Rynor: Canada Day protests in Ottawa – this is no love letter

Here’s how many of us are seeing your “freedom protest”.

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This is not a love letter…

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• To the woman in the pink t-shirt, spitting, nasty names and swear words in the face of the police officer preventing you and your friends from paralyzing downtown Ottawa on the weekend last: please go home and find something better to do with your seemingly considerable time and resources. Could you volunteer at a food bank or women’s shelter? Walk your neighbor’s dog? Some of your friends seem politically blind, deaf and dumb. Could you lead 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 surely resisted the urge to put on the pink T-shirt in a straitjacket and put her in a corner for a timeout: mad respect.

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• To the young, dark-skinned couple trying to get rental bikes back to the Chateau Laurier: you looked rightly scared walking into the middle of this angry confrontation. I am sorry. Also be aware that people walking around in their underwear with Canadian flags draped around various parts of their bodies were not part of the sanctioned Canada Day festivities.

• To the hundreds of people who lined up to line up at Pearson International to meet one of your leaders: I’m sorry no one told you that you could have lined up at nearby Confederation Park to meet some of the true prophets of our age, at one of the most prestigious musical events of the year — the International Jazz Festival. I hope everything your messiah chews, swallows and regurgitates on you was worth the wait.

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• To the musicians and performers of the Jazz Festival: thank you. You enlightened; transportable; Divine.

• To Canada’s veterans: I’m sorry that our cenotaph has been turned into a meeting, photo and political platform for the grumpy and mean-spirited.

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

• To my friend and neighbor who wants the media to stop giving these people ink or airtime: you’re right. I will try. But it’s been a long career of running to train wrecks, hells and sideshows. It might not be easy to look away the next time – that’s right, the next time – that convoy comes to town.

Becky Rynor is a writer from Ottawa.

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