individuals exploit the internet to display their bedrooms on the web and game shows can make anyone a celebrity, it only makes sense to use the tools available to one's advantage. Newspapers and television surround us and are always anxious for the latest breaking story.
Yesterday at the University of Toronto, 4,000 to 5,000 students from all over the province joined forces with the Canadian Federation of Students, to rally for student rights on their day of action the kick-off to their Access 2000 campaign.
The rally's purpose was to bring attention to a lack of government funding to social programs and the repeated increases to university and college tuitions.
The march brought the group from the university to Queen's Park and it also brought more media attention to their cause. With such a large number of people protesting against the government's constant funding decreases, the issue will not go unnoticed. It will instead set the stage for future protests, drumming up more student response, instead of apathy.
While discussions and talks are a necessary form of negotiation, a physical response such as rallies and protests often prove more effective than verbal communication.
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, another student lobby group, subscribes to the philosophy that words speak louder than actions. However, when tuition is consistently on the rise and the government is removing its financial support, it makes greater sense to represent the issues visually.
This is to by no means diminish the efforts made on behalf of the students of CASA, but politicians are faced with hundreds of problems each day and often, issues which are not brought to the forefront will fall by the wayside. Then nothing will be accomplished.
A similar occurrence to yesterday's rally came in the form of the World Trade Organization conference of last year. The event drew thousands of protesters which invariably attracted newspapers and television cameras. The media acted like a crowbar which opened up the controversy and raised the awareness of people who had no idea what the WTO was, or what was happening at the conference.
Newspaper and televised reports gravitate towards sensationalized issues. This is an electronic age and we need to work with it, manipulating it to our advantage.
Even if the demonstration in Toronto yesterday failed to turn a single politician's head, you can guarantee it turned public heads.
Increased awareness leads to increased action and in a time of countless cutbacks, action is needed.