SOCIAL DISORDER – Angry residents vent at ‘Enough is enough’ rally
Seventy-five fed-up Kamloops residents (not 50 or 100 as some reports estimated) rallied in front of City Hall today (Thursday, April 27, 2023) to demand action on the growing crime in the streets.
It was one of several “Enough is enough” protests held in the province, and they made it clear they want something done. Just what can be done is still in question, but they were there to vent.
Several in the crowd who were gathered around the Overlanders statue took to the megaphone to talk about the impact on businesses and public places of break-ins, vandalism and violence.
They pointed the finger at politicians of all levels of government for not fixing the problems that have been largely connected to drug addictions and homelessness.
None of those politicians was present — most of City council is at a municipal association meeting in the Okanagan, but that didn’t dampen the protest.
Voices were often raised in anger. “We need to stop making excuses,” said one resident.
A business owner, whose car window was smashed in the previous day, asked, “What’s the starting point? Do we just storm a City Hall meeting?”
“We need consequences!” said another.
“We need jail!” yelled someone from the crowd in response.
One sign proclaimed, “Kamloops is dying.” Another asked, “Why does my safety matter less?” and another, “What about our mental health?”
At one point, Glenn Hilke of The Loop shelter, who led the rally, was challenged by economist Leslie Lax, who demanded to know why Hilke was allowing clients of The Loop to strip stolen bicycles there.
Hilke said anyone who does that is banned from using the facility but others in the crowd chimed in with some harsh words of their own.
The event was more of a venting of frustration than it was about solutions, but activist Bronwen Scott said she will team up with Hilke and others to organize a town hall meeting tentatively titled “Nobody is Safe until Everybody is Safe” so residents can “get information and have their voices heard.”
The town hall would feature a panel of experts representing groups such as business, seniors and children, followed by questions from the floor.
— Mel Rothenburger
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