• Gilad Maianski

The Washington 'Protest'

Around 4:00pm in the Capitol Building of Washington DC on Wednesday, January 6th 2020, a swarm of right wing Republicans invaded. In the past four years, the division between the Left and the Right have grown exponentially, and this act in the closing days of President Trump’s presidency, truly demonstrates how far both sides have separated. Before these events, Trump was delivering a speech in front of his supporters, asking them to “give… our Republicans, the weak ones... the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country". After this call to arms, the protest erupted into acts of violence that many would define as domestic terrorism. With threats to the police who were stationed outside the Capitol, property of the Government being destroyed, and the discovery of two explosive devices found nearby, it would be ignorant to address these actions as peaceful protesting of the election results.

This event perfectly encapsulates the hypocrisy surrounding the Trump Administration and its followers. When the Black Lives Matter Movement rightfully protested against the deaths of innocent black lives, and black people were angry to be continually faced with a justice system that refused to protect them, the Right referred to them as “thugs” and “rioters”. Since May, around 19 lives were lost during the peaceful protests against the Police Force of America. Cops felt zero hesitation to mace and fire rubber bullets at these crowds. However, when a storm of predominantly white people break into a government building illegally, only one person is shot. It is important to understand that, no one is saying that those on the Right should have been shot at more, we are stating that there is no reason why the action against those who protested for BLM, was so much more severe. Even President-elect, Joe Biden, commented on this contrast, tweeting “no one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol''.

It is evident that the justice system in America is inherently flawed, and in need of radical readjustment and reevaluation, but we cannot just be content with the system in our own Canada. The RCMP’s action, or lack thereof, in the dispute between Mi'kmaw and Commercial fisherman, reflect the same problems as the American police. When you go to bed tonight, think of the people who will not be protected by the law. To be silent as the lives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) are constantly under the threat of police brutality, is to be complicit. Let’s take action and challenge an unfair power. Below are resources to further educate yourselves and to aid the cause.