Wednesday, September 05, 2007
RITALIN - STORIES FROM MY SIX MONTHS PROTEST IN FRONT OF THE NEW BRUNSWICK LEGISLATURE!!
On August 10th, a guy name - Jason had to go to Saint John for a few hours and asked me if I wanted to go over for a nice drive?
It was nice to take a little break.
What was more interesting, I could leave my tent unattended for a long period of time without anyone doing any damage to my little part time home.
Once in Saint John, I found it very chilly.
I was living inland in the Fredericton area for over two months and it’s funny how the temperature can change in a short
distance of 70 miles?
That’s one the reason that Saint
John doesn’t receive as many nasty thunder storms as the Capital.
I met many friends on the streets and
they all wondered the reason that the media didn’t cover my protest?
I once again said - The Irvings are
involved in this decision.
I manage to collect around 20 names for my petition and made a quick stopover at
I lived in a bachelor apartment and I was
surprise that my girl son was in there.
He’s in heavy drugs< Dilaudid> and I told him that I didn’t want any drugs in my place.
He sort of just ignored me.
In the past, I would punch the guy if he came 10 feet from my place.
He’s 21 years old and this seems to
be the only language that he truly understands.
He’s a diabetic and there was a lot of needles around my place. I knew they used the needles for their drug use but I didn’t have time for a confrontation.
I would handle the situation once I came back from the Capital.
I didn’t stay long. I really hated to pay
rent for a place that I didn’t live in but I had no choice because once my protest was over.
I had to find a place to stay and all my stuff which little that I had left were in that building.
I had a little chat with my girl Pat and she wanted me home but I had to continue the fight. I love my girl but the atmosphere
wasn’t one that I was comfortable in.
I am so happy that I love a few cold beers and not drugs.
Before leaving the Loyalist City, I made a stop over my cousin Cecile house and it was sure nice to see her in person.
During the last few months we have been in
contact via-emails and it sure was nice to see her but the visit was very short because Jason had to return to Fredericton in a hurry.
She had a nice meal for us but we didn’t stay long enough. Once I left her home,
Ii felt very down because I sure do love that girl but I had a job to do and the battle with the Government must continue.
The Brunswickan made the first true
story of this protest and Carole Morris did fantastic work.
While sitting in my usual spot under a tree
during a nice evening under the stars, a security guard from the Art Gallery told me that I should be very careful at nights.
He told me that someone was close to my tent at 2:30am while I was sound asleep.
Once the security guard shouted at the guy?
He quickly left the area. I knocked on the front door of the Legislature and Doug was on duty.
I really like this guy. Doug is bald and full of stories. He loves to hunt and walked in the woods. What I really enjoy about Doug was his straight forwards views on
different issues. He always made me laugh with his stories.
The evening was long and all the
commissionaires always spend a few minutes of their time with me.
These people were great to me.
They could have said - Hey? The Legislature is close so therefore don’t bother me! But this wasn’t the case.
I became good friends with those guys. I told Doug that if he didn’t mind to keep an eye on my tent every hour because the security guard told me that someone was
close to my tent late at night. I am a very heavy sleeper and the August 1st accident was still on my mind.
Minutes later, we noticed two people walking towards my tent. I shouted and they came forward.
It was two beautiful gorgeous girls. They were students at U.N.B. and they read my story on the internet which was written by Carole Morris.
They supported me and
they went at Sobey’s to buy me some food. I told the girls that I didn’t need any food because I always go at the soup kitchen.
They insisted by dropping the bag
on the front steps of the Legislature and left the area. Doug was sure impressed by the beauty of the two girls and I told him that it was the young kids who truly understood the issue of ADD/ADHD!
I looked in the bag and said- Oh,oh..I got to educate those girls about the issue of ADHD!
Inside were a sub, chip and juice.
Another item that was very scary was a big Mars bar. Sugar really makes us very hyper.
After I showed Doug my chocolate bar? He quickly ran in the Legislature and locked the door. But he did tell me that he’ll keep an eye on me and my tent.
The security guy from the Art Gallery told me that once the cold weather arrives that he has a nice big sleeping bag at his house and he would lend it to me.
This is where I noticed that fall was just around the corner and I had to get ready for the cold winter months ahead.
The media and the Government are still ignoring me. I could freeze to death and no one from outside of the City would know that I was in a tent in front of the
The next day, I had a teacher from
Ontario who told me that inclusion in that Province works perfectly. It’s up to each Province to make certain that kids with different disability are treated equally.
Of course, we only have a small
population of 750,000 people and it would be very difficult to treat these kids with dignity. I guess that drugging them is cheaper and the Government does
collect a certain amount of tax from the pills.
Money is the key and Ontario has a much larger population than the Picture Province but I still don’t find this an excuse to treat these kids like dirt and the protest will continue.
That evening, I noticed two beautiful girls walking towards me on the sidewalk
near my tent. I asked them if they would be interested in signing my petition?
One of them started running towards me and jumped in the air and gave me a big
At first, I didn’t really know what to think
than she said- I’ve been looking for you for days, I have ADHD!
