It’s no secret that Vancouver loves a good protest. There are times when public demonstrations have been helpful, such as exposing the human rights violations of Saudi Arabia when it was exposed that Ethiopian workers were being brutally tortured within the country.
There are other times when such social intervention has been less than helpful. This is not due to the message, but the manner in which the message is conveyed.
Vancouver has been a hot bed for aggressive protestors. We have seen aggression from anti-Olympic protesters, harassment of Pidgin restaurant operators and customers in the downtown Eastside and now with Yaletown’s Brooklyn Clothing. These are by no means all of the aggression that has been thrust upon Vancouver’s businesses in the last handful of years, but you get the idea.
Confrontational protesting in Vancouver has been seemingly on the rise in recent years. For some groups, it seems that this is becoming their default method for communicating ideas quickly.
Don’t misunderstand my position as the world most certainly needs public demonstrations. However, it should be intelligent protest.
There are those who will maintain that nothing important has been attained without showing the powers that be that we the people mean businesses. That may be true. To that extent, I wish to remind these folks that you may be right, but remember the context of what you’re protesting in this instance: fur use.
If we stop using fur, world hunger will not evaporate. Droughts will not disappear. We won’t start to love our neighbours.
Why the menacing acts?
You have the right to disagree, but not to terrorize. It is clear that through their methods of confronting customers, passersby and nearby residents of Brooklyn Clothing that the Vancouver Animal Defence League does not care about people.
There is no cause that can excuse you to make an elderly woman passing by your gathering feel directly threatened. There is no justification to aggressively harass those who make different choices that vary from yours.
This case is close to my family because my grandparents are mink farmers in British Columbia. They harvest the fur as humanely as possible and utilize the remaining parts of the animal by providing protein to the pet food industry.
Like many others, their livelihood is made from the fur industry and they elect to be responsible when it comes to their participation within it.
If you feel that an issue requires protest, do your research. Justify your stance. Disclose your credible sources. Then get out there and tell the world why you are unhappy.
Do all of this, but do not stoop to the level of aggression. Nobody respects or listens to a bully.