LETTERS: Police officers’ passive response to protests found objectionable

LETTERS: Police officers’ passive response to protests found objectionable

Editor:

Open letter to MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay and MLA Tracy Redies:

I write to express disappointment and concern about policing (lack of) response to assorted recent blockades.

I was stuck on a delayed ferry sailing recently, while police socialized with people blocking private citizens from public venues.

While waiting, I phoned both the RCMP and municipal police in that jurisdiction to query, then complain about their inaction. The spokespersons’ remarks were on the lines of:

“They’re keeping the peace;”

“They’re monitoring the situation;”

“They’re maintaining a dialogue.”

I remarked that those passive, ineffectual submissions could be achieved by any array of $13/hour mall cops. When private citizens are physically blocked by law-breakers from public facilities, well, that’s when we taxpayers expect law enforcement to enforce the law.

Note that I make no remark about the merits or motivations of the protesters.

I object to their methods. There are lots of places to demonstrate, lobby, raise awareness and protest. People blocking others’ free movement is criminal obstruction.

I object to police passivity. Police should treat people the same irrespective of race, and treat Aboriginal protesters with the same prompt service that I would expect, if I were to physically block local Aboriginals from going about their business; that is to say, “You are under arrest. Turn around and place your hands behind your back.”

Soft-handing blockading bullies is wrong. Have your provincial, and federal, attorneys-general fix this: Have them direct police to promptly arrest law-breakers, and prosecutors to press for fines and jail.

David Danylyshyn, South Surrey

Letter to the Editor