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Letters Feb. 1: The trials of putting up with vaccine protests; spoiled children in an imaginary world

Protesters line up on Belleville Street in front of the legislature in support of the truckers' convoy on Saturday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

What to remember about Nuremberg?

Our lovely getaway weekend in Victoria was destroyed by five hours of exhaust-spewing, horn-blasting yahoos in pickup trucks.

I will defend the right to protest until the day I die, but that these people could shut down a downtown core for an entire day is not OK.

We spotted one remarkable history buff with a sign that said “Remember Nuremberg!” For anyone who had family in Europe in the Second World War, this is literally triggering. We were shaking with distress.

But on reflection, the question is, what are we supposed to remember? The Nuremberg rallies where thousands gathered to show their passion for a cause they believed in — like the gangs of pickup truck drivers?

Or are we to remember the Nuremberg Trials where the Nazis were finally brought to trial?

Clearly this sign-carrying bozo didn’t have a clue what Nuremberg was — or possibly it is a threat of what he hopes will come: swastika-wearing, freedom-demanding idiots who have no idea of how entitled they already are.

The whole thing is terrifying for its ignorance and bellicosity.

Annabel Kershaw

End the madness of noisy protests

This is the second weekend that I and other residents of our retirement home have endured hours of honking horns, all apparently in a bid for freedom from vaccine mandates.

James Bay is rich in residences for seniors. And in hotels that hope to attract tourists seeking peaceful relief from the pandemic.

Not all of us are deaf. I am sitting here wearing earplugs, underneath headphones tuned to a suitably bland music channel that will allow me to read or write aggrieved letters.

It’s time our civic authorities and police found a way to end this madness. Barricades, injunctions, spike belts … please give us back our peaceful neighbourhood.

Anne Moon

They are spoiled kids in an imaginary world

On Saturday I witnessed the parade of horn-blaring trucks, cars and people waving our flag and placards about freedom and conspiracies, to the legislature in solidarity with the truckers’ convoy’s arrival in Ottawa.

The mood was celebratory. The flag waving reminded me of the “patriots” who attacked the U.S. Congress. It was obvious from signs that a large number of those involved were riding the truckers’ bandwagon, many were simply anti-vaxxers, and it was about unhappiness generally with restrictions.

I could only marvel. Freedom, it seems, comes without responsibility to society and without consequences for one’s actions.

You are a patriot if you don’t want government to protect the health of the people. If you are tired of restrictions, it’s time to do away with them regardless of what happens to other people.

Being exceptional, only others get COVID, but if somehow you do you’ll expect and get hospital care like anyone else anyway. Somehow, by magic, COVID will go away because you wish it.

Feelings, conspiracies, quacks and social media are more to be trusted than scientists and health-care professionals. You aren’t selfish if you demand to be able to do as you please.

It doesn’t matter that the U.S., where such ideas are more prevalent, has far higher hospitalization and death rates. Sheeplike credulity becomes rugged individualism.

These are the beliefs and actions of spoiled kids living in a world that isn’t real. They are an insult to the great majority of us who have endured the restrictions for two years while they prolong the need for them, they stress our health-care system and health workers, and they endanger us.

Governments will be supported by the electorate if those who choose to not get vaccinated are shut out of all but essential activities.

Rob Garrard

The lunatic fringe takes on Terry Fox

It is reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of those participating in the so-called Freedom Convoy have never read, or even heard of, the 1936 book written by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

In desecrating a Terry Fox statue in the nation’s capital, these protest participants have revealed just how ignorant they are. ‚Äč

Fox embarked on his Marathon of Hope in 1980 to raise money to better cancer research and treatment. Today, there are many Canadians who are having their cancer treatments disrupted because the unvaccinated have put a strain on the finite resources of our publicly paid for health care system.

Had Terry Fox lived to see this day, he would have denounced these people in the strongest of terms.

The lasting memory from the actions of this band of misfits will be what they did to perhaps the one and only unassailable Canadian hero, Terry Fox.

The images will live in infamy, and those of thus who have done our part for the greater good, and rolled up our sleeves to get the jab, can finally feel OK about washing our hands of this lunatic fringe.

Trevor Amon

Respect those who died for our freedom

It is simply shocking and incredible that protesters claiming to seek freedom from government rules would actually desecrate the memories of those that died so they could have the right to protest.

They pretend to pursue freedom, yet they violate the monuments that commemorate those that gave their lives so that they could go on with their satirical objections.

Those organizing this venture should ensure it is done with respect for Canada and its values, and especially for those who died for their country.

Roger Cyr, OMM, CD

Disrespect for the rest on display in Ottawa

Shame on those who walked all over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and drove onto the Cenotaph grounds in Ottawa, monuments honouring those who sacrificed their lives to ensure the freedoms most of us have been privileged to enjoy for decades.

Shame also on those who demeaned the monument to Terry Fox, who sacrificed his life to raise funds that have enabled so many to beat cancer.

These protesters only exemplify the ignorance demonstrated by the vast majority of anti-vaxxers who claim it’s an infringement on their individual freedom to get vaccinated and help protect the health and lives of the community in which they live and which supports them.

