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Morning Brew: Revolt roundup & I (heart) squeegees

Posted by Andrés / March 16, 2012

squeegee.jpgIt would be nice to take a vote on what people think is the most effective way to instigate policy change: blocking an autoroute or overturning a police car. My vote would go to the above individual, a self-proclaimed squeegee, who attacked a would-be vandal from smashing the windows of a downtown boutique. He reportedly screamed, "Cette boutique n'a rien à voir avec notre cause! Je suis squeegee, les gens qui viennent magasiner ici, c'est ma business de tous les jours! Allez manifester!" Good on him.

policecar.jpgLast night was the yearly demonstration against police brutality, which has gained traction after a few recent incidents. As usual, interspersed amongst the peaceful protestors was the usual crowd looking to snatch a few PS3s from Future Shop, or overturn a police car.

ahuntsic.jpgEarlier this week, students from Ahuntsic CEGEP deliberately took a wrong turn and found themselves on autoroute 40, forcing traffic to a halt. They quickly undid much of the public support for the student cause... at least from drivers headed east on the 40. Someone conduct do a poll.

Here's that guy again:

Photos courtesy La Presse.



Teaghan / March 18, 2012 at 07:54 pm
Around Christmastime I moved more east in Montreal and lately, whenever I leave home and see those groups of Squeegees working hard and playing hard I whisper, "I (heart) Squeegees" too. Theirs are special brains, and oftentimes I wish I had that strange but admirable drive to live the way I want as well. In January an older one asked, "Avez-vous une cigarette?" I said no. I explained I lost my job and, "Je suis désolé, mais je n'ai pas vraiment beaucoup d'argent." Upon hearing my accent he switched and told me where employment centres were in English. I said, "Merci," and left.

A few weeks ago that senior Squeegee saw me walking down the road and said, "Hey Man!" I stopped. He reached his hand out: "Are things getting better?" We shook. Then he asked sincerely, "Were dthe centres helpful?" I gave out several smokes informing 'yes' and 'thanks'. We talked a while, and afterward we said 'so longs, good lucks', and walked our separate ways, and now while reading Morning Brew above I wonder, "Are those who've been abused and brutalized usually the ones who understand what empathy is?" This is probably too gross a generalization but college kids, who've probably experienced less brutality and life than Squeegees have, who only read about Humanities in books online (while Squeegees live it), lack the necessary experience to truly understand that, "Terror sucks, hence I won't inflict it."

Senseless destruction is easy; defending values has always been onerous. Thank you for celebrating that particular Outsider on March 15th as something of an Urban Ranger, and sorry this 'comment' was inappropriately long but I felt like sharing; as both a show of appreciation for your choice in Hero and gratitude for someone else's unconditional concern.

Having been alone with cops before I definitely support the cause; I find that most its advocates however lack experience and awareness, overlook a common sense and reason, and sabotage what might have otherwise been Good. So also, for pointing out the problem, to you and the Squeegee: thank you.
Andres / March 21, 2012 at 08:35 pm
Wow. Thanks for sharing that story Teaghan. I often get frustrated when I hear people blaming squeegees for the reason demonstrations get out of hand, as if they are somehow interchangeable with the punks that often start trouble. While every person, be they squeegee or not, is different, I have never had a negative interaction with a "squeegee". Anybody who's actually made it this far down to read Teaghan's comment would also do well to check out a local doc called S.P.I.T. which depicts a few squeegees in their day-to-day and also reveals some of the philosophies or reasons they've ended up where they are.
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