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The culture war in my backyard


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So far, Nova Scotia has been relatively safe.  However, I have just received word that a local pub/eatery is sponsoring a "Drag Family Dinner and Storytime" event next month.  The right wing-nuts have already started a protest campaign, and the area Pride associations are organizing counter-protests in support of the event.


This is right in my town, and, although I am very conflict-averse and this scares the crap out of me, I feel the need to do something.  Initial indications are that support for the event outnumbers opposition by a considerable margin.  However, support needs to be visible and audible to do any good.


One of the Pride organizations is asking for volunteers to protect the performers and especially the kids.  I am not sure I am up for that.  My wife and I could just go as audience members and show support by our presence.


Does anyone have any protest / activism experience and could give us advice or even just hand-holding?

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While I have been involved in Pride events I haven’t been involved in protesting in a counter protest to right wing hate.  During  the Vietnam War and before the invasion of Iraq I was involved in protests.  In those situations the authorities if anyone were to be feared.  These crazy militia groups are beyond understanding.  Whatever you do be careful!





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2 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

My wife and I could just go as audience members and show support by our presence.



That would be more than enough, cheerful voices in the audience are always helpful for this type of thing. 


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Advice?  Generally, if you're worried about safety, stay far away from anything that involves a protest.  These things have an amazing way of turning bad in a hurry. 


As an illustration, during summer 2020 there were protests all over the USA, and one happened in the city near me.  It started out as a peaceful sit-in outside the front entrance of the police station.  People were dismayed and fearful about police violence against minorities.  The goal of the protest was for the community to express sorrow and a desire for such events to not happen locally.  Some police came off duty and sat down with the protesters, and some on duty came out to meet with everybody.  My husband attended, and said that for a while there was good conversation, very little shouting, some prayer, candles, etc...  Then a different, not-so-peaceful group came in and started the bad stuff.  By the end of the night, there were riot shields, tear gas, property damage, flipped cars, and somebody brought gasoline and tried to set fire to the courthouse. 


I mention this to say that you can't predict who is going to show up.  There are often more than two sides to an issue.  A dynamic situation with tension and crowds of people is dangerous.  Since you are in Canada, I wouldn't really expect guns to be involved, but much of the protest/counter-protest violence across the USA in 2020 was done with improvised clubs and shields.  Medieval, almost.  If you do attend, keep an eye on all available exit routes. 

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Thanks for the advice.  It's a moot point, because the event is already sold out.  I hope there is no nastiness from the protest.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I just got back home from the event.  It was very wet, but no one was complaining: the firefighters need the rain. 


There was a large turnout of LGBTQ+ people, maybe 300-400.  I am not good at estimating crowds.  Crowded enough that I wore a mask even though we were outdoors.  Across the street, there were ten pathetic-looking protesters with little signs.  A small but visible police presence kept both sides decorous.  Our side was way more colourful and way more fun.  Every time someone walked by taking pictures or heading inside to the Drag event, there were big cheers.


The take-away is that the haters are out there, but for now they are seriously outnumbered.  I hope it stays that way.

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I like the way you put it. 

4 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

they are seriously outnumbered.

I truly believe there are way more people who support the #LGBTQIA community than there are haters, then you figure in those of us in the #LGBTQIA community. They are out numbered. 




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