Westward Independent

LtE: Intimidation at Safe Spaces Event

by Westward Independent
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I was disappointed to not attend the Safe Spaces Educational Event at the Community Centre, on Sat. June 8th. I did not feel safe.

When my husband and I drove by the James Street Community Centre an hour before, we saw a rowdy mob in front of the Centre an hour before the event, to intimidate, harass and block those who wanted to attend to hear respected researchers speak about gender issues. Unfortunately, dealing with these traumatizing behaviours and abuse by counter-protesters, was something I chose not to expose myself to again. I did not feel safe based on similar events at a previous Nanaimo event. At this event, they screamed, “No Space for Hate”, aggressively yelling and pushing signs into our faces, and clanging cowbells to drown out speakers, despite our peaceful group moving 3 times to avoid conflict. 

I saw the same signs with this group. The hate and anger they displayed made their signs a complete irony. It’s hard to fathom how this group waves signs claiming to promote “safe spaces for all”, yet they object to safe spaces for all women and children in public facilities. The event scheduled had been pre-screened by Community Centre Staff and not considered to be hateful, yet this crowd of protesters was. RCMP was not there, despite the known violence this group has caused in Victoria and Nanaimo. This behaviour demonstrates they only believe in safe spaces for those who are LGBTQ2S+, rather than EVERYBODY. Apologies for any missed letter(s). This does not constitute discrimination or hate speech, just not being able to keep up with the constantly changing English language. I also believe that many gays and lesbians prefer NOT to be associated with this group because of their actions. 

We need to stand together when it comes to PROTECTING CHILDREN AND PARENTAL RIGHTS FOR MINORS, WHICH IS THE ISSUE. It is very sad that this group refuses to have rational discussions and continues to create diversity. It is even sadder that Unions and taxpayer-supported government workers are encouraged to participate, sometimes during work days.

Lorene Benoit

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