Weekly Commentary  

Should goons win?

Firebombing a bank, or any building, is serious business. Videotaping the event and proudly displaying it for the world to see is deadly business. Using the whole thing as a threat to freedom loving people is demented and cowardly, but begging a response.

Here at home in the constituency doing meetings and events on the weekend I've heard a couple of things on this. I've heard raw and uncensored anger and disgust towards the vile and twisted bullies who do this kind of stuff.

Let me assure you, I hope the full force of the law will be applied to the terrorists (and that is precisely what they are) if they are apprehended. And as many years as possible behind bars would not be too many in my view.

Some might say that sounds a little harsh. We need to understand what is going on here.

Since the founding of our great nation the buried bodies around the globe of our brave young soldiers are silent testaments to the price we've paid for the freedoms we enjoy.

Canada continues to be a global showcase of tolerance, a country where people can freely speak and gather and protest on any issue they choose.

Tolerance for the actions of terrorists and bullies however is not found in either the lexicons or the hearts of most of you here in the Okanagan and Nicola Valleys.

We do not feel very warm and fuzzy at the thought of Canada being seen on YouTube and TV tubes around the world as a place where bombs go off in our streets.

It is doubly worrisome if it appears that people can get away with it. This is especially so if when they are apprehended they are given light sentences. That only adds to our sense of insecurity and invites further mayhem.

So, yes, I heard your voices this weekend big-time on this issue.

Now here's the rub. I also heard comment about the security costs related to the G-8 and G-20 meetings coming up. Believe me I understand the concerns about the overall amount. Although these are budgeted costs, they are high.

The Auditor General will now be looking into these costs in detail.

Meanwhile, there have been suggestions in some quarters that we should cancel the events. Not only is that not possible, we need to think through what message that would send.

Having a debate based on the value of the meetings themselves would be one thing (personally, I have seen first-hand the benefits of leaders actually being able to sit down face to face to grapple with the issues that profoundly impact our day to day lives).

The problem is, if the demand to cancel these meetings in the future is due to the security costs, then it is the street thugs and anarchists who win.

Think about it. Our very precious and dearly paid for right to meet and debate when and with whom we wish is on the line here.

The very people who have no respect for true democracy and no respect for the property rights of the hard working people whose businesses they trash during their illegal and pathetic riots are becoming the ones who call the shots.

They are saying to us, "If you dare to even have these kinds of meetings we will trash your neighbourhoods and smash your shops. We will break your glass windows, assault your peace officers, and rule your streets."

Friends, we have seen these dark attempts at fear and coercion all down through history. The societies that succumb to them wind up impoverished in spirit, diminished in dignity, and less willing to defend basic human rights.

That's not what my father and grandfathers fought for. How about yours?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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