Act for Canada:
security and liberty
While some people get to be widely known, many people do important things, but aren't known nearly as well.
One is Valerie Price, of the Montreal chapter of Act for Canada - an unlikely counter-jihadi. She's had a long career as an interior decorator. She's also a breast cancer survivor, who recently became one of the stars of Beauty and the Breast.
Valerie Price - no huge blog, not one of the biggest names around. One of the many many people you could call local heros.
She's one of the 2 people who started the Quebec chapter of Act for Canada. She sends out a weekly newsletter, her picks from the hundreds of news items she reads weekly. Occasionally there are speakers. A couple of winters ago there was an entire series of speakers.
I first saw her introducing a speaker. The room was full. All volunteer work. I noticed her warmth. Later I noticed her generosity of spirit, and her attentiveness to the speakers. For example, she made sure there was hospitality, perhaps a supper before or a gathering afterwards.
Still, it doesn't sound heroic - not like a firefighter saving a child from a burning building. But it does mean standing up to the fear of retaliation for speaking out. We've all heard of fatwas. It also means being willing to stand up for a generally unpopular viewpoint, and almost certainly being called names, like paranoid racist Islamophobe. It can mean losing business.
Most people don't get involved. Some are convinced the fuss about Islam will blow over. Some are sure nothing can be done - it's too late. Ever so many can't figure out what to do. Not Valerie and her friend. When they heard Brigitte Gabriel call for people to organize local Act for America chapters, they said yes.
It might seem an unlikely move. She has no political background. An interior decorator for decades. A breast cancer survivor.
That did lead to activism, by the way. Valerie became a fund raiser, raising over $1,000,000 for breast cancer research. But then she was done with that - and not looking for another involvement. She liked to get to the country and relax on the weekend.
Also, it was different, getting involved with doing her best to protect values like freedom of speech against Islamist inroads. It was easy being a fund raiser for breast cancer - everyone knew someone affected by the disease. Now she was speaking out on an unpopular issue. Very different. And it was very frustrating, that while she quickly had a core of people who would attend events, the message didn't spread - as if there were guards at the gate, keeping the message locked up. Especially, few young people came.
Valerie's not a quitter. Maybe that's one of the most important things about her. 2012 is, for her, the year of the conference. Time to learn and to meet. To go further.
She still tries to find time to relax in her country home with her husband and her 2 pampered cats - while periodically checking her inbox for news items for the next week's newsletter.
Was there something in Valerie's childhood that predisposed her to taking this seemingly unexpected turn in her life? Maybe. She was never the quiet retiring type. According to her mother, she was born fighting. This is quite a fight she's involved with.
Click here for more on ACT! for Canada
Click here for the interview with Valerie Price
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Valerie Price: an unlikely local hero
for Western values, like human rights,
liberty and freedom of speech.
Political correctness: no.
Free thinking: yes.
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Personal Journeys Toward Difficult Truths:
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