Hey Ho! We Don’t Know?

Motives Behind Protest At The Link Unclear

  • Anonymous protesters picket outside of The Link’s offices, deriding the student-run newspaper’s journalistic practices. Photo Erin Sparks

  • Photo Erin Sparks

  • Photo Erin Sparks

  • Photo Erin Sparks

  • Photo Erin Sparks

Most reporters at The Link are used to covering protests, but some of the newspaper’s staff members found themselves to be the target of one upon stepping outside the office yesterday afternoon.

For a span of roughly six minutes, a group of about 15 tentative protesters stood atop the escalators on the sixth floor of Concordia’s Hall building.
The demonstrators refused to identify themselves, answer questions or elaborate on their apparent grievances with The Link’s editor-in-chief Justin Giovannetti. Despite speaking no more than a few brief chants, they called into question Giovannetti’s relationship with Concordia Student Union councillor Lex Gill.

The protesters claimed that Gill will run in next week’s CSU general election and that she will be privileged by favourable coverage from The Link.

The demonstration was the first interaction any of these individuals ever had with The Link, prior to showing up at its doorstep. None of protesters had ever called, emailed, or attempted to contact any of The Link’s editorial staff, despite having every opportunity to do so. Instead, they chose to make their first encounter a hostile one.

Several bystanders and other people tangentially involved in the proceedings also declined to speak on record.

It remains unclear whether any of these students plan on running for office, however if they intend to do so, they are in violation of the CSU’s electoral bylaws—which prevent candidates from campaigning before midnight of March 14.

Three CSU executives were seen near the protest as it unfolded, but denied any connection with the protesters.

“We had nothing to do with the protest,” said CSU VP Academic & Loyola Hassan Abdullahi. “[But] nothing The Link has ever written about the CSU has been balanced […] I’m not responsible to The Link, I’m responsible to the students.”

Abdullahi overlooked the fact that every member of The Link’s editorial staff is an undergraduate student and therefore a due-paying member the union.

Earlier that afternoon, Ricardo Hernandez Torres received a call while working at the Loyola Luncheon from a CSU secretary, asking for the whereabouts of Gonzalo Nieto and Lex Gill.

Nieto, an überculture executive with Gill, was in class, but said he received a text message from his friend who was at the Luncheon, informing him that he was being paged. Nieto said he usually attends the Luncheon, yet finds it extremely odd that the CSU would be looking for him and Gill.

“It seems very conspicuous to me that they were wondering where Lex [Gill] was about an hour before they protest Lex,” said Nieto, who can think of no reason why the CSU would be looking for him.

The protesters disbanded after Concordia Security asked them for student ID cards.

—With files from
Christopher Curtis

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 25, published March 8, 2011.

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