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Screening of “Bringing Down a Dictator”

Speaking notes for the Hon. David Kilgour

Secretary of State (Asia Pacific)

EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts


June 25, 2002

Merci d’être venu, tous et toutes! Si vous croyez que j’ai dormi dans mes pantalons, vous avez raison. Je viens d’arriver de Jakarta via Frankfurt et Montréal. C’est complètement fou!

Chancellor Warren, Peter Ackerman, Jack Duvall, Steve York, ladies and gentlemen.

You're about to see a remarkable story. Perhaps because of the lack of violence involved, it's one that not a lot of people know about.

Instead of using guns and explosions, the protagonists use peaceful resistance, solidarity, humour, and patience - hardly the ingredients for a ‘Sum of All Fears-type’ summer blockbuster! Instead of starting a conflict that left behind a path of death and destruction, they began a process that had great value in itself.

Il s’agit d’une douzaine d’étudiants qui ont commencé un mouvement non-violent en Serbie qui a fait tomber Slobodan Milosovic. Les leçons sont toutefois universelles.

The plot centers around how a group of about a dozen students in Serbia started an apolitical, peaceful movement that resulted in the ultimate downfall of Slobodan Milosovich. The lessons conveyed, however, are universal.

Canada has pushed Africa to the top of the Summit's agenda - and kept it there throughout the course of a year like no other. We want to see an Africa capable of reaching its immense potential: where democracy, good governance, and adherence to the rule of law are the norm, and where hunger and disease - surtout la pandémie du SIDA - are stopped effectively.

We've thrown our support behind NEPAD because we believe in its premise that the future of Africa must be decided by Africans themselves.

The type of fundamental change leaders are advocating won't happen solely as a result of this Summit. The deeply rooted, lasting prosperity we're seeking will not so much be designed from the top down as it will be built from the ground up - as in Botswana.

"Bringing Down a Dictator" tells of how the process of mobilizing love for one’s country and will for freedom resulted in the coming together of thousands of people who had never taken part in Serbia's political process then came together to form the backbone of a strong, stable democracy. This is the vision many Africans have for their continent’s 54 nations.

Le film donne de l’espoir aux activistes non-violents partout dans le monde. Cette œuvre transmet un message clair : la société civile de tous les pays doit être une plus grande force.

Participants in the G6B and peaceful protesters have a major role to play in the progress of democratic societies- and their ideas deserve to be heard. Too often civil society's valuable contributions and reasonable voices are overshadowed by photo opportunities of anarchists and anticipations of violent protesters who most often represent only a small portion of activists. I hope that this will not be the case this year.

Thanks to all the organizers and participants of the G6B, and congratulations to the participants of this film for having the courage to live this story, and to the producers and supporters for having the faith that we would want to see it.

Hope you enjoy the film.

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