Monday, May 11, 2009

Tamil Protesters Hold Up Toronto

Tamil protesters have taken Canada’s largest city hostage, in an attempt to gain political action from the Canadian government.

Last night, over 2,000 protesters caused the complete shutdown of Toronto’s two major highways – the Gardener Expressway (which runs east-west) and the southbound lanes of the connecting Don Valley Parkway (the northbound lanes remained open).

The protesters were claiming that they would continue to block these major routes into and through the city’s downtown core until a representative from the federal government met with them to discuss their concerns over the war in their homeland. The war back home for the Tamil protesters has lasted over two-decades and shows no end in sight.

The protesters left after midnight Monday night, after hearing that the federal Liberal party would bring up their concerns in caucus.

Previous protests – the city has seen several over the past few months – have been peaceful, and the protesters have respected the rights of others by allowing them to pass.

Not last night – the protesters cut off two major arteries running through the city, in an attempt to strengthen delivery of their message.

The only thing that did get stronger was the need to quash any further protests before they get out. Last night’s protest shows us that these people – regardless of whatever it is they want – don’t respect the rights and freedoms of others, and they are willing to do harm to others for their own cause.

Numerous protesters interviewed on various local television and radio stations said that they wouldn’t move unless forced to move by the police, or unless their demands were met.

Lucky for us, those protesters got what they wanted – else there probably would be chaos. Police were in extremely high numbers at the protest – re-enforcements were called in from the regions surrounding the city, including York, Durham and Peel, and off-duty cops were also asked to participate. Many were in full riot gear, including gas masks – meaning the police were expecting a possible confrontation.

Previous demonstrations have seen their share of police activity, but not in as great numbers, and certainly not in full riot getup.

The cost to Canadian taxpayers to police these on-going protests must be staggering, and if violence is to be expected, our politicians shouldn’t cave in to these terrorist-like demands.

Make no mistake about it – these protesters are no different than terrorists now that they have deemed the public’s right to free and unfettered mobility as a bargaining chip to get their way. They have decided upon themselves that it’s okay to close down the economic center of the country, until they get whatever it is they want.

We are lucky that this time, their demands were easy to meet. Next time, we might not fair so well.

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