Should it be a crime to cover your face during a riot?
by CBC Community Team Posted: May 8, 2012 11:49 AM
It may soon be a crime to cover your face with a mask or other means during a riot.
Should wearing a mask during a riot be a crime?(Andrew Burton/Associated Press)Bill-309, proposed by Alberta Conservative MP Blake Richards, would provide for penalties of up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 for rioters who wear a mask or disguise.
The bill was introduced as a private member's bill in October 2011, but it reached the House justice committee on Tuesday. (Click here for full article.)
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So today I was reading the article above on the CBC website. The truth is I am very angry. I am angry at the government. The Canadian government is a sell out, and from what I have been seeing worldwide as of the last few years it is not the only one. Now, it is hard for me to admit, but I know I am not alone in this. I have been afraid of the Canadian government for some time now. I have also been afraid of the American government for some time. I am not American, but the American government and the choices it makes largely affects Canadians and the choices our government makes. So I am afraid and fear makes me angry.
I have participated in a grand total of 2 peaceful protests in my life. Both were small scale events. I have never participated in a riot. The reason I probably don't participate in more peaceful protests is because the bigger the event the more chance of a handful of people taking things too far. That's how riots occur. Riots are not something that is usually planned. Protests are planned. Protests are organized. Riots happen when people are afraid and angry and a group mindset takes over.
There are a number of things to blame for the start of riots. The first one is fear. FEAR creates ANGER. When people are afraid of their government, when their rights are infringed upon and they feel threatened or unsafe, then they do stupid things in a fight or flight manner. If they're fighters then things get violent. That's how riots form. Not everyone involved in a riot is necessarily a fighter by nature (and quite honestly you can have flight instincts sometimes and fight instincts other times. Survival 101) but in the case of a large group being present it is easy to feel you will be lost in the crown and not be accountable for your actions. That sort of mindset can cause you to act in ways you wouldn't otherwise.
The government is giving us a lot to be afraid of right now. We are afraid of the economy and the financial stability of our families. We are afraid of the police because they are given so much power by the government and media. We are afraid of guns in our schools and terrorists at our borders. We are afraid of the food we eat because it is making us fat or filled with all sorts of questionable chemicals. We are afraid of the nuclear meltdown in Japan and the radiation reaching North America. We are afraid of being different, because deep down Canada was built on a patriarchal system where being a young, white, heterosexual man is still the best thing you can be. We are afraid to let our children play outside or go trick or treating. We are afraid of being murdered walking home at night. We are afraid of gangs, drugs, and violence. We are afraid to voice our opinions. We are afraid of being persecuted even if we live honest, decent lives. Public servants are afraid of losing their jobs if they take a stand. We are afraid of our government. We are afraid of our institutions. We are afraid of being true to ourselves and being hurt. We are afraid of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is because we are afraid of all these things (and many more) that we sit with our heads down and our mouths shut and ignore what happens on Parliament hill. That is exactly what our government wants. That is exactly how we got a Conservative majority after Stephen Harper went being closed doors and passed all those bills limiting our freedom. That is exactly why no other party has the power to challenge him. We are not demanding accountability from our government. We need to start now!
I stopped watching the news on TV. I stopped reading the paper, or even magazines. Media makes me feel more afraid. It is full of sensational headlines that create fear among us when really our country is a lot more stable and successful than in the past. We just don't notice because we are sucked into our TVs and computers and other technology. We don't notice because we are bombarded with negative self images and negative views of the world from the moment we get up each day. We self-hate. We live in fear. We let fear run our lives. We allow ourselves to be passive, when really we should be fighting for our freedom and the freedom of our children. Sometimes though, we don't even realize how much fear we are living in. We don't realize most of the illness we go through is because of the stress we are under everyday. We feel dependent on our government. We cling to it like a safety net. It's like clinging to a tattered umbrella because you didn't know how to mend your parachute.
So please. Wake up! Be courageous! Question! Don't let our freedom be taken away.