Rutherford School captured by 'DisconTent City' - 1000s watch on Facebook live
Like many Nanaimo residents, I was alerted to the situation at Rutherford School via Facebook live streamer X Local - Nanaimo. I was shocked to see that protestors are on the roof of the closed Rutherford School along Hammond Bay Road in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
On the live stream, I could see police on the scene checking the doors of the school to see if they can gain entry. During this time, someone in the crowd stated that a window was left open on the opposite side of the school and that how the trespassers gained entry. Being from Nanaimo, I could recognize multiple locals in the crowd gathering to see the spectacle.
During this time, a protested on the roof started speaking through a bullhorn and expressing his anger with the Canadian Government over the taking of traditional First Nation lands. He also referred to Thanksgiving as Thankstaking which received many jeers from the crowd. While this protester stated his reasons for taking over Rutherford School, a man repeated "SHUT-UP!" so loud that the protesters' words could not be heard. The Son's of Oden seemed to be present an yelling back at the protesters on the roof.
All I could think about was the families preparing for a Thanksgiving Weekend and having to deal with this mess. Many residents of the neighbourhood were expressing their frustration and disbelief that this has spread to the community. The noise of the crowd and barking dogs can be heard echoing in the background.
As a ten year Nanaimo resident, I have to express the helplessness feel due to these events. I've stopped patronizing stores in down Nanaimo due to the establishment of Discontent City, and all I want is for this city to thrive. It seems that we cannot run from this any longer, though I don't have the answers. Let all ensure we educate ourselves about candidates in the upcoming local election and elect individuals who will echo our voices.
Electing qualified leaders is the process that we need to adhere to, otherwise we no better than the protesters that chose to break the law to gain attention. Give the attention you've given to this situation and make a difference through the democratic process.