Two Victoria residents face charges after an April 20 protest in Langford that impacted traffic northbound toward the Malahat. (Save Old Growth/Twitter)

Two Victoria residents face charges after an April 20 protest in Langford that impacted traffic northbound toward the Malahat. (Save Old Growth/Twitter)

EDITORIAL: When protests turn into stunts

It’s a shame protesters increasingly believe the only way to get their points across is by disrupting the lives of others.

It’s one thing when they are disrupting the lives of those they are protesting, but when they start imposing their will upon society as a whole, they risk the danger of alienating themselves from supporters.

Case in point: the latest series of protests by opponents of provincial logging policies.

Blocking access to a company’s old-growth logging routes in a protest of old-growth logging is one thing.

But forming a human blockade along major highways is no longer a peaceful protest; it’s an antagonistic stunt — and a dangerous one at that.

We are in favour of peaceful protests and understand the frustration of those who feel their protests are falling on deaf ears. However, when your right to protest interferes with someone else’s right to, say, health care or education, a line has been crossed. And when protesters completely block access along highways, they are interfering with other people’s rights.

Perhaps an ambulance gets stuck in the traffic jam, turning a life-and-death situation into something for the coroner to report on. Maybe someone misses their final exam at university because they got caught behind a protest, thereby failing the course. Someone else may have lost a job due to unreported absenteeism.

These are just a few of the hypothetical circumstances to such protests.

It’s no different than the truckers’ convoy that occupied Ottawa. Those participants were hell-bent on making their point, regardless of how their actions affected others.

It’s unlikely groups such as Save Old Growth (the organization behind these latest stunts) see themselves as being in the same vein as Freedom Convoy participants, but by using the same forms of protests — blocking major thoroughfares — they’ve done just that. And they are losing allies with their actions. Forcing an agenda upon others rarely has the desired effect.

–Black Press

Editorialsforestryprotest

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