Broderick Watch: Day 22

Yesterday’s Leo Broderick activity: Islanders rally against possible war. Apparently:

Five hundred Islanders joined worldwide protests against a possible war in Iraq on Sunday. The “Day of Action” rally took place in front of Province House.

It is a testament to my powers of concentration that I didn’t notice this large rally at all, happening one block from my house. Either that or the cold dulled out the raucous protesting sounds. Or it was a silent rally.

Leo Broderick was quoted:

“It really points to the seriousness of the issue and I really think the only way that we can stop this war is by people getting out on the streets and people on Prince Edward Island have turned out in huge numbers…”

With respect, this is a lie: 500 people is not “huge numbers,” it is 0.36% of the Island population; 134,794 people did not turn out.

If we’re going to work against the lies told by the American war machine, it’s important to be honest ourselves.


Joey Brieno's picture
Joey Brieno on January 20, 2003 - 23:19 Permalink

Tough love. But right on.

Ken's picture
Ken on January 20, 2003 - 23:42 Permalink

I wanted to go to that rally, couldn’t find out if there was one or when. Does anyone know when the next one is and where? Or Leo’s email?

Justin's picture
Justin on January 21, 2003 - 00:22 Permalink


Leo Cheverie's picture
Leo Cheverie on January 21, 2003 - 02:19 Permalink

I enjoy visiting this site and look forward to the dialogue that is created online. However, I do think that the statements provided by the writer do not reflect the reality of the situation — I think the writer has joined others in unfairly targetting Leo Broderick who is someone of high principle and willing to lead on many issues where others do not although there are many in agreement -the argument made that he could not hear the Rally that was closeby was made impugning the size of the rally was not made with any first hand knowledge and takes away from the efforts of those who did attend to express their concerns as well as others who did agree but could not attend in person- I was unable to attend but I know many did and have heard many positive responses from people about the size of the demonstration
and the fact that many attended who are not “known” to attend demonstrations —for a place the size of Charlottetown a demonstration of 500 is quite large and indicative of the grave concerns many have over this so called “war on terrorism” which has as a target a country which has not contributed or harboured any individuals assocaited with Sept. 11 — I think many of those who demonstrated here and across the country, indeed across the globe deserve better rather than the writing off of such a large display of concern by commenting on what was not heard and concentrating on only the comments of one individual. Over ten years ago when Litton Industries were confronted similar numbers were involved in protesting or attending meetings — and the result was quite significant!
Islanders did not want to participate in the American war machine.

My two cents worth! Keep making observations and allowing dialogue!

Joey Brieno's picture
Joey Brieno on January 21, 2003 - 04:41 Permalink

Leo, you’re 100% right and you’ve missed the point almost completely.

What might have been a better approach, for example, could have been, “So, given that you have observed what you identify as a shortcoming in what Leo was doing, do you perhaps have a suggestion which might help address the type if problem you have illuminated?”

Remember the good ol’ days of Abbey Hoffman and his crowd? This is the same era that gave rise to the tremendously succe$$ful Green Peace (and those $$ indicate that I’m in awe, that’s not critical). Those guys used to go around openly talking about “mind bombs”. Now, today there’s such a self-administered hush on that you can’t get away with such provocative language… but the concept is the same. Leo needs a shtick like Sadam needs an exit strategy. Remember when you guys did the thing at the Confederation Bridge? That was precious. That didn’t involve an annoying

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 21, 2003 - 04:58 Permalink

Leo [Cheverie], I knew you’d stick your head above the crowd eventually: welcome.

I have no doubt that M. Broderick is a man of high principle. And indeed I find myself in agreement with the fundamentals of many of the views he espouses. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with a passionate man trying to shape a more socially just world; that’s to be lauded.

Looked at from a perspective of effective communicating, however, I think “Leo Broderick as Front Man” has its limits. In the past week we have seen M. Broderick’s name in the media associated with pesticides, miltary use of CFB Summerside, and now the upcoming war in Iraq.

Some might see this and say “my, what a comitted man — I should be paying attention,” and others, even more perceptive, might see the threads that tie these issues together.

I fear many, however, simply see M. Broderick’s name and stop paying attention. Or at the very least express a sigh of “what’s that Leo up to this time?”

The problem is that M. Broderick obscures his communication with the force of his personality. The story becomes “Leo is against something again” and not the more important “I should think again about the war in Iraq.”

The force of my comments, thus, should be taken as a suggestion that the marketing of social justice could be conducted more effectively with a more broadly based set of spokespeople. Leadership is a wonderful quality; sometimes to lead means knowing when to stay in the shadows every once in a while and letting others take centre stage.

That all said, I do continue to take issue with the notion that somehow 500 people attending a demonstration represents a significant statement, even in the context of a small place like Charlottetown. It’s all very well and good to want to take some satisfaction that 500 people hit the streets, and surely, I admit, that means something. But a broad-based, genuinely popular movement 500 people do not make; I would hazard a guess that more Islanders wrote the CBC to complain about Ron MacLean being fired.

This isn’t to suggest that the demonstration was a bad idea, or that I don’t support the ideas behind it. It’s simply to point out that it’s important to be realistic about the situation, and to face that fact that while 500 Islanders realized the gravity of the situation enough to act, 130,000-odd more did not. There is, in other words, a long row to hoe; no point in denying it.

Justin's picture
Justin on January 21, 2003 - 05:33 Permalink

Mmm-hmmm. True, Mr. Broderick’s tirelessness in defending the side of reason in so many social issues is getting a reaction like “Oh no, now what’s he ‘protesting against’ this time?” from some. I hear it enough myself and I worry that they dismiss the cause as a non-issue. In truth, the more we see Leo Broderick trying to bring awareness of what’s going on to people the more it should be telling us just how corrupt the world is getting.

