Authorities need to take firm stance on hateful demonstration

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Authorities across the province need to get serious about stopping hateful behaviour at supposed anti COVID rallies.

There are increasingly disturbing demonstrations popping up and slowly escalating across Alberta. First it was the tiki-torch laden mob bearing an eerie resemblance to the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, then it was a handful of individuals wearing a yellow Star of David with the words mask exempt on them, meant to mimic patches jewish people were made to wear in the holocaust.

The actions were enough to cause NDP MLA Thomas Dang to introduce a motion to officially denounce racist and hateful symbolism by banning these symbols in public places at the Alberta Legislature on Monday.

Make no mistake, these symbols are meant to be a hateful rallying cry for like minded people, and they need to be squashed without hesitation.

Rally goers will hide behind the veil they are standing up for their freedoms and fighting COVID-19 restrictions. Any decent person however, understands it is not acceptable to compare being asked to follow public health orders to the Holocaust which claimed the lives of millions of people.


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Firstly, it should go without saying it is possible to fight public health orders without hateful symbolism. Just last week parents of students in the Peace River School Division sent a letter demanding exemption from public health orders if they were to keep their children in school. The unprecedented move was pulled off without even the slightest racial connotation.

It is essential for authorities from government officials to police at ground level to put a stop to hateful behaviour before it snowballs into tragedy. It is this type of behaviour which leads to events like the recent mass shooting at Asian owned salons in the United States.

Some will immediately roll their eyes based on the notion the current generation is far too quick to cry racism.

The proof however is in the pudding. Slowly these demonstrations have and will continue to escalate in manner, aiming to spread hate until it becomes socially acceptable to do so. Let’s not forget we’re six months removed from a violent clash at an anti racism rally in Red Deer.  Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in Alberta represent roughly 20 per cent of the population, according to the most recent information on the World Population Review.

Anything but swift action against hateful demonstration will make one in every five Albertans feel unsafe in their own province. That is not the Alberta I want to live in.

The solution is simple. Stop dancing around the subject, call these demonstrations out for what they are, and start handing out repercussions.

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