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Dear Ottawa: Welcome to the Front Lines

For the better part of three weeks the citizens of Ottawa have been held hostage by Freedom Protesters – and yes I use that term loosely. Finally, Canada is seeing the white supremacy that I’ve been talking about for years, and honestly? I don’t feel sorry for you.

When people in Vancouver marched to show solidarity with George Floyd there was a huge difference between what happened that day and what’s happening now. These people took a shit – literally sorry to be so crass, – on a war memorial.

They put their children in front of them, on camera, for the world to see, to illicit some kind of apologetic response from the police, and they honked their horns and partied in the streets for 3 weeks straight refusing to give neighbors and community members a break. That’s actually called sound torture, and it’s illegal.

I wondered what it would take. Fifty-four more babies didn’t teach you, but if having your sleep for three weeks disturbed shows you the difference between white supremacists and the way they protest in comparison to the rest of us then fuck it, you deserve it. We done told you.

If you don’t think that we are at war with these white supremacists who align themselves with defenders of nazi ideology then you aren’t paying attention to the last thousand years. Every empire battles its citizens, and every citizen has to decide to stand for something.

These people don’t want freedom, they want free money and the right to do whatever they want when they want without paying the consequences. They don’t want to find space in our society, they want to overtake our society and return to the days of nazis, and I’m sorry but I’m just not going to allow that to happen.

I’m inspired by teachers, soldiers, politicians, actors, singers, dancers, people who see the world and want to make it better, they’re inspired by hatred.

They don’t believe in immigration, they don’t believe in women having the right to choose, they don’t believe in protecting our most vulnerable people, and have in fact been seen – again I say this – putting their children on the front fucking lines in between themselves and cops.

These are not good people. They are entitled, selfish, horrible people who think that everything should be handed to them. They watched The Handmaid’s Tale and thought “oh I want that.” It’s a show about rape culture, I want an end to that kind of culture and they want to give birth to it.

They support Trump – they were supported by American’s and God knows who else, believe in tearing down democracy by throwing money at the problem and adding fuel to the fire. These are awful people.

The problem isn’t that they weren’t allowed to protest. They had 3 weeks. Several weeks ago I watched a video of RCMP officers kicking down the doors of Indigenous folk who were protesting the pipeline, on their own fucking land.

The way these people were treated compared to BLM, Anonymous, Occupy, or the Indigenous protesters across Canada it’s as if the RCMP and the police rolled out the red fucking carpet, and yes they stopped them from getting to 24 Sussex drive, but it’s not like this is the end of it.

They aren’t just going to go away, they are deliberately spreading misinformation, the other day I was in a space full of white Canadian people looking at me, I was trying to talk when someone kept interrupting me. I muted them because I was trying to talk and this person had gone for 20 minutes, as soon as I muted her she accused me of saying she sounded like the truckers. It wouldn’t matter except that this person was Indigenous and that’s what we have to do.

We have to organize, we have to work together, and we have to ensure that we do not behave like they do. We have to start spreading real information and I’m sorry but tweeting isn’t enough. Citizen Journalism has always been the backbone of any democratic society.

See something say something isn’t enough, we have to start using our cameras, we have to start filming what we see and posting it and letting people judge for themselves. We have to do our research, we have to become the educators of our communities by educating ourselves first, and others second.

This can’t be about who has the most Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram followers, it has to be about the world you want to leave behind for the children in your life. It HAS to be bigger than our egos.

We have to connect in our local communities, visit a church group you haven’t been to before, throw a bbq, invite your neighbors, enjoy being and connecting with humans again, because this is going to be an uncomfortable ride, and we’re going to need all the allies we can get.

These people are not crazy. There are people out there who are at the bottom of the opioid epidemic, that’s a fact. Billionaire families who have connections all over the world, who made a drug that killed hundreds of thousands in just a few days, due to addiction and poverty, and overdose. This has been proven in courts of law.

There are people out there that are coming for our kids – pedophiles, politicians, bad cops, bad humans, we know this, we have billions of stories of childhood trauma that tell us that there are people out there that are willing to hurt us and our loved ones for power. WE KNOW THIS, we know there are sick and evil people out there. These people are not that.

The ones that are being arrested can go fuck themselves, they’re instigators, I’m talking about their followers. I’m talking about the people who maybe aren’t as mentally well as they’d like to be, the ones who are tired, disenfranchised, I’m talking about the ones who need help sorting out disinformation from reality, the people who are seriously convinced that the world is out to kill them are afraid.

They’re afraid for themselves, for their children, and no this doesn’t make their outright lying and blatant abuses of power okay, but maybe if we can find a little compassion we can find some middle ground right? Fuck that.

We tried that. We tried for centuries, these people are white supremacists who want to go back to the days of slavery, they want to go back to the days of women in corsets and boys being in charge, and I’m over it.

I don’t want that world back, my sisters, my mothers, my grandmothers, didn’t fight so hard so that I could be returned to being another Black woman who doesn’t make it because of white supremacy. They raised me to kick down doors and break up with convention, so yes, this is generally how this shit goes:

  • First they victimize themselves and tell the world that they are innocent
  • Then they organize, and they plot and plan
  • Then they overthrow the fucking government

This has happened so many times in the history of humanity I’ve lost count. The only question that you need to ask yourself is what world do you want to live in?

What are you going to tell your children about 2022? Are you going to talk about how you tweeted your way through the destruction of Canadian freedoms? Or are you going to get up and go into your community and do something?

“What about you Devon?” Oh my loves. When I was 18 I started volunteering at the church with my mom, to give me something to do. I worked my way up into Program Director where I directed and organized programs for youth who wanted to be a part of their church community. I did that for eighteen years, I did my time, now it’s my time to show you what community building looks like.

It looks like having conversations with your neighbors that are more than just about the weather. It means actually being a part of the solution by finding ways to help organizations that are doing something you believe in. It means being the person others can count on, and being an adult is all about being counted on.

It’s exhausting and heavy work, and that’s why I’m taking a break, but I am telling you that if we do not work together as they are doing, then we’re going to end up in another situation where people like me are jailed for existing.

“They’re the fringe of society,” “there’s not many of them,” “they’re no real danger,” That’s what the Jewish people said. WE HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE.

In Coutts BC, more than half a dozen men were arrested with guns and allegedly plotting to murder RCMP cops, that’s not far from where I live.

It’s in Alberta, but legit, it’s not far from me by any stretch. Few hours. I can’t help it. I know that things are not “do or die,” right now, but if we’re not careful they are going to be. We need to support the Indigenous communities that are scattered across the country finding their babies at long last.

We need to speak up when this shit happens in Palestine and Ukraine, we need to tell these “fringe groups” of society that their ideologies are not welcome in our communities, and we might even need to be willing to bleed to protect our neighbors.

More and more we’re seeing soldiers in the streets at events and large gatherings, instead of just cops. Soldiers who are tried and trained to fight in ACTUAL war zones, this shit is not a joke anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time and if I’m honest I’m afraid of what will happen if we do not seriously spin the balances of power on this planet.

Right now I have the luxury of saying what I want to say because of like like Martin Luthor King and Ida Bee Jones, I can’t even name enough Black people from history to talk about how long it took to get here.

We JUST found these freedoms to say as we please, to fight for our rights, I don’t want to go backward.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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