Regardless, there has been at least one case proven and others suspect where our media shows the truth new vistas vis a vis attendance quantities at rallies.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on January 21, 2003 - 15:02 Permalink

Although I disagree on Leo’s labeling of the United Nations Security Council resolutions as an American “war on terrorism”, I now think that some of the Leo-bashing out there might becoming habitual behavior (myself included)…and I feel a bit regretful about my comments of him being a moralist, especially when he was not able to defend himself.

It would be great if he could somehow appear here, or somewhere in the public eye to help us who he is reaching out to, to better understand his motives and what makes him tick. Credibility is essential in his line of work.

Rob's picture
Rob on January 21, 2003 - 16:16 Permalink

I agree that Leo Broderick has become the message. It doesn’t diminish his personal commitment to the issues, but it does diminish the effectiveness of communicating his point of view. I think CBC shares some of the blame.
Personally, I’m not sure if yesterday’s rally was anti-war or pro-peace because, to me, there is a distinction to be made. I’m certainly in favour of a peaceful world (how could you not be), but I’m NOT dead set against war on principle. It’s a harsh reality, but the question is whether it’s worth using military force to remove Saddam. Is it? I’ve heard some persuasive arguments (none of them on CBC, I might add). What are the alternatives? Will anything else work? The only peaceful solution is for Saddam to give up and go into exile — not likely. Do we simply “contain” him as we have for the last 12 years? I wouldn’t call that peace. Those in favour of the status quo say “yea”, or present your (workable) solutions.

Alan's picture
Alan on January 21, 2003 - 17:17 Permalink

Like Irving in NB big business, the real problem is that he is one and only and that other are not seemingly active. This has nothing to do with the content just the voice…as it were…

Ken's picture
Ken on January 21, 2003 - 21:34 Permalink

I am against war in Iraq, but in favour of the US Military using Summerside’s airforce base. I admire the US forces and the citizens who fill their ranks, it is the policies of the Bush administration that make no sense to me. If they are ordered to smash Iraq we should be honoured to help those men and women in any way we can — they are putting their nuts in the grinder for a misguided president — isn’t that enough?

Wayne's picture
Wayne on January 21, 2003 - 21:59 Permalink

We must not let the sensible reluctance to fight drive us into wishful thinking.”

Rob's picture
Rob on January 22, 2003 - 15:27 Permalink

Wayne, nice quote. The Google oracle tells me it was Dick Armitage, correct?
Ken, why is Bush misguided on Iraq?

Wayne's picture
Wayne on January 22, 2003 - 16:12 Permalink

Right on, Rob.

Ken's picture
Ken on January 22, 2003 - 18:37 Permalink

He’s throwing gasoline on the fire. I am scared of where a conflict will lead — don’t you think it will inspire more lunatics to seek revenge on the US and it’s allies?
Fanatics who hate the US government have also included members of the Michigan Militia — but we didn’t bomb Detroit.
Punishing a state for the actions of it’s lunatics would mean an attack on Saudi Arabia, where most of the world trade terrorists came from.
What is there to win in Iraq? The hearts and minds of the Middle East? Does tough love work on madmen?

Wayne's picture
Wayne on January 22, 2003 - 19:29 Permalink

Had we not punished one state in particular for the act of it’s lunatics, we might still have the Holocaust. And action also prevented Slavery from entering the 20th century.

I, too, am scared of where the conflict might lead—but more scared of where inaction will definitely lead.

Susan Jardine's picture
Susan Jardine on January 24, 2003 - 16:06 Permalink

Leo Broderick is a passionate man who is standing up for what he believes is right. He is exercising his right as a Canadian citizen to speak out against what he believes is wrong, that takes courage and a great deal of energy. Whether or not 500 people is a huge number is not a question worthy of any energy. Every movement starts with a person and a passion. It has been my experience that for every person who speaks out, there are large numbers who believe but who have not yet had the courage to be vocal. It takes a passionate leader to show the way. Leo is such a leader. I can hardly wait to attend the next anti war rally to count the thousands of Islanders who will be focusing on the issue at hand, not on the media driven side tracks such as ‘Broderick bashing’. I must say that I have not seen any pro war rallys. Is there a passion for war on the part of citizens in this country? Or are we falling into the trap of apathy only to awake when we find ourselves with more dead young men and women or see the images on television of body bags? Let us not forget that we have 4 casualities from war already.

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on January 24, 2003 - 17:43 Permalink

Susan you should very afraid if you ever see a pro-war rally. War is a grim but sometimes necessary task, that should never be undertaken lightly or with enthusiasm. The current circumstance is morally obscure because while the end is just; removal of morally destitute despot, the reasoning terribly flawed wether its based in oil, revenge for 9/11, or just to do what his Dad could not.

Susan Jardine's picture
Susan Jardine on January 24, 2003 - 19:12 Permalink

What is this just end you speak of? American style democracy (certainly doesn’t work for the vast majority of Americans), dead women and children (in addition to their men and our men and women), destruction of all land and infrastructures to rebuild so that American (corporations) carpetbaggers can exploit the remaining Iraqui people, the setting up a another puppet regime to fuel future wars, increased risk of terrorist attacks on North America??? Morally obscure be damned, morally devoid!

Padre Ruy Shea's picture
Padre Ruy Shea on October 15, 2003 - 03:18 Permalink

Leo, you’re doing a good job. Society needs prophets — not those who look into the clouds or hand reading but one who can put his feet on the ground, look around and have a feeling of the direction we’re taking. Most people don’t like to get involved; they seem to accept everything without looking deeper into the problem. If society doesn’t wake up — it’s going to be like sleeping at the wheel going a hundred miles an hour. Being so far away I can’t keep up with all the issues on the Island and Canada but I’m happy that there’s a good alert group. Take care