From some of the fuss about the demonstrations by Tamil supporters in front of Parliament Hill, you’d think we’d never seen a protest here in the nation’s capital. The most eccentric one I ever witnessed was a single bedraggled man standing motionless just outside the gates of the parliamentary precinct and favouring the Peace Tower with a silent one-finger salute. I didn’t ask what his point was, but I think I got the gist. The most tense was those held during the G20 summit in November 2001, as massed anti-globalization protesters faced phalanxes of cops in riot armour. The entire scene was suffused with post-9-11 paranoia, but mercifully the peace mostly held.