Last weekend a few hundred union activists decided to spend their Saturday afternoon protesting outside of the hotel where the United Conservative Party was holding their annual general meeting. Despite years of recession, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has been demanding a 7.9 percent wage increase for their members. As it became clear that there is no way that the UCP government was going to indulge such a ridiculous demand, union activists felt that public protests and tantrums may help them get their way.
As is typical with union protests, they descended into violence and intimidation.
The thug pictured below chased and punched journalist Sheila Gunn Reid in the back as she tried to cover the protest. He felt that violence was a way to shut down press that may hold a contrary editorial slant to his own. Again, this is typical of union tactics.
While the picture and associated video showing the thug assaulting Reid is quite clear and has been widely distributed, the assailant still has not been identified.
Again as is typical of union activists, they close ranks and protect their thugs when they cross the line. It beggars belief that nobody has recognized the loser in the picture above.
Gil McGowan is the head of the Alberta Federation of Labor. Gil is known as being on the more extreme side of union activism and has never been one of the sharpest knives in the organized labor drawer. McGowan is in something of a leadership role with public service unions though and his response to Saturday’s violence was beyond the pale even for him.
Gil McGowan blamed the victim as can be seen in the tweet he released below.
When you insert the word “but” after supposedly condemning violence it means you are working to justify the violence. When you call a punch to the back of a woman trying to flee the situation a “push”, you are trying to understate violence.
Read the words that Gil McGowan wrote in a backwoods Southern drawl to yourself and think about it: “But we all know that’s exactly what the Rebel “reporter” was there for.”
Translation: She was asking for it.
Gil McGowan sounded just like repugnant men who try to justify rape.
“She shouldn’t have worn a dress so short. She shouldn’t have gone to that bar. We all know exactly what she was there for.”
By Gil’s abhorrent logic, if you are a journalist that he doesn’t like and you try to cover a union protest, you will be essentially asking to be assaulted. I mean, we all know what these reporters are there for right?
There is no justifying violence against women and there is no justification for trying to suppress the press through violence and intimidation. Gil McGowan is sure trying his hardest to do so however.
We are in for some tumultuous times as the UCP makes budget cuts as they were elected to do while organized labor tries to prevent our government from doing what we gave them a mandate for.
There will be more protests and if labor “leaders” such as Gil McGowan keep trying to justify violence we can rest assured that we will see more violence.
The cuts are coming whether civil service sector activists like it or not. If they want to keep even a glimmer of public sympathy to their cause, their leadership needs to unequivocally condemn the violence carried out against a female reporter last Saturday and condemn McGowan’s attempt to justify it. Unfortunately I don’t think we will see that happen. Thuggery is entrenched within organized labor and I just can’t see them giving up that undemocratic tool.
The only bright side of all this is that it will make the pending spending cuts much easier for the public to support. In that sense, keep up the good work Gil.