Being at the protest on September 3 against the presence of the Soldiers of Odin in McCauley (see our front page story for more information), reminded me of the often thin line between journalism and activism. Yes, I was there covering the story for Boyle McCauley News, but I was also there as a concerned member of the public.
Wearing a journalist’s hat doesn’t prevent me from having my own opinions. In fact, it makes me feel I have an obligation to take a stand. Such is the beauty of editorials and opinion pieces, like this one.
Hatred, racism, and fascism have no place in McCauley or Boyle Street, or anywhere else in Edmonton for that matter. Groups that espouse beliefs that are racist, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic should never be welcomed anywhere, even when they try to infiltrate communities under the guise of doing good deeds. A quick look at the anti-Islam messages posted on the Soldiers of Odin’s Facebook page tells the real story of what this group is all about.
McCauley and Boyle Street are culturally diverse neighbourhoods. One of the best things about the area is how welcoming it is towards people from all over the world. It is reflected in our businesses, restaurants, and events. It is important that everyone here is safe, without having to worry about encountering members of a vigilante group that does not espouse these same values of diversity.