By Stephanie Swensrude

Black lives matter protest in downtown Edmonton June 2 2020

Photo by Karlie Mickanuik

For the people out there who are obviously very confused, there is a specific method of protest that is RIGHT. After all, there are laws we have to obey!

First of all, looting and rioting is not right. Even though a suspicious-looking undercover police-man allegedly smashed in the windows of the AutoZone in Minneapolis last week, sparking the looting, that is not right. Yes, Target funds the Minneapolis Police Department and the looted location refused to sell milk and other supplies to protestors suffering from chemical burns. But those protestors need to understand that flatscreen TVs and Nintendo Switches have inherent value, equal or more than their own lives. I mean, I can take police brutality, but stealing from a tiny, family-owned business like Target?! How dare they!

Protests need to be PEACEFUL. What is not peaceful is when I’m trying to get to work and I am FOUR AND A HALF MINUTES LATE because those damn protestors are causing traffic delays! I know that people are literally dying, but c’mon, my boss is gonna be PISSED that I’m late. And now I won’t have time to get my Tim Horton’s!

Oh, and those VIA Rail blockades from earlier this year? Admittedly, before the protest, I had no idea what “Wet’suwet’en” even meant… but if those Indigenous people want change, they should simply vote! As we all know, the Canadian government has a long history of letting Indigenous people vote: a whole entire 38 years! And I’m sure if they just used their words and asked nicely, the government would be happy to listen.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on Kapernick kneeling during the American national anthem. How dare he put a knee on the ground during a song?! That is for sure not the way to make people aware of the violent systemic racism prevalent in Canada and the United States.

History shows that violent protests have NEVER resulted in revolutionary change. The LGBT community at Stonewall asked nicely for police to stop killing them, and it worked! The French Revolution started by the French nicely approaching Bastille and requesting that Marie Antoinette “pretty please” help the peasants. The American colonists asked nicely to stop being taxed, and it worked. If people of colour want the police to stop killing them, they just need to simply ask. If they said something like “I can’t breathe”, I’m sure that would have worked.

Did they try that?