Protesting a privilege, not an excuse for crimes

Recently the news in B.C. has been full of stories about the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot.

Recently the news in B.C. has been full of stories about the Vancouver/Stanley Cup riot which has led to charges, arrests, and court appearances for many.

It seems that most of the blame for the illegal acts committed is easily placed upon the severe intoxication, which led these normally upstanding citizens (fueled by mob-fever) to abandon their usual good judgment/morals on the night. For those charged with the more heinous crimes (committed by persons who thought the sheer size of the mob would allow them to steal, wreck and destroy property with a lesser-than-normal chance of apprehension  — darn those cellphones) it’s harder to find a plausible place to lay the blame.

In Coalinga, Calif. someone recently set fire to more than a dozen cattle trucks parked at one of the state’s largest feedlots, Harris Farms. The fire is believed to have been triggered by containers of accelerant set beneath the vehicles, 14 of which were totally destroyed in the ensuing inferno (one source reported that animal activists had claimed responsibility).

If that is the case, how could they (activists or perpetrators) be certain that those trucks were unoccupied? Most cattle liners these days contain sleeping compartments, in which the truck driver is usually resting when the truck is at a stand still. How on Earth could who ever lit that fire have excused (justified) the deaths (killing) of possibly as many as 14 human beings in what is fundamentally a personal belief issue? What if a sleeping driver had perished?

Protest all you want (luckily we may); it’s a right and a privilege, often taken for granted, in our part of North America. But please leave the criminal acts undone as there really is no excuse or place to shift the blame when you cause personal injury or death to innocent people enveloped by actions of your cause or protest.

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.