Pique n your interest 

The pros and cons of social conscience

I like to think that I'm an enlightened and political animal, ready to pounce into the fray if I believe in the cause. I've marched a couple of times, and painted sidewalks all night to make a point.

I've never been arrested, and I've only been threatened with arrest a few times for my activities - unfortunatley, none of those 'activities' qualified as political.

My point is that, as strongly as I believe in the things I believe, I don't know if I'm cut out to be an activist. My intentions are good, but my actions tend to lean more to the moderate. And besides, I wouldn't know what to wear.

I received the following e-mail from one of the groups planning to protest the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Quebec City next week. All 34 countries in North, Central and South America will be on hand to discuss free trade, which most activists agree is bad for the environment, cultural identity, small businesses, indigenous peoples, and Third-World countries.

The activists planning to swarm the summit are a courageous bunch to say the least.

"Are you dressed for success in Quebec?" the e-mail asks.

"As you know, dressing well is SO essential for today's sassy militant. After all, this is Quebec. We are chic, while being anti-FTAA, anti-hypothermia and anti-chemical weapons.

"Today's fashion advice from us emphasizes treating your body to as sensual an experience as can be imagined in Quebec City where it is still fucking snowing and raining and windy!

"So, let's go over our essential dress again, with mention of accessories.

Today's well dressed militant in Quebec City for the Summit is wearing long underwear made of the new synthetic materials that WICK away sweat from you skin. Sweat next to skin can make you cold.

"You should have many loose layers that can be removed if you get hot, and put back on when cold. Extra dry clothes in a bag in your pack sack is a very smart idea. Nylon, polyester or wool socks are IN, Cotton sock are OUT!

"Your outer layer should be water proof. We HIGHLY recommend a cheap rain suit - not only will this keep you dry in the rain or snow, it will keep those nasty pollutants like tear gas and pepper spray from being absorbed by your clothes.

"If you wear fleece, make sure it is beneath your rain gear if you are in a chemical weapon risk zone (near the police). Pepper spray & tear gas gets sponged up by fleece, and then released over time into your face. Yuck!

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