Regarding the letter you published Jan. 11 about the "Idle No More" mob, I have a different perspective on the event.
I was there. I noticed that there was a growing crowd, mostly First Nations men and women. Many were carrying drums and signs. There were lots of children and many more elders. I noticed three native young people standing by and asked, "Is this one of those flash mobs I have been seeing and hearing about lately?"
I was told yes, and that the event would take place at 3: 45 p.m. I decided to stick around and watch.
While it was noisy due to the acoustics of the mall, the crowd in no way appeared angry or threatening. If anything, they were dancing, singing (including the national anthem), clapping their hands and having a pretty good time. No one was pushed out of the way or even jostled. As mobs go, this was a fairly well behaved crowd. I noticed so many children there and one young man, either a father or an uncle, was buying ice cream sundaes for all. I was even offered one!
About 5 p.m., I decided that it was time to get to the grocery store to pick up dinner. The event was still going strong but halfway through the mall shop clerks seemed unaware that anything was going on.
The writer states that customers were fleeing and the parking lots were gridlock. This was probably due to the mall closing at 6 p.m. and people growing bored and heading home - and, don't forget the major construction work in the parking lot.
The writer says that they did not know who they were, where they were from or what they were angry about. Well, she could have done what I did: ask.
She states "shame on the government for allowing it." Well, imagine living in a country that does not allow peaceful, albeit noisy but non-violent, protest. I did not see any windows smashed, bloodied participants, looting, tear gas or anyone being trampled.
I did not feel intimidated, bullied or threatened, and I am a short, 56-year-old white woman whose arms were filled with Christmas shopping bags. Even with arms full, I still had space to take videos and pictures of the event with my cellphone. It's time for all of us to start paying attention to what is happening. A people does not start up a nation-wide, non-violent protest just for the fun or inconvenience of it.
Terry Platt West Vancouver
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