This was bullying on an epic scale:
On Dec. 23, the south mall of Park Royal Shopping Centre was closed down by a terrifying mob of natives waving banners. The drumming was so loud it was deafening.
The merchants, staff and customers were at first scared and terrified - and then angry! We did not know what was going on, why it was going on, or what we should do.
At 3: 30 p.m., the centre court of the south mall started filling up with natives, security guards and police, and then more and more natives and police. The police presence only justified our fears.
The drumming started at around 3: 45 p.m. and it just kept getting louder and louder. I let all my staff go home as soon as the drumming started to get ugly, many of them were in tears by then. Customers were fleeing also; the parking lots were gridlocked.
I found out halfway through that we were allowed to close up and go, but we were not told that by the mall or the police. At the very least we should have been given that option before this time. If they couldn't stop the demonstration, why were we not warned? We didn't know who they were, where they came from, what they were angry about or what it had to do with us. It was bad enough to lose the business but if we had been warned, we could have closed up our stores and kept our staff safe.
The merchants probably lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. A lot of us rely on the last few days of December. The livelihood of merchants, their families and staff depend on this business.
Shame on our government for allowing it!
Shame on the local bands for supporting it!
And most of all, shame on the first nation bands who think that closing down businesses and highways with mobs whose intent is to intimidate, scare and terrify peaceful people is an appropriate way to make a point.
What is their point anyway?
Lin Rockwell, owner Phoenix & Romantique
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