Such selfishness and complete disregard and disrespect for the community (including their families, friends, health-care professionals, other first responders, and administrators jeopardizing their personal safety trying to get all of us safely to the end of the pandemic tunnel) are abhorrent and unacceptable.

Getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others from the ravages of COVID hardly equates to the courage exhibited by countless others who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and by those who presently serve and suffer to protect our freedom.

Sadly and unfortunately, self-discipline and respect for others appear to be headed toward the same black hole that seems to have consumed common sense.

Susan M. Woods

One health protest that deserves support

Thousands gather downtown to protest pandemic restrictions and support the truckers’ rally.

One-quarter of people in Greater Victoria do not have family doctors, the most important and basic part of health care, yet thousands protest vaccine mandates which protect everyone’s health.

There are a lot of misinformed and deceived people, whose priorities are very skewed.

Although I write letters to my elected representatives, I never protest. However, on the issue of family doctors I will make an exception; someone please organize a peaceful protest on the legislature lawn and I’ll be there.

Richard Volet

Carbon footprint from the protest

I would like to thank all the cars and trucks on the Saturday protest for polluting our environment with endless noise and exhaust. Nice job! Your carbon footprint was huge.

Neil Patrick

The true meaning of being a patriot

True patriot love means protecting your family, friends and community by getting yourself vaccinated, as 90 per cent of truckers have done.

It does not mean waving swastikas and U.S. Confederate flags while screaming about freedom, dancing on the National War Memorial, or desecrating the Terry Fox statue on Parliament Hill.

In all of us command.

Jamie Alley

Foolishness, absurdity on full display

I relate to and share the frustration of the protesters with the ongoing COVID restrictions and requirements.

However, I feel organizing and holding this demonstration is very irresponsible and a mockery to many Canadian citizens. After all, the continuing need for these mandates is because a small section of our society, the anti-vaxxers/maskers, didn’t feel they had to adhere to mandated directions.

These were largely the people responsible for the spread of COVID and the consequential continual need for masks and restrictions.

Go figure! They organized this act of disruption and civil disobedience, which only served to draw attention to their own foolishness and absurdity at a time of economic difficulties for many.

What kind of freedom are you trying to pursue for the people who passed away from COVID?

John Martin

The vaccine protests do not represent all

It is so difficult to watch another ideal disappear in my/your life. I was always under the misled illusion that somehow, we Canadians, were just a little bit better, a little nicer, more considerate than “others” we see shaming their country night after night on the television.

Those feelings ended last night as “Canadians” drove their monster trucks through various cities demonstrating against, well, whatever they were whining about this time, doing their best to emulate their Trump brothers to the south.

Why is it that when some people wish to be heard they drape themselves in their country’s flag (I’m still uncertain of where the Confederate flag reigns, but I assume it’s right beside the swastika) and then scream obscenities at the government “they” put in power.

If it is true, the media needs to spend a lot more of its air time pointing out the fact that these Canadians really are a very small minority of the Canadian people and less time giving platforms to people that don’t speak for the majority of us.

Ric Smith

Vaccines give us a path forward

Re: “Vaccine passports are not helping,” letter, Jan. 29.

No vaccine is a 100 per cent guarantee of immunity to disease. What it offers, however, is an effective protection of serious illness should we contract the virus. And that is what the science tells us.

What we do know is the unvaccinated can become very ill, and this is now evident in our overwhelmed hospital capacity.

Vaccine passports are needed where people gather. It acknowledges not just your vaccine status but also the status of others. Combined with mask wearing, social distancing and proper sanitation, it provides a path out of this pandemic.

Some might be suffering from COVID fatigue, but individual inconvenience is a small price to pay in the interest of public health.

Following the science is a reasonable course to take. After all, what other options do we have?

Margaret G. Hodgson

Wrong message in statue removal

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is sending the wrong message with its decision to remove permanently from the Inner Harbour the statue of world-renowned navigator Capt. James Cook.

The vandals who destroyed the statue and desecrated its base with red paint have won the day. This kind of anarchy has paid off.

The harbour authority and the city, instead of responding to this disgraceful display of destruction by restoring the statue to its rightful and lawful place, have agreed with the objective of the destroyers; to rid the harbour of this statue put in place and paid for by the taxpayers of the province.

Acknowledging the wrongs done to First Nations people is certainly appropriate.

But banishing and destroying the statue of a man who mapped our coast, was regarded as the greatest navigator of his era, traded with the Nootka population and had nothing to do with subsequent mistreatment of native people is, to put it mildly, inappropriate.

With this kind of endorsement by the powers that be, the extremists may now try to repeat their (thankfully) unsuccessful attempt to remove the statue of Queen Victoria from the grounds of the legislature.

Who’s next? Is Capt. George Vancouver to be taken down from the dome? Are we going to change the names of many of our streets, our city, our Island and our province for that matter?

It’s time to step back and put our history into perspective.

Dave Laundy
Cobble Hill


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