I was taking photos of the picturesque and tranquil Ottawa locks of the Rideau canal on a pleasant Saturday afternoon, April 12, 2003, and then walked up to the street level to head back to my in-laws. That's when I ran smack into this protest march as the crowd headed to Parliament Hill.
I snapped this photo just as I stepped onto the sidewalk from below. My first reaction was one of humor, as the young woman forgot one critical word on her sign after the word, "demonstrating" ... "for?"..."against?" Oh well, being in Ottawa, she might have been Francophone, and mon francais n'est past trop good anyway.
But on seeing this again over a year later, I think this photo raises some fundamental questions.
Although I am not a pacifist, I have great respect for true pacifists. A sign like this one begs the question: is the demonstrator against ALL war for ANY reason? Or is she against THIS war or THIS TYPE of war?
My own personal view is that there is still evil in the world that must be confronted and that often does not respond to anything but violence.
Still, I wish I had taken a moment to talk to this young woman to hear her viewpoint.
>>LOL..you coudn't let that one go, could you Steve? <<
You are right, Luis...Even in the midst of being serious, I'm still a wise-guy! My apologies to the young woman carrying the sign. Quite a few people in the march were Francophone, so I really do think the little omission in her sign was just a result of English being her second language. I'm sure her English is much better than my French.
Seeing these photos again after after 15 months, I am surprised at the emotion and incomprehension that they still bring up in me. I really do wish I had taken the time to speak more seriously with some of the protesters to understand where they were coming from.