MAKICHUK: For what it's worth, a shameful display of force

Robert F. Kennedy.
Robert F. Kennedy.Dave Makichuk graphic/Netflix

I saw something last week that just sent me reeling.

Something devastating and unjust. Something that angered me.

It left me in disbelief as to what has happened to our once great country.

My friend Faron witnessed it all on the way back from Lake Louise.

A group of about 150 Canadians, exercising their right to peaceful protest against the carbon tax on Hwy. 1, the mighty TransCanada.

Watched over by almost as many RCMP commandos, K-Division's finest, with automatic weapons and Glocks.

Peaceful protesters sharing Tim Horton's and playing guitars! Nobody causing an inkling of trouble nor any hint of trouble.

These are people who probably shop at Costco to stretch a dollar. Hard-working souls, trying to stay above water. Worried about how they will feed their kids and pay their bills.

Just exercising their democratic rights and nothing more.

It was then I realized the police, the Yellow Stripes, as I call them, had been turned against us. Against the people.

Much like Cuba, where protesters were beaten, much like Russia, where protesters were arrested, much like every terrible dictatorship.

And now, in our own backyard.

It sadly reminds me of lyrics from a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) song called For What it's Worth:

There's something happening here,
But what it is ain't exactly clear,
There's a man with a gun over there,
Telling me I got to beware ...

Thankfully, nobody made the wrong move to ignite a terrible tragedy.

The only ones who benefitted were the Yellow Stripes, who probably have some good overtime cheques coming.

But the intention was obvious. You people, are bad. We, the Mounties, will arrest you if you misbehave.

What else would that wall of weapons, suggest? Am I wrong?

I'm not saying the new Commissioner Rob Hill gave the shoot to kill order.

But ... hey, if you are armed to the teeth, against salt-of-the-earth Canadian families, what does that say about our shaky democracy?

Ask yourself that question.

Bullets kill people. Automatic weapons are scary. Why were they armed to the teeth?

If anything, this should be fully investigated. What intelligence did they have? I think we deserve the right to see it, if they have it.

And exactly what orders did the Commish give? And why were so many officers on scene? If there was a threat, prove it.

Show us the relevant documents. And don't black out anything under the guise of being classified.

It is only fair, that full transparency be observed.

Why? Because we pay their salaries, that's why. Because they are supposed to be protecting us, not threatening us.

"In those pre-9/11 days, there was literally no security and you could park your car right on the side-road, by runway 28 (now 29), and watch them roll in, unmolested." 
My '68 Mustang Fastback is dwarfed by a PWA 737 landing on runway 28 at YYC, circa early 1980s.
"In those pre-9/11 days, there was literally no security and you could park your car right on the side-road, by runway 28 (now 29), and watch them roll in, unmolested." My '68 Mustang Fastback is dwarfed by a PWA 737 landing on runway 28 at YYC, circa early 1980s.Dave Makichuk photo

The Commish should be called on the carpet, to explain to Albertans why he doesn't trust us, and why he thinks we are dangerous — among a few other questions that should be asked.

By the way, Commish Hill just took over. Is this a sign of more anti-terror operations to come against Albertans?

Should we be fearful that Commish Hill may someday lock our bank accounts, because we don't agree with Mr. Trudeau's agenda?

I mean, hey, it's possible folks. Don't laugh. The power of the Yellow Stripes has no limits.

The feds did it once and they will do it again. All bets are off.

You, my friend, are now a bad guy. Why? Because you just are, OK? Don't question RCMP logic, LOL!

Where did it all go wrong? Why are we so messed up and things turned topsy-turvy?

I'll tell you when I became concerned.

When I came to Calgary after escaping Ontario in 1979, Calgary was a much different place.

A fantastic small city, with the greatest Western spirit that I had ever experienced.

I won't rehash the good old days and bore you. But let me tell you this.

As a big aviation fan and former pilot, I used to love watching the big planes land at YYC.

In those pre-9/11 days, there was literally no security and you could park your car right on the side-road, by runway 28 (now 29), and watch them roll in, unmolested.

And when the wind was blowing, it was a special treat, to watch them crabbing in (stick into the wind, opposite rudder) as they battled side-winds and wind gusts to plant it on the runway.

And because all these Western pilots had tons of experience in Chinooks, it was easy-peasy.

Anyway, I snapped this pic of my '68 Fastback Mustang as a PWA 737 passed over on approach at low altitude.

Heavily armed Mounties keep the traffic flowing during protest.
Heavily armed Mounties keep the traffic flowing during protest.CTV screen grab

Then one day, I think it was just before the Olympics — when our city became a police state — a sign went up. "No stopping."

Nobody knew why. Nobody was told why. The order obviously came from above.

To me, that was the day when Calgarians began to see their freedom curtailed. No longer could I stop and watch planes land.

I knew right away it was a bad sign. Overnight, things had changed.

It all went downhill from there — George Orwell's 1984 was not that far off in its predictions.

We now have two HAWCs helicopters keeping watch over us. A double-edged sword, at best.

If you park by that runway now, the Tac-Team will likely be called and you could be thrown into jail, without a lawyer, possibly for days and possibly be interrogated at length.

All within the law, the same law that was designed to protect you.

The protectors have become the adversary.

And dissent, once considered so important in a democracy, is being squelched to death in Western Canada.

Make no mistake, the clampdown is here.

Again, I ask, why call out a platoon of heavily-armed commandos to a peaceful protest.

A protest of families facing the rising cost of living and a prime minister, who refuses to listen to their concerns.

Instead, they are greeted with gun barrels.

Ever wonder why MAGA happened in the US? It's no big secret, folks.

It's because they felt they were not being listened to. They felt their concerns were being ignored.

So they gathered together and became a political force. A force 70-odd million strong.

Is that what you want to happen here, Commish Hill? Do you want a MAGA movement to start in Alberta?

A few Mountie cars and SUVs with flashing lights, watching over traffic, to make sure everyone stayed safe and lanes were kept open, would have, and should have, been sufficient.

All that was needed, was traffic control — something the Mounties do well.

The other important question to ask is, does the presence of, say, heavily armed troops, or cops on horseback, change the mood of a protest and, possibly light a fuse?

But, like I said, it shows us the new RCMP Commish is willing to toe the line for the PMO, in a very, very scary way.

Something those folks discovered as they exercised their democratic right.

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