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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 20:45

JGL Eye

 

By Joseph G. Lariosa

 

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – On many  occasions, bullets had sparked many a revolution.

 

The firing squad that killed Jose Rizal sparked the Philippine Revolution against Spain; the bullet from an American soldier that felled a Filipino crossing the Pinaglabanan Bridge touched off the Philippine-American War; the killing of Mahatma Gandhi paved the way for India’s independence while the assassination of Martin Luther King triggered the Civil Rights Movement in America; and, of course, the killing of Ninoy Aquino set off the EDSA Revolution.

 

But in the case of Rosa Parks, a bullet did not play a part. She just refused to give up her seat in a public bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, to pave the way for the desegration in public accommodation and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

 

But wait, in the case of the colonists or settlers in the British colony of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1773, when officials refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, the colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into the Boston Harbor.

 

BOSTON TEA PARTY

 

T his protest, known as the “Boston Tea Party,” culminated into a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act that became a key event in the growth of the American Revolution.

 

In the case of a Filipino Canadian youth group, the New Life Community Church (Youth Group), in Saskatoon, a city in central Saskatchewan, in western Canada, it has designated “May First as International Spoon Day.”

 

It has not yet spelled out its objectives. But an e-mail I got from the group said that it is informing the Cagadoc Family of its solidarity with the family in its quest to secure justice after a school educator in Quebec, Montreal reprimanded Luc Cagadoc for eating in the customary Filipino manner with fork and spoon during a lunch hour in 2006 in the school.

 

The e-mail which came from Ms. Darin Reimer, an associate pastor to Youth and College & Career at the Filipino Youth at New Life Community in Saskatoon, said it all started “in October, 2008 when I began a Sunday School class for about 15 predominantly Filipino students in Saskatoon on the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight against segregation in the United States.

 

(Saskatoon is a city in Canada that is about 2,167 miles west or 34 hours drive away from the city of Montreal.)

 

MAY lst INTERNATIONAL SPOON DAY

 

 

“In the conclusion of the class, we thought it as a good idea to raise awareness of the incident in Montreal, where your son was reprimanded for eating with a spoon.

 

“We have since then designated May lst as International Spoon Day; a day during which all of our members are encouraged to eat lunches with a spoon at school.

 

“We have also made T-shirts, which I am sure, are going to be on Facebook if not already.

 

“We hope you are encouraged by this show of solidarity and fight against racism.

 

“As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

 

The educator Martine Bertrand of Montreal’s Ecole Lalande had asked Luc whether “in his country (the Philippines and birthplace of Luc) Filipinos washed their hands before they eat?”

 

EAT THE WAY CANADIANS EAT

 

W hen Luc’s mother, Maria Theresa Gallardo, complained over Bertrand’s discriminatory remarks to the school principal, Norman Bergeron, Bergeron was quoted as saying to the effect that Mrs. Gallardo ought to teach her son to “eat the way Canadians eat.”

As a result of Ms. Gallardo’s complaint, the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Commission upheld the complaint with respect to Bertrand’s comments although the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), a human-rights advocate in Montreal, maintains that the QHRYC did not fully investigate Bergeron’s comment.

The QHRYC exercised its discretion not to represent Ms. Gallardo before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal in Montreal. The QHRYC may receive and investigate complaints for civil-rights violations and will take the case to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal in Montreal if it finds sufficient evidence of discrimination.

Since the QHRYC did not refer the case to the QHRT, Ms. Gallardo brought the case before the Tribunal at her own expense.

DONATIONS ACCEPTED

 

As a result, the Gallardo family and CRARR have welcomed donations from anyone in Canada and the U.S. to defray the cost of the litigation. 

CRARR is a Montreal-based independent, non-profit civil rights organization that was founded in 1983 with the mandate to promote racial harmony and equality in Canada.

Ms. Gallardo is seeking $24,000 in moral-and-punitive damages from the educator, the school principal and the school board.Let’s see how this “May lst International Spoon Day” will play out in the Civil Rights Movement in Canada.

Will it spark a Revolution? It remains to be seen. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:03
 

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