Opinion

Our take: Ralliers deserve your attention and support

When you earn your living writing about your community it is pretty hard not to find yourself inside one of your stories from time to time.

But Saturday’s rally focused on youth violence in a Cowichan Tribes reserve neighbourhood south of the river put a whole new emphasis on that reality: the neighbourhood in question is our neighbourhood.

The News Leader Pictorial office fronts the Island Highway on its west side, just south of the Silver Bridge. The homes being terrorized are right across the highway — a subdivision east of the highway squeezed between the Boys and Allenby traffic lights.

Residents are tired of wannabe gangsters ruling the roost and they want to reclaim the personal security one should find in their homes.

Now we wouldn’t say we feel unsafe coming and going from work; We don’t, even though circumstances perhaps indicate we should. In addition to the youth gang episodes, there have been a few violent shooting deaths in a nearby trailer park and a number of traffic tragedies at the Boys Road traffic lights.

But the point of this editorial is not to fear-monger, or be disparaging about our neighbourhood — quite the opposite. The intent is to praise the people who organized Saturday’s rally and urge the police, local government and Cowichan Tribes officials and the rest of the neighbourhood to step up and support them.

Cowichan has the people and resources to make sure residents in every neighbourhood feel safe. And because most of us already do feel secure, it is sometimes difficult to accept the reality that others don’t.

Even when it is right in our own backyard.

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