Editorial – It’s About Getting the Message Across In A Civil Manner During A Protest

In Editorial

Week two for the Palestine protest in front of Victoria Hall on Saturday December 16, 2023.

To be honest, we didn’t really know about the second protest, and the only reason we heard about the first was through a friend who walked by the group last Saturday.

Public school children to seniors were gathered in front of Victoria Hall.

This week, driving by Victoria Hall shortly before 2:30 p.m. it appeared to be the same people shouting and waving Palestinian flags as traffic went by. Sporadically at times, two cars with the same flags went by with horns honking.

Last week when Today’s Northumberland went to the protest, it was made evident to the protestors we didn’t have all the answers and certainly weren’t up to date on all the aspects of the war.

The entire world heard about Hamas and the horrific attack on October 7, where over 1,000 innocent people were brutally killed, raped and tortured.

But asking questions was what we had been looking for last week.

A comment by one of the protestors drew condemnation from many. The tweet garnered over 377,000 views.

A protestor who is studying journalism first spoke to us and answered questions about what was taking place. Then she got the second woman who made the atrocious comment that went viral.

Later in the week, the woman studying journalism even asked Today’s Northumberland to take down the video.

If the teacher ever heard she did that – it would be a failing grade for her to ask such a question for someone wanting to be a journalist.

The entire video was uploaded. There was nothing that we edited or hid. If there was someone to be upset with, it wasn’t Today’s Northumberland.

When I walked around the corner from Third Street this Saturday and the protestors saw who was walking up to them – it was evident I wasn’t welcome by most.

One man shouted for me to leave and that “you’re not welcome here.”

It was clear many were angry, but what wasn’t clear – is why the anger was directed at me?

The woman is the one who spoke and gave the comment.

We were just following up from the previous week. Thinking we spotted the same woman – she would have nothing to do with me.

But others did. Specifically one man who kept telling others to not talk to me.

It was childish behaviour coming from a grown adult.

It’s a protest – a protest is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one.

If no one talks – how do they get the message across?

Reminding the grown child that this is Canada and if people want to speak to anyone – they can.

Even though he was approaching me, he mentioned something about calling the police.

Another person who was extremely polite and tried to speak with Today’s Northumberland for several minutes, but the other person kept interrupting, “free, free Palestine!”

Barely able to hear the man who was trying to converse he said they were there trying to raise awareness.

A passerby then joined Today’s Northumberland, asking the group what the protest was about.

This time a small child came up and explained it the best he could.

“We’re trying to protect the things that are dying. Do you see that around the news?”

“We’re coming here to ask for freedom.”

Shortly after, the child was called away by the aggressive protestor.

It was clear, even though some wanted to speak with the media, the loud ones weren’t going to let that take place.

There is another protest happening next Saturday from 1 p.m. till 2 p.m. in front of Victoria Hall.

Let’s hope people who wish to have a civil dialogue about what is happening will show up and speak to the media and educate those who want to listen.

The grown children can stay at home and play video games.

Or maybe, like Today’s Northumberland, the ones shouting also know very little about what is happening and were only able to say three words.

Either way – education through communication.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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