Human Rights in Slow Motion
Every day, I bike past the Chinese consulate in Toronto. And every day, some elderly Falun Gong practitioner stands in front of the cold gates, performing Tai Chi-like poses, in quiet, passive protest against China's brutal persecution of their group. In reality, these geriatric, turtle-like exercisers pose no threat to anyone. But the communist government in China is afraid of any kind of organized movement and thus (allegedly) kills, maims and tortures them.
Yesterday. the remarkable vision of that little old woman slowly stretching her muscles, bones and tendons, in a free country -- in plain view of her enemies -- with the somehow anachronistic white buds of iPod headphones sticking out from under her rain hat was not lost on me. A history of palpable violence and stern defiance lurked behind the seeming peacefulness of her wrinkled face. That little woman represented the best that Canada has to offer the world; the judicious power of a commitment to maintain human rights.