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Letters, Feb. 21: dangers of anarchy; social change not easy; who are hereditary chiefs?

Don’t let dark shadows destroy our lives Anarchy is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “A state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority.
Protesters walk down Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The protesters are standing in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to the LNG pipeline in northern British Columbia.

Don’t let dark shadows destroy our lives

Anarchy is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “A state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority.” It calls for the abolition of the state which it holds to be undesirable.

Anarchists, whose sole job it is to cause chaos and to encourage the breakdown of society, have always walked among us. They seek the cover of righteous causes and in darkness, they foment their hidden agendas, unbeknownst to the majority of protesters.

Protesters often have legitimate reasons to protest against perceived injustices but are then carefully manipulated into specific illegal activities such as “blockades” crucial to our infrastructure and into using such phrases as “Shut down the country,” which is only the anarchists’ hope.

I doubt that most of the young protesters would want to follow the road of anarchy, if they had only known the results.

These are well-paid, professional anarchists. They want to fan the flames of dissent. They promote violence. They promote hatred.

They promote lawlessness. They want us to get angry at each other.

They want us to raise the spectre of racism to divide us.

They desire to manipulate us by trying to create chaos through lawlessness . They want us to be very angry, to start hating each other and call each other names.

They want Canadians to be solely focused on negative feelings to each other. They thrive on our anger and discontentment. They dance around the fires of racism and intolerance. It’s their livelihood.

I was inspired, of late, by the words of Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon of the Mohawk Nation. He has urged Canadians “not to give up on each other.”

He is absolutely right.

Do not give up on ourselves. Do not give up on peace and cohabitation. Do not give up on compassion and understanding. Do not give up on a country that takes in all manner of humanity because we believe in fairness, equality and the right to disagree when we are mistreated.

When we get angry and we want to punish and seek retribution, we are nothing more than puppets acting out every anarchist’s wet dream. How easily we are manipulated.

How embarrassing to have our emotions carefully controlled by these dark shadows.

D.J. Anderson

Money will make the problem go away

What isn’t being written about in any media I read is the inevitable paycheque to make the protesters go away.

The pipelines are going through. It’s too late to stop them now without the federal and provincial governments looking even more ridiculous than they already do.

The bottom line is somebody will get paid in cash or land and it will come from taxpayers’ pockets.

C. Scott Stofer

In the end, one law gives us no choice

There has been a lot of talk lately about respecting the rule of law. It is the current position from almost every level of government in response to the recent demonstrations supporting the Wet’suwet’en.

As I see it, there are three distinct rules of law to respect.

First are the laws of Canada. Second are the laws of the Wet’suwet’en. Third are the laws of physics.

In this current impasse we may eventually decide to ignore one or two of these sets of laws, but if we ignore physics, it is at all of our peril. Climate change is real and it cannot be ignored.

The question is not whether the pipeline should go through Wet’suwet’en territory but whether it should be built at all.

Fred Mallach

Let’s hear from the hereditary chiefs

Re: “No one voice can speak for the Wet’suwet’en,” by Jack Knox, Feb. 19.

Apparently the hereditary chief titles are passed down through families over generations, somewhat akin to royal succession. It’s not clear in reporting who the hereditary chiefs are, certainty as to how many there are, and how they exercise power.

What is clear is that for many there appears to be acceptance of the inherent noble stature and good faith of the hereditary chiefs. The title itself has venerable connotations.

Yet as is often the case with Indigenous Peoples who have been grievously treated by their conquerors, certain status has been granted that can result in reflexive cultural deferences which in reality may or may not have merit.

We live and breathe clichés. Trust in God. Bow to the king. Take a man at his word. Believe all women. Should I side with hereditary chiefs I actually know nothing about?

First Nations enjoy natural constituencies of those legitimately angry about the heartbreaks of colonialism. Some are permanently disenchanted. Clearly mistakes were made and injustices committed. Such is the human condition.

So here we are. How do we proceed? Our country strives to be constituted by the rule of law. Cede the rule of law and we are lost to the proverbial wind.

To be clear, my sympathies are with the left-behind, exploited, disadvantaged and downtrodden. I am willing to personally sacrifice for righteous causes.

Yet if I am going to miss my appointment with a medical specialist, for which I waited eight weeks, or pay significantly more for gasoline, or read about municipal water systems unable to purify due to supplies being blockaded, I need to feel more than knee-jerk solidarity.

The public needs to see and hear directly from the hereditary chiefs in whose names disruptive blockades and protests are being imposed on innocent, law-abiding citizens.

Charles Harp

Other than protesting, what do they do?

Do any of these protesters work or go to school? Who pays them, where do they live?

Our governments seem to be paralyzed.

Wendy Darbey

Putting their necks on the line for us

No one enjoys idling in traffic when protesters block a road or bridge. And who wants to navigate a protest line to access a government building?

When suffragettes chained themselves to London post boxes, blocked the race track at Ascot, and staged demos in the House of Commons, the “majority who value the rule of law” were relieved to see them carted off to prison.

And when civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama blocked state highways and public streets, no doubt many ordinary citizens agreed that police were just upholding law and order when they tear gassed, clubbed and shot the marchers.

And when Toronto police raided gay clubs in the 1980s, arresting and imprisoning people simply for being gay, I am sure many Torontonians were thankful that police and the law were protecting society from immorality, deviancy and sodomy.

Social change is never easy. Sometimes all we can do is be patient as we wait in traffic while others put their necks on the line for all of us.

Ivan Bulic
Gabriola Island

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