This Again

 I read a funny thing on Twitter this morning. 

The author of the tweet asked if we had tried having a victory party for the every weekend still protesters. If we have banners and cover them in confetti. If we tell them that they won, will they go away? 

It's a funny line about a pretty serious conversation.

If you are unaware, there are still "anti-mandate" protests happening every weekend in downtown Calgary. One in Beltline and one in Inglewood. They aren't just gathered in a park, sitting with their signs and soliciting honks from passing supporters. They are blocking traffic, throwing smoke bombs, selling white supremacist logoed gear, and they even have a pizza tent set up. The people who live and work in these areas are suffering the worst. Many feel unsafe in their own places, and no one seems to care. Small business owners are losing money as customers either can't physically get to them or don't want to engage with the potential powder keg that is going on down there. 

Except for maybe one group. As this temper tantrum continues, there is an increasing number of counter-protesters that show up every weekend as well. These counter-protesters are showing up to remind others that they aren't the only people with opinions. There seems to be a vacuum within the anti-mandate people that only their truth matters. Their behavior is being reinforced by law enforcement and local government. Neither does anything besides stand and watch, or talk about how terrible it all is on their social media pages in an attempt to quell the concerns of their constituents. 

This weekend law enforcement finally did something. Not what they probably should have done, but it was something I guess. Nope, they didn't break up the pro-white group within a group, or tell the pizza guy to take his not licensed oven home, nor did they issue tickets for having an event on city property without a license. 

Instead, they went against the counter-protestors. Bike cops held the line for the protestors by physically pushing back anyone who came to tell them that they were wrong. Many who were also there (just not pretending it had anything to do with masks) were left with cuts, bruises, and an even larger sense of who is protecting the rest of us? 

How can anyone in law enforcement or local government say they are serving the community at large when it seems like the only people being protected are the ones who are doing it all wrong. Again, those of us that choose to do the right thing are being held accountable, while those that continue to do what is only right for themselves continue to prosper. At what point are they going to be surprised when the rest of us snap and things really get out of control? 

The lack of action on their behalf is going to turn into something, it always does. I don't know what that it is going to be, but those in charge and allowing this to happen need to remember that we vote, in larger numbers. This won't go unnoticed and while we may not lash out physically, it all comes around in the end. 

Every day seems to be something new and terrible. I find myself really going out of my way to find positive things to read or look at, or just sit in silence and try not to find out any more scary or depressing things. When I do doom scroll though, one song sits in the back of my head It's The End Of The World was released in 1987 by REM. Lead singer of the band Michael Stipe wrote the song after waking from a dream about a party where every guest had the same initials -- LB. The song has a stream of consciousness feel about it that Stipe likened to changing channels as you're trying to find something to watch on tv. 

When the band first started playing this song live, they were surprised by the party-like atmosphere it would inspire considering the lyrics and subject of the song. One big memory I have of the song is on the supposed doomsday that came at the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. A local radio station (X92.9) played it an estimated 156 times. While it may have driven listeners crazy, I am guessing it made a small bump in the play numbers of the song. And maybe the band earned an extra $5. 

Grab your (pretend) bags, it's time to shop.

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