I answered- Wow!!! The woman of my dream. Please don’t hugged me like that, I’ve been in the tent for over 2 months.
The girl seen my story in the Brunswickan and wanted to meet me.
The sad part of this story is that she’s 19 and studies in Arts at U.N.B. The problem is that she cannot learn without taking the drug Ritalin because she was forced as a
child to take these pills.
This is what I find unacceptable. Why can’t we teach these kids without Ritalin?
Of course, there’s no question that some
kids do need it.
I find it hard to understand why would a
child be on Ritalin during the week and off the pill during the weekend?
They’re on the drug for the school
year and off the pills during the summer months. The young girl cannot cope without taking Ritalin and it’s a sad life.
I did heard two cases that once in the
adult stage, they cannot cope. I heard of two cases that they have committed suicide.
It’s pretty sad to see a life full of energy wasted in this fashion.
I always said that suicide was the coward way out and I’m no coward and will never lower myself to leave this world in that way.
Maybe, I’m doing it in a different way by staying in a tent? Who knows?
I may be suicidal but taking a different approach.
At least, I would die fighting for something that I truly believe in.
< I found out one year after my protest that the beautiful girl with ADHD got killed on P.E.I from falling off a cliff.
So sad…. >
A pharmacist came over to sign my
petition. She told me that during the last 3 months the amount of Ritalin given out was on the rise.
I found this very interesting because this was the summer time and the used of these pills are supposed to drop.
I did asked a reporter to investigate the
amount of Ritalin that been given a year in this Province?
A few weeks later, he told me that he
couldn’t get that information. I wonder why? Is the Government trying to hide something? Who knows?
Many pharmacists told me that parents are confused and concern once the system has decided that their child should be on Ritalin and who can blame them? I am certain that those pharmacists who tells me their
concerns of the over prescription of Ritalin are not lying.
Hours later, I also met another woman of my
dream. She’s native, 24 years old and
the best part of it?
She’s Native with ADHD and as
outspoken as I am. I tried to convince her to join me with my protest because there’s a major problem with Ritalin
on the reserves from Red Bank to Saint Mary’s. I heard many sad stories and something have got to be done.
Sure would be nice to have a huge tee-pee in the front lawn of the Legislature. I don’t believe that the media would ignore me with my new home.
Jody Carr a P.C. MLA ¦invited me for a nice seafood dinner today for my birthday.
That was very nice for the young
politician. My updates were getting longer and I didn’t enjoy writing them at the Library because I had to wait for a computer and compared to the Library in other Cities, a person could book ahead. Time was
important and I had to find another way to send my message out.
Someone told me that the Post Office has
a computer. At first, I was very surprise to hear this but I decided to give it a good try and lucky that I did.
Once there, I was greeted by two women name- Barbara and Brenda. Barbara has a son with ADHD and would be watching my protest with great interest during the next few months. Those Government workers
treated me with the utmost respect.
The funny part is one of the guys was the husband of the wife who told me to go across the street from the Farmer’s Market.
I told the guy that I hope that he treats me better than she did. We had a good laugh over the story.
The post office would become my command post to reach the outside world. Early in the morning, I would go in the Government building and write my updates to the
public. Always curious to read the many reprisals that I received, I would show up in that building every 2 hours to check my emails.
They had a lot of patience with me and I really appreciated their action because
I was always around and they didn’t bother me.
The debate around my tent grew bigger with each passing day.
Of course, I would be confronted by many parents who would tell me that Ritalin works wonders with their kid.
I would really take a stand by saying - Did
you know? Under the decision of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission that your child is label to be close to mental retardation????
Many parents really flip their lids
once I came out with that statement.
At the end, I would tell the parents that the H.R.C.N.B. must have a point by reaching that racist verdict behind close doors because you got to be mentally retarded to be in a tent for over 2 months!
The public knew that I enjoyed a good debate and that I had a sense of humor
so therefore I wasn’t that bad.
One day, Jason and Colleen would asked me if I would ride in this vehicle and visit Colleen’s mom.
Her name is Barb and she couldn’t walk on long distance because of her feet.
Little did anyone knew that Barb would play a huge roll in my protest and my life during the next few months.
Once at Barb place, I found her to be a really nice person. She was living in a place that her mom used to live. Her mom died a few years ago and she had a few borders upstairs.
Barb quickly signed my petition and collected all the people names that lived
in that house.
I remember one episode.
I was set to return to my tent and she asked her Grandson Michael to give her a good bye kiss. Out of nowhere, I kissed
her on the cheek. While walking to my tent, I asked myself the reason that I quickly kissed the stranger on the cheek?
It wasn’t my style and my actions
I apologize to her the next day but
she wasn’t upset.
During the next few weeks, I would
always drop by for a coffee and watch the evening news.
This made my protest a little more comfortable.
I would spread my back on the couch and relax for over one hour but there would be many stories that would happen in that household.
These actions would be out of my hands during the next few months.