Watching the Canadian protest standoffs is fascinating

There is something fascinating about watching the standoffs between protestors and police across Canada. As a TV viewer, I feel it would make for a compelling reality show. As a human being, however, I feel for the people affected by what’s happening.

Before anybody jumps down my throat and calls me an anti-vaxxer (I’m fully vaccinated) or suggests I condone illegal behaviour, all I’m saying is that watching this chess game of posturing and calling bluffs is interesting.

Weeks ago, we heard that Alberta RCMP put their foot down and were going to end the border blockade that day — then that night — but two weeks later it was still standing strong. Police have had to negotiate rather than apply force to the crowd. When you’re outnumbered I guess you have to change your approach.

Ditto in Ottawa where the mayor is constantly webcamming into news shows talking about how the police will be stepping in and enforcing the laws — any minute now — they will — it’s going to happen — it’ll all be over – it’s coming – just watch. Buuuuuut, as we’ve seen, the protestors laughed off the empty threats because they’ve turned the scene into a carnival with hot tubs, food tents and bouncy castles.

The day the Manitoba protests began, I happened to be passing through downtown Winnipeg. Though the high-pitched honks from vehicles quickly became obnoxious (I was only around it for about three minutes as traffic crawled along), it seemed like a civil demonstration. Fast-forward two weeks and it too became a social community event with street hockey and barbecues on the weekend.

I have said all along that I respect people speaking their mind and standing up for what they believe. I’ve also wondered how the so-called “freedom” rally truly is sticking up for Canadians when so many fellow Canucks have been negatively impacted.

It’s one thing to inhabit elected officials’ offices and sit on the floor and chant and bring the government to a standstill (note: I’m not condoning trespassing or illegal behaviour), but if these demonstrations are supposed to be about Canadians coming together and sticking up for each other’s rights and freedoms, then don’t alienate the people who don’t want to be part of the spectacle.

At the same time, if the police don’t have the manpower or the legal authority — or quite frankly the balls — to enforce the laws they say are being broken, can you really blame the mobs of people for exploiting that significant detail and testing the limits? Again, not saying it’s right but I understand why it’s happening.

It was us-versus-them as Canadians realized the governments were failing us when the pandemic started and this seems like deja vu… cuz people ain’t puttin’ up with it no more.

It’s become a game. People are looking for any crack in the foundation or a loophole so they themselves can take charge of the situation and not rely on the governments of whom they’ve lost faith. I wonder if this will be the new norm.

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