Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What I Don't Know Can't Hurt Me?

To all of my friends to the south of us, Happy Independence Day. I truly hope you are all safe and happy as you celebrate with your families. That being said, my friends Ethel and Lucy have put a new spin on things and are proposing a Declaration of Independence II that's worth a read. Clever gals, those two.

Unfortunately, I am not well enough informed to speak on the the situation in the US or even what's happening in the world today. I do read and try and keep up on things but I mostly keep my opinions to myself as I'm definitely no expert. I do think it's tragic, however, that people aren't being heard by their government and that some continue to steamroll their way through like bullies at the school playground.That there seems to be little accountability or honesty. It's frightening and I really don't know that I would've ever had kids if I'd known the world would be in this predicament. Will hope ever be restored? Will we ever live in peace or is this vision of acquiring peace through killing what we're stuck with? I know, it's not even about peace is it? It's about greed and power and those two things right there will get you in trouble everytime. (And then there's this guy....)

Even in our own back yard, it starts on a small scale and grows into something bigger when left unchecked. I just heard an example yesterday that made me question what things are coming to. And how far they can go.

People were celebrating a soccer win (apparently very loudly and disruptively). We've all been there, done that. Hell, just look to the streets of Vancouver after a playoff win by the Canucks to see things go wild. Anyhow, in the police's defense, noone is above the law and the fact that these people had children piled in the back of a moving vehicle was grounds to pull them over. It's a serious safety issue and, celebration or not, it creates a dangerous situation. This I feel strongly about - many years ago a boy from our neighbourhood fell out of a moving truck and is permanently brain damaged because of it. Coincidentally, it was on the July 1st holiday weekend. His life was changed forever in a split second moment of recklessness. And the very fact that the man driving the truck in this recent incident didn't stop when instructed to and was confrontational when he eventually did warranted police action. It's the've got to pull over for police, plain and simple. And they get agitated when you don't. (I must say though, after have viewed the video, I don't see the man being confrontational as reported. I think things looked calm and the police officers appear to be smiling with the man, which contradicts the reports of him being aggressive). I do think, however, that the very boisterous children in the crowd should've been instructed by the adults there to "cool it" while police attended the scene. They failed to do that and it was their responsibility to quell the rowdiness when necessary. Let's face it, when you're addressing the police, a certain level of respect should be initiated by BOTH sides. And, in fairness to both sides, I think that everyone involved could've done more to avoid this situation. A little cooperation by everyone there and this might not have erupted as it did.

The end result......babies got peppered sprayed?! Please, someone tell me how this happens because there is no justifying it for me. Again - I blame all parties involved, not just police. The mothers, who screamed and yelled at police, had no business doing so with their babies in their arms. As mothers, it's our duty to get them out of harm's way...not move closer to it. Right or wrong, you give up the fight to get your child to safety and don't keep them in a volatile environment. And you certainly shouldn't be moving towards the scene in an arrest that's quickly escalating into a hostile environment...very irresponsible. You walk away and shield your baby from what's going down. In the same breath, the police had no business putting those children in harm's way either...I just don't think the pepper spray was necessary or helped diffuse the situation at all. Poor judgement by all involved.

There are two sides to every coin and this is no exception. The people celebrating did behave in a rowdy manner that police viewed as a threat at some be it. But don't police understand that you don't fight fire with fire? Sure, they've got to take control of the situation and use authority to do so, but their actions were completely unwarranted as I saw it. They had the man under arrest and should've just proceeded to put him in the cruiser. Perhaps if they'd tried to be civilized and calm the already fired up crowd, they'd have had more success. This seems to happen a lot - police go in very confrontationally and in a threatening manner and what does that solve? S.F.A. It makes me question whether they really want to resolve things or if they just want to prove who's "boss". You just don't fight fire with fire...everyone knows that. If you want peace, you demonstrate peace. If you're trying to stop violence, you don't use violence. Seems so very simple.

I've all but shut down the news in this house (just for awhile). I know, a stick my head in the sand attitude is really quite irresponsible. But everytime I see something like this I just get so disheartened that I lose hope. So it's my survival mechanism that I become temporarily numb and immune to it all. For, in my little fantasy world everything's alright and we're all going to be ok. Care to join me in that?


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