Newsmaker: Philip Oxhorn on origins of casserole protests
Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012 1:51PM EDT
MONTREAL - Ever since the Charest government passed emergency legislation requiring protesters to inform police of their actions, the clanging of pots and pans has taken to streets and balconies across Quebec.
The Casserole demonstrations are a revival of a protest movement that began in Chile in the 1970s, soon after the election of President Salvador Allende.
"It was middle class and upper class women banging their pots and pans, complaining about the lack of food in stores," said McGill professor Philip Oxhorn.
12 years later the protests resumed as a non-violent way to denounce military dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Oxhorn says the non-violent nature of the casserole protests is key to its success.
"Military regimes like to provoke violence because they know if it becomes violent it moves to their area of expertise," said Oxhorn.
He fully supports the change in the nature of the protest in Quebec.
"It's capturing a sense of frustration among many Quebecers, said Oxhorn. "It's very hard to say no, people don't have a right to protest when they're not violent."
For the full interview, click the video player.