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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Letter to the editor: Protecting freedom trumps displeasure with protests


Dear Editor:

It is with dismay, that I read Mr. Cochrane’s opinion piece in the April 18 edition of The Lake Report about carriage protesters in NOTL. I cannot possibly imagine that anyone can seriously suggest the banning protesters is in anyway an acceptable proposition in a free and democratic society such as ours.

The time has surely come to discard the old tropes that all protesters are “interlopers who probably pay no taxes anywhere” or to assume that “working is something unknown to these protesting galoots” or “layabout sign holders.” Mr. Cochrane’s suggestion that there should be bylaws to stop protests is an affront to democracy and his use of divisive stereotyping and insults to council is not helpful in promoting constructive dialogue amongst all of our citizens.

However one feels about these particular protesters and validity of their arguments, one must remember that they, too, play an important role in our society. Just like the freedom of the press, the right to assembly and free speech is also cornerstone to our individual and collective liberties. Any curtailment, however seemingly small, threatens our democratic process. A little inconvenience in our Heritage District is a very small price to pay to protect our freedoms.

Bill Talbot


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