Rynor: The Canada Day protests in Ottawa: This is not a love letter

Here’s how many of us see their ‘protest for freedom’.

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This is not a love letter…

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• To the woman in the pink shirt, spitting, cursing and swearing in the face of the police officer who stopped you and your friends from paralyzing downtown Ottawa last weekend: please go home and find something best thing to do with your seemingly considerable time and resources. Could you volunteer at a food bank or women’s shelter? Walking your neighbor’s dog? Some of your friends seem to be politically blind, deaf and dumb. Could you organize a study group and read the Constitution of Canada together? A tutorial on the meaning of democracy would be helpful and perhaps surprising to you.

• To the cop who was surely resisting the urge to stuff the pink shirt into a straitjacket and put it in a corner for a time-out: insane respect.

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• To the young brown-skinned couple trying to return rental bikes to Château Laurier: He seemed justifiably scared at the prospect of walking into the middle of this angry confrontation. I am sorry. Also note that people walking around in their underwear with Canadian flags on various parts of their bodies were not part of the sanctioned Canada Day festivities.

• To the hundreds of people who lined up rivaling customs at Pearson International to meet one of your leaders: I’m sorry no one told you that you could have been lining up at nearby Confederation Park to meet some of the true prophets of our age, in one of the most prestigious musical events of the year: the International Jazz Festival. I hope whatever your messiah chewed, swallowed and regurgitated was worth the wait.

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• To the musicians and performers of the Jazz Festival: thank you. You were enlightening; conveyor; divine.

• To Canada’s veterans: I am sorry that our cenotaph has become a gathering, photo op and political platform for the cranky and petty.

• To the citizens of Ottawa: You don’t want to know what this latest attempt to stop the squatters from trampling on our city has cost you. Just add it to the tab already estimated at millions of dollars.

• To my friend and neighbor who wishes the media would stop giving ink or airtime to these people: You’re right. I’ll try to. But it’s been a long run of running to train wrecks, hell and sideshows. It may not be easy to look the other way next time, that’s right, next time this convoy comes to town.

Becky Rynor is a writer from Ottawa.

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