To the editor,
I'm writing about my disappointment in some members of Halifax's activist community. Fred, in the north end, was recently vandalized.
On the building corner on North and Agricola "Go away Fred," and "Fred is gentrification" was spray painted on the windows and facade.
Having been a part of organized activism in the city of Montreal since my early teens, I'm disgusted with the lack of respect shown by these people. I'm under the impression this is not the first time a community member has been singled out. Although I don't know the owner of Fred personally, I have attended the business association meetings which are designed to help small business owners support each other by keeping large franchises out of the north end and keeping our economy from being sucked downtown, as well as making it a place we all feel welcome. This business is actually putting its best foot forward.
The owner demonstrates an appreciation for the unique individuals that comprise our community. Fred also sells the artwork of local artists.
Saying this business is the cause of gentrification is an uninformed opinion.
This person would have to mark the sign of the beast on every other person making a living in this straight, white-dominated city.
This would certainly be a very different matter if Fred was illegally evicting you from your home to build a nice fat Starbucks, Wal-Mart or McDonald's. This eager idealist would do well to have an actual conversation with the owner of Fred rather than simply acting out like an overzealous teen. More is accomplished in life by talking than striking out without having an educated base of information. "Get out Fred" and "Fred is gentrification" are a lot less harsh than some things I'm sure this man has experienced, and I'm certain some poor idealist acting out by spraying bad words won't have this business owner running from the north end, tail between his legs.
He isn't coming to your community centre or street corner and tagging "yuppie spawn" and "hypocrite" simply because he thinks every activist is just mad at his or her wealthy father for not wanting them, because his career was more important than their stay-at-home mother, who wanted someone to keep her company and so had children.
It would be good to see what this person is doing to help the community grow and what positive action is being taken for this area.
Maybe you could come up with a way to put a cap on north-end rent instead of screaming "get behind me Satan."
By Concerned and Anonymous