Well, it seems that there has been an attempted act of intimidation towards some of the organisers of the recent demonstrations. The most public of which is the mailing of a powdered substance to one of the organisers on Tuesday afternoon in a not so obvious copycat of the anthrax letter scares. I cannot confirm, but word is that other organisers have also been threatened after a fashion.
Readers will remember a similar event in the run up to the 2007 election when a bullet was mailed to the Premier Dr. Brown.
One would hope that our political development was more mature than this.
There are some who maintain, for example with the bullet-in-the-mail, that this incidents are staged by or for the benefit of the victim. According to this theory the victims benefit from public outcry and revulsion to the act in question.
While the ‘staged’ theory is certainly possible, both with the bullet and the anthrax scares, I generally don’t accept them without some evidence to back up the claim. I can understand the circumstantial argument, but for incidents like these I generally accept them to be legit. And by legit I mean I believe someone has actually tried to intimidate someone for political or other reasons.
I am not in the least bit surprised at a bullet and threatening letter being mailed to the Premier. I have certainly overheard some rather bizarre and pathological statements by some in our community who have a distinct hate towards the Premier. I am confident that they are largely an extreme minority and mostly impotent in realising their wishes. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were capable of at least attempting to intimidate, certainly verbally, and also in the form of a stunt like the bullet or hate-mail. Similarly, I am sure that there are some, especially in the still-heated aftermath of last week, who have a degree of irrational hate and desire to intimidate those who helped organise the events of last week. Again, I think that such intimidation is more bark than bite, but one cannot deny the potential psychological impact of these acts. They are, quite frankly, a terrorist act. They seek to strike terror and to intimidate the victim. They also serve to fill a need in the perpetrator for both attention and a need to feel potent.
Personally, as an aside, after joining the PLP, and it becoming widely known, I myself recieved some threatening phone calls, and graffiti chalked on my property calling me a traitor and a Jew, complete with swastikas. I mention that just to indicate a bit of why I am not surprised at these actions, and why I tend to err on the side of these being deliberate acts of intimidation and not cynical ploys for sympathy.
It is my belief that with these events the best thing to do is to carry on, to not let these terrorists win by intimidating you. True, its quite possible that things will escalate. And I cannot ask anyone to risk their own welfare over this. All I can say is that if it was me I would carry on with what I’m doing. It takes a toll, and it makes one think about ones loved ones. For me, while I took precautions for those around me, thinking about them actually spurred me on, mainly because if one were to cave in, then one would, in the long run, be harming your loved ones and society as a whole more than any temporary fit of reaction on the part of the terrorists.
Perhaps the terrorist in this question truly believed what they were doing was right. Such is typical of the fanatic, and an impotent one at that. Even should they be successful though, their action only makes their victim a martyr, and strengthens the very situation the terrorist sought to destroy, almost hydra like.
I should stress that if this action is a genuine act of terror, I strongly doubt that it was done by any organised group. It would have been little more than the individual act of some impotent fanatic with some serious mental problem. This person needs some help, and I hope that this help is made forthcoming to them. I am sure that the respective community leaders will make it clear that such acts of terror are rephrensible and the perpetrator needs a psychological evaluation.