Open letter to Dan Pilon
Good day Mr. Pilon,
The purpose of this open letter is to share with you our point of view regarding the action deployed during the protest of October 30th in which we participated.
During this event, it was announced that a plane would fly over the demonstrators to capture the magnitude of the action as well as to offer an aerial view of a powerful message related to our demands. Your rallying calls for the unification of the Quebec people and the “Power of numbers” (in your own words) were perfect. And, many of us responded.
However, it was never specified that the message in question would be “God help us”!
Certainly, the initiative to make a striking gesture is very honorable. Indeed, the aerial photo, transmitted on a platform with great deployment, can in no way go unnoticed. But, the message in question has nothing to do with the one we all came to support, namely to defend our rights and freedoms in the face of current social discrimination.
Besides the omission of the consent of the demonstrators for such a message, various elements seem to us contradictory with the discourse of the resistance movement:
- Do not wait for a savior.
Doesn’t this “God help us” message go against?
- It is up to each of us to express our disagreement.
Doesn’t this message run counter to empowerment?
- The resistance movement is inclusive.
Doesn’t the message go against an atheist movement? (What about the majority of atheists, agnostics, and other religions, etc.?)
For many of us who were present, this message had the effect of making us understand that we were giving up and that we were now relying on an all-powerful savior. In short, that we were taking responsibility away from ourselves and encouraging infantilization. Moreover, attributing to the other, in this case “God”, the power to defend us and to come to our rescue, keeps us in a dependency, even accentuates immobility. We can wait for change to come from somewhere else or for the situation to go away… What good will such options do us?
In short, we cannot agree with such a message even if the initial intention was laudable. As Raelians and citizens of Quebec, we fight peacefully, and this since the beginning, to defend the rights and freedoms of ALL, without discrimination. And above all, we adhere to the discourse of empowerment; it is even one of our most important values. Because it goes hand in hand with freedom: knowing how to make your own choices and assuming them.
The current social and political situation demands that we make the choice to act as citizens, to be the boss of our individual and collective future, even with fear in our stomachs. And not to let others make the rain and the good weather at our expense. We are also responsible for what happens to us socially and politically. So, let’s be smart by not reproducing the same submissive behaviors.
Let’s get back to the message that unites us, not divides us. Your idea to organize a message with an international scope was wonderful. But imagine the impact of a truly universal and unifying message. For example, that of love symbolized by a gigantic and simple heart. Love is always non-religious, without any distinction, it concerns all human beings on the planet!
While expressing our gratitude for the organization of the October 30th event, we hope that this letter will be received by you as a gesture of goodwill on our part.