There is nothing to be gained by wading into this topic, but here I go. I can’t help myself.
I have seen many passionate comments on Facebook and elsewhere about the trucker convoy and protest from both sides. I respect the views presented civilly. I have no passion. It makes me a calm commenter but a lousy husband.
I remember that in my youth ( or at least I believe I remember, aging clouds the recollection) I attended many protests and rallies. That was in my idealistic youth before aging caused me to care only about finances, family and being close to a bathroom.
Those protests were three or four hour marches which usually ended on the Legislature grounds in Victoria or the art gallery lawn in Vancouver where we would listen to speeches, chant, and go home. Obviously we would disrupt traffic and cause a few hours of inconvenience.
Two years ago my daughter Lauren took part in an environmental protest led by the group Extinction Rebellion, which closed the Burrard bridge in Vancouver for several hours. I was uncomfortable with this but we let her go because she was passionate about the cause and I try not to impose my opinions and beliefs on my children (other than by example) and I try to accommodate Lauren because I know that eventually she will be the one choosing (and possibly paying for) my care home.
I have some challenges with protests or occupations that try to shut down part of a city for days. One hundred big trucks can cause more disruption than one thousand people. Is this a case where the more money you have and the bigger the vehicle you bring, the more effective your protest? Does it not seem undemocratic for hundreds or even thousands of protestors to be demanding the resignation of a government that millions of Canadians only elected three or four months ago? Having said that, I think it is important to take a balanced view of the protest.
My family is fully vaccinated. We have supported and complied with the various health directives, believing them to be the best decisions available in changing and challenging circumstances. But I fully understand how honest and intelligent people can differ with our view on that.
I think it is unfair to attack the protest because some involved in it have extremist views of have desecrated statues and memorials, or even waved a nazi flag. It is as unfair to write the protestors off on that basis as it was to write off the Black Lives Matter marches because of rioting. Protests will always attract fringe groups using the protest for their own agenda. That said, Nazi flags and racism are unacceptable. But they shouldn’t be used to discredit the entire protest.
I believe that the protesters have the right to protest those restrictions that they view interfere with their sense of their personal freedoms. I don’t agree with them but free speech and the right to protest are essential in a democracy. Of course the extent of the protest becomes an issue.
Clearly most of the protestors are from the conservative side of the spectrum. I personally am glad to see the right protest human rights issues. This is a healthy step forward.
After all, the left has been protesting for years. Protesting conscription during the wars because governments forced individuals to kill or be killed, protesting laws criminalizing homosexual acts until the seventies where consenting adults were jailed for a sexual act, protesting interment of ethnic Japanese during the Second World War (but not white Germans and Italians), protesting (but not strongly enough) indigenous children being forcibly taken from their families and held on residential schools, and protesting laws that discriminated on the basis of gender, orientation, race or economics. These are all flagrant violations of human rights and freedoms. Generally the right wasn’t too involved in protesting these issues. But now they have found their freedom issue. I applaud them. Personally not an issue over which I would draw a line in the sand. But freedom is freedom.
The right to protest is essential in a democracy as is free speech. Obviously protests must be balanced with the effect that they have on others. But the concerns of the protesters should be heard and respected and not written off. Many people clearly passionately agree with them. But again, I don’t. And as I said , I have no passion.
Posts copied from FaceBook.