Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe posted a tweet on Tuesday supporting the right to protest peacefully in Canada but not to vandalize war memorials. The province's NDP leader, Ryan Meili, disagreed saying that it is not necessary to focus on one act of vandalism.
The vandalized memorial was close to the provincial legislative building in Regina and had “Justice for Floyd #BLM” written on it.
Moe tweeted, “Peaceful protest is always welcome at our Legislature, such as the rally taking place later this morning against racial injustice. Vandalism is not acceptable. Last night, the War Memorial near @SKLegAssembly was vandalized. This is outrageous.”
Meili responded, “If this is what outrages the premier today, he's not paying attention. With the world hurting, with black people in our province hurting, making this single act of vandalism the focus sends the exact wrong message. Our anger today, our action today, must move us toward justice.”
These are examples of two clashing ideas at the moment as many people believe that peaceful protests are welcome and effective while acts of violence and vandalism are ineffective and damaging. Others believe that any type of protest against racism or law enforcement is warranted if it is for a good cause—including vandalism.
One user responded to Moe's tweet saying, “What’s outrageous is your concern over a thing that can be cleaned...families losing loved ones because of the colour of their skin is the truly outrageous thing. Redirect your concern to how POC are treated in our province. That’s where the work is.”
Another was taken back by this as their brother’s name is on the memorial.
“Excuse me, but the memorial is not just a thing. My brother's name is on that memorial because he lost his life while serving his country,” the user said. “Every name on that memorial is there for the same reason. Every name represents a family who suffered the loss of a loved one.”
As the riots continue to break out in the United States, acts of violence continue to be committed. Recently, riots even broke out in Montreal, Quebec after peaceful protests turned violent and eventually began looting.
In Toronto, shops have boarded up their windows and doors as a precautionary measure.