Noisy parade downtown

There was some kind of noisy parade in downtown Montreal today. Or maybe it was a protest. It wasn’t very clear, as everyone seemed pretty happy and they all had nice coordinated umbrellas. But there were a lot of banners for various charities and anti-poverty organizations, so who knows?

After all, it’s not like there were very clear signs anywhere to let us know what was going on. Nor were there any chants or songs to give us a clue. All I had to go on were thousands of people, lots of umbrellas, a bunch of banners, and an awful racket moving down McGill-College and turning east onto Ste. Catherine Street.

Protest or parade? Downtown Montreal

The racket came from a few different sources, including several clusters of uncoordinated drummers (both snare and bongo). Drums can be fun or annoying, depending on what they’re doing and how. But one thing that was undeniably annoying was the guy whose job was to yell incomprehensible stuff into a microphone that was connected to speakers running all the way up Ave. McGill-College.

Wow, that was loud. It would be forgivable if he were yelling things that might give us an idea of what the parade/protest was about, but no; he was some kind of radio personality type yelling “motivational” crap to keep up the tempo.

Oh gawd how I hate that kind of stuff. You couldn’t understand a word of it (and not just because it was probably in French). The booming speakers created magnificent echos among all the glass- and stone-fronted buildings on the avenue, so it was like being in the loudest echo chamber on earth while some idiot yelled blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH! Blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH! over and over again. I suppose we were all supposed to cheer on every BLAAAHHHH!

Lest you think I have some kind of phobia against civil unrest or whatever, let me assure you that the idea of several thousand people in coordinated umbrellas jamming up traffic by walking down Ste. Catherine Street is actually my idea of a pretty good time. No really. But how about a bit of explanation, and more importantly can we ditch the guy with the mike and the blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH!? Oh, and while we’re at it, nobody minds if you trip the guy with the devil sticks (the way nobody minds when you trip a mime).

9 thoughts on “Noisy parade downtown

  1. Well, I saw some Centraide banners, but a whole bunch of others two. BTW, while I was watching I realized how brilliant it is to use umbrellas for a parade/protest like this. They’ll protect from both sun and rain, they are visually very compelling, and they keep people spaced apart a bit so it’s not so crowded.

    BTW, check the foreground of the photo above; love the big-ass skates that guy’s wearing. It’s those “all terrain” things or whatever that I’ve seen in some stores but I’ve never seen anyone using them before.

  2. It’s a little frustrating that there isn’t a readily available site where one could see what was going on in Mtl. that was substantial enough to generate this type of participation complete with what looks like street closures.

    And so without other information, I offer that the local population has taken to protecting themselves from falling things like glass, ice, cranes, buildings, etc.,by sporting umbrellas and traveling in packs.

    The sky has been falling for years in Mtl. and most recently, this past Sept. 27th, a 15 yr. old girl was hit by a large piece of glass while visiting the Complexe Desjardins.

    Harry Penny

  3. yeah, i hate to be a contrarian, but it was for the United Way. i thought it was supposed to be a light-spirited fundraising thing?

  4. Hey, like I said, I got nothing against light-spirited parades, especially ones with matching umbrellas. But how about a sign that tells us what it is, and ditch the freakin’ blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH!

    On a side note, it was interesting to observe the reactions of other people. Some (generally business types walking along while clucking into their cell phones) looked annoyed at the noise. Others thought it looked like fun. But some were absolutely terrified. There were people who might have been from troubled parts of Africa or Eastern Europe on the sidewalk who had really frightened looks on their faces. I could imagine that the last time they heard that much noise on a public street it was followed by gunfire and spilling of blood.

    So yeah. A sign would be nice. Preferably one with a happy face on it.

  5. you know what else didn’t occur to me, as i work way out here (until tomorrow at 17h, YAY!) by the G-d-foresaken Dorval airport, which i hate as much as you?

    it must be great to work downtown, in general. however then you have all the mitigating factors: noisy demonstrations, 12,000 people all trying to get General Tsao chicken from a food court at the same time, 12,000 people all going to the bank, drycleaners’, and pharmacists’ at the same time, the crazed and mentally ill (G-d bless them), the bums and homeless rubbies (G-d bless them too). All that humanity squeezed into a square mile or two. i can see why it would get stressy now and then to work downtown…

  6. Yeah, it is great to work downtown. I avoid most of the aggravations by adjusting my schedule. F’rinstance, I come in a bit late to avoid the 8:30-9:00 AM crush. Also, I go for lunch at 1:00 or 1:30, etc.

    I work at the corner of de Maisonneuve and McGill-College, which is the epicenter of pretty much every protest. They’re noisy, but it doesn’t bother me.

    What can be annoying, however, is the crazy 40-person bicycle thing that rides up and down de Maisonneuve during the summer as some kind of charity thing. I’m all for charity, but why do they have to be so goddam noisy? Days and days at a time, it seems in which half the morning you hear this endless blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH!, although in this case its from the radio personality guy on the back of the stupid bicycle. And of course there’s the screaming of all the office drones as they whiz down McGill-College.

    It’s all so lame. Like these people never get out of their cubicles or something. The last thing I need to entertain me is some loudmouth radio dork yelling blah blah blah blah BLAAAHHHH! in my ear in order to raise money.

    FDS! Just make a donation. Or ride the stupid bike without the thumping music and the radio guy. But fer christ’s sake, do you have to disrupt hundreds of workers in the surrounding offices for hours at a time with your stupid racket?

    (No really… it’s freakin LOUD, even 14 stories up.)

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