I hate to say it but today's march did not embody solidarity for me. To the friendly Steelworkers Union Man who told me I was 'formidable' for coming out, this does not include you. And to the young man who helped me at the print shop last week, who recognized me and thanked me for coming out, you neither. To the person behind me who kicked my cane and did not apologize, and to those people holding banners behind me who were impatient that I was not moving fast enough for their banner to be straight as an arrow, this is directed at you: solidarty is not just for people who walk fast. La Hausse does not just affect young able bodied CEGEP students who are anxious to jump around to the awesome marching band. We all feel the beat. Neoliberalisme affects us all, and all the people at the march today are opposed to it. Whether we are running, riding our bikes, walking, limping, rolling, being carried, strolling, wearing masks, waving flags.
I guess there's a difference between thinking the world should be shaped just in the way that I like, just to suit me, and expecting respect and solidarity, enacted not just written on signs at a march for community, a march of critique against neoliberalism and the individualistic worldview it promotes and neccessitates. I guess I've ignored this for a long time, framing it as a self indulgent frustration as opposed to a visceral experience of the anonymity and loneliness of ablist north america. I guess I've said in my head, the other times I've thought this: 'don't be emo' and then made myself laugh thinking about emo emus and the like. But its not emo, there are no emus in my apartment, and this is my experience. And I am not going to apologize for walking slow. My knee hurts, and it was hard for me to make it out at all. But this is important to me, and its important to you and let's respect that. And let's respect those Grandmères en solidarité aussi. And the guy with the Guy Falks mask in the motorized chair. Respect.
Friends, what solidarity looks like to you? Picture it and then ask 'who is excluded in this version', and then think of a way to include them.