Duck Paterson’s column: “Maybe we’re not so different from the Americans” elicited a strong reader response. Below are two letters that were published in the Jan. 21 edition of the Chronicle.
Paterson is a prime example of fascism in the USA
It is with shock and awe that anyone with an education in politics can read or listen to anything Duck Paterson has to say about democracy.
In Duck’s world of privilege vs democracy “industry” means conservative hurt on the environment and rapt ignorance let alone complete disregard for the practicalities of a green economy vs. the invasive species of exploitation = industry.
And as a representative of the might means right wing, Duck Paterson then has the audacity to compare the left wing i.e. democracy/socialist and environmentally responsible community to their exact opposite but whom Duck more factually represents — the fascist militia who invaded the USA Capital on Jan 6, 2020.
Neo-liberals and neo-fascists excel at attempting to accuse what they see as standing in their way (in this case the individuals who saw that protecting the creek and spending the 2 million building a Fire hall somewhere near the recycling depot) with their own crimes and misdemeanors. Duck Paterson is an example of dissembling of the people’s will at work, an individual with political power actively working against actual democracy in our own community.
Paterson’s contentions are unfounded
Thank you for providing town councilor Duck Patterson a space to share his Perspective. And thanks to Councilor Patterson for addressing a timely and difficult topic, the legitimacy of public protest. Unfortunately, in making his point, he equates non-violent environmental protests in Canada with the recent armed assault on the US capitol. And he further suggests this behaviour is a recent development in our previously law abiding society.
Unfortunately, neither of those contentions stand up to scrutiny. Canadians have often fought for their principles, when it seemed like their only recourse. Think of Louis Riel, the Winnipeg general strike, the 1935 trek to Ottawa, and the Ladysmith coal miner’s strike of 1913. All involved disruption and confrontation.
But while idealizing our past, Mr. Patterson points a finger at recent non-violent environmental protests, such as those objecting to oil pipelines or the logging of old growth forests. And while conceding that recent events in the US are huge in comparison, he nevertheless concludes that they prove we are becoming more like America.
In the end, Mr. Patterson asks if we are going to defend our democratic principles, seemingly forgetting that the rights of free speech, assembly and protest are also principles on which this country was founded.