Kaplan-Myrth: Health-care workers have your backs. Please protect us too

From our family doctor:
Those of us who have been the recipients of harassment and intimidation over the last two years — who have experienced the overlap between antivax/antimask rhetoric and anti-semitism, racism, homophobia and misogyny — were overcome by a sense of foreboding as trucks rolled into downtown Ottawa more than a week ago. These events, now spreading to the rest of Canada, are a warning to us all.By now everyone has seen the photos of Nazi and confederate flags on the backs of trucks. Residents of downtown Ottawa are powerless against trucks honking their horns all night, diesel fumes wafting into their windows. Food was taken from the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter. Women survivors of violence, traumatized, cried out for help, unable to safely walk outside the Cornerstone shelter. An employee at a local business was physically assaulted. LGBTQ community members were confronted with transphobic placards; a shop window with a rainbow flag was broken. In a virtual townhall meeting led by Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, the chat was disrupted at one point because of anti-Black, racist comments.

The mayor has declared that downtown Ottawa is “under siege,” in a state of “emergency.” As the hate spreads across the country, health-care workers in Toronto and Vancouver were warned not to dress in scrubs in the streets, to avoid being a target for hate. In response, Dr. Lisa Salamon-Switzman, an emergency room physician in Toronto, posted on Twitter that she would wear her scrubs, that as a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, she would not cower from those espousing hate.

Source: Kaplan-Myrth: Health-care workers have your backs. Please protect us too

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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