Don’t be too quick to jump and gloat

Illustration by Udeshi Seneviratne

Wouldn’t it be wise for those of us who previously decried these police actions to once again be appalled at the abuse of humanity that is occurring?

Think a little deeper, trust me it will help in the long run
By Matthew Fraser, Editor in Chief

Sometimes as I watch other people’s reactions to our ongoing political climate I wonder if people are really thinking ahead as these actions happen. I don’t mean the doomsayers who see everything as being the harbinger of the next Hitler or the final sign that Canada is turning into communist China; rather, I wonder if people have thought to consider what will happen if these ideas and reactions get codified into our state’s mindset or our general social outlook.

Maybe the best example of this is the acts of police brutality that are currently befalling the few remaining protestors in Ottawa. Most specifically, a video has been circulating of some protestors being trampled by a police horse. There is a section of my mind that smiles grimly at the thought that many of the people protesting now would have previously decried BLM protests or black people being shot by saying: “Why don’t you just cooperate with police and obey orders? You wouldn’t have been beaten up if you had just behaved yourself.” I’m not too proud to say that I sadistically see these acts of police brutality as just desserts long left undelivered, but I’m also smart enough to realize that I can not sit easily and accept these things either. Sadly, I don’t think that enough people who would have previously been appalled at these actions are properly concerned today.

This forces me to wonder how deeply people think about these actions. Shouldn’t the lesson of the moment for those who support the “Freedom Convoy” be that enabling and apologizing for police violence in the past leads to the same tactics being used on you in the future? Wouldn’t it be wise for those of us who previously decried these police actions to once again be appalled at the abuse of humanity that is occurring? Maybe it is too hopeful a thought to assume that people would even slightly consider how using the law to beat up on their opponents could backfire on them one day.

I’m certainly not hoping that everyone sits down and emphasizes with the other for a moment as calls to do that always seems naïve to me. Rather, people should ask themselves why the government wouldn’t use the same level of force and tactics against their cause. Why wouldn’t Trudeau and his government kettle environmental protestors to break up a blockade? Why wouldn’t the RCMP charge into a crowd on horseback if that crowd were protesting for indigenous rights? What stops the government from breaking your causes as they have broken this one?

One need not agree with the convoy to see the damage that wanton police actions will assuredly have over time. As a matter of fact, one need only look at this decade’s history to see how that goes. Realistically, one need only think a little longer and a little deeper about these actions to make it clear that this will hurt everyone in the long run.

But if one thing has stood out to me above all else regarding the “Freedom Convoy” it has been that there is never a good time or a good argument to have a Swastika flag in your possession. It is way too easy for one of those to look bad at the moment and later context. As a matter of fact, the imagery, in general, is so loaded that it should always just be avoided. Better yet, comparing things to Nazi Germany is just a no. Though it wasn’t hard for things to go poorly for the convoy media-wise, if anything in particular hurt them, it was the Nazi imagery.