As she approached Calgary’s City Hall on Friday July 18, Samantha Hamilton must have had all kinds of thoughts running through her mind. On the forefront, likely, was her family’s original homeland – Israel.
She, her brother, Shane, her cousin, Jake Birrell, and others, such as Jeff Willerton all attended a small demonstration to show that there are two sides to every story.
The group of people supporting Gaza was large. 800 to 1000 people showed up. The Israel group, not so much. They appeared, held up an Israeli flag, waved some signs, and exercised their right to free speech.
Then, things got ugly. The Palestinian supporters crossed the road and approached the Israeli supporters. They shouted. The Israeli supporters responded, (as can be expected when someone starts screaming at you) by shouting back. The Israeli supporters, however didn’t act aggressively. They debated, loudly, but they kept their heads.
Then the Palestinian supporters attacked. Jeff Willerton’s flag got stolen. When he tried to retrieve it from the thug who snatched it, he got knocked to the ground and punched. Jake Birrell got his shirt torn from his body and was spit on, kicked, and was punched in the face. Shane Hamilton was swarmed and beaten by 5 to 8 people.
When they approached the police and asked for help, the officer told them, “what do you expect when you come down here wearing that.”
Imagine, if you will, if a rape victim went to the police to report, and she was asked, “what do you expect when you go out wearing that?”
I’ve been accused of making a false equivalency with that point. It isn’t. Blaming the victim is blaming the victim. If it’s wrong to blame the victim in a rape case, it’s wrong to blame the victim here.
But here’s the crux of the matter:
Think on that for a minute.
A violent incident, instigated and perpetrated by one group of people against another, occurs, and then, at the same event, a candidate running for political office speaks, in support of their cause?
If you’re speaking in support of a cause, to supporters of that cause, who, at the same event, either just finished, or were just about to beat the living daylights out of someone, without expressly condemning the acts of violence, what does that say?
What has Justin Trudeau or Darshan Kang said about the outbreak of violence in Calgary in the days following?
And that, in and of itself, is very, very telling.
Is this the Canada you want to live in? A Canada where people get beat up when they dare disagree with others, and politicians say nothing? That seems to be Justin Trudeau’s Canada.
Is it yours?
I didn’t think so.