Malalai Joya Breaks the Fear Barrier in Ottawa (Denis Rancourt)
The 28-year-old woman Afghan MP Malalai Joya spoke at the first Activism Course class of the fall term at the University of Ottawa to a crowd of more than 450 in the largest auditorium on campus. A few days of student posters and activist listserves was enough to fill the room.
Her talk was a sharp blade cutting thru the thick web of US-Canada war propaganda: We have helped to install war lords and human rights abusers in a mock democratic process characterized by power relations and geo-political design. The Canadian army serves political aims and is contributing to making life worst for the people of Afghanistan than under the oppressive Taliban regime.
I’m not proud to be Canadian in these days where my government has become subservient to US ambitions of world domination. The Liberals and Conservatives and all MPs that do not educate themselves and speak out have attempted to decide in our name that Canadians will be on the side of the oppressors and exploiters. We have already integrated the US military economy and now our government vies for top US-team cheerleader status.
All MPs need to take a lesson from Malalai Joya. These days, one MP of the stature of Joya in the Canadian Parliament would be as extraordinary in Canada as it is in Afghanistan. Joya speaks for her people without communication officers or strategists. Joya relentlessly speaks truth to power without compromise and at the risk of her life, from a position of knowledge and compassion.
In the face of a government system that has been outright high jacked by US money and power, not too unlike Canada’s own plutocracy, Joya has no choice but to denounce the lie in a desperate move to help her people. Her people are women, children, and the poor. Joya’s life is a cry for sanity and justice, one that was heard in Ottawa on September 13th.
I heard it and so did many others. Those who heard it did not ask “What can we do to help?” Those who heard it were inspired and moved to press on. They will be more fearless and more committed to truth than before.
©Denis G. Rancourt Professor of Activism Course firstname.lastname@example.org