Thursday 23 October 2014

The day after...let's have some thoughtful reflection

National War Memorial
Chateau Laurier in background
That was quite the day. I lived 25 years in Ottawa and have many happy memories of singing in the choirs on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, July 1st. Ambling across the huge lawn. Last summer my daughter and I had dinner beside the Memorial, and walked up to the hill where the horrific incident took place. Those in charge who did not have a knee-jerk reaction, but, in the cold, clear light of day determine what changes might be made to the free access citizens and tourists enjoy on the Hill.
We must explore various reactions to the crisis. Canadian Armed Forcers, Parliament

The Media

Reporters must rethink how it is they use Social Media. In the good old days they check sources before putting anything in print. In this age of technology, it doesn't matter how accurate you are, as long as you are first. Rumours of a second and third shooter.
Reporters similarly passed on rumours that a motorcyclist/shooter was on the highway.
Interviewing eye witnesses, who had been corralled, taken down to nearby OPS headquarters, were
Downtown Ottawa
interviewed by police. Then, the media jumped on them, picked up and retweeted in 140 characters on Twitter.

The foolish Globe reporter who used his Crackberry to video the security staff takedown. Can you imagine if he'd been accidentally shot? Those marble walls and halls could have a ricochet effect. Let the experts do their jobs. If I were your mother I'd smack you upside the head.

Having to fill air time, TV hosts filled time with insane images, and no commentary related to these images. There was no sense of what was current, what was done, including videos of people and places where potential victims were being escorted by police.

Witnesses were pursued by media
Then, since many reporters are located downtown, and CBC Ottawa offices are in the Chateau Laurier, many media members were affected and had to be interviewed and reinterviewed. When do they manage to take an objective view of the situation, when their friends and colleagues are in a lockdown? The press became the story.

US Media, who truly sensationalize the news, since All-news media are finding it difficult to provide content 24-7, are guilty of a heinous crime. They reported the name of our soldier who was the victim of the gunman, before this was cleared by the military, and family members were informed. At least Canadian media held back on this.
We were in lockdown when the US began broadcasting.

Next people began posting photos of the two Reservists on guard, stating that 'one of these two guys is dead.' This was well before family had been notified. Editor, Jon Williams, with @ABC, should have known better. He retweeted it.
Wow I'm not sure that pic should be tweeted if the family may not have been notified yet.

THE US took great interest.
US Media could take some time to do research. Have you heard of Google? This is NOT our PM! He'd like to be, but...
AMAZING “ABC-TV just ran news promo w/voiceover "In Canada, the Prime Minister addresses the nation" & this visual.”


The Twitter rumours were horrible. Citizens must realize that
Twitter Trolls
spread many rumours
perpetrators also use Social Media and posting and reposting photos of the police snipers atop nearby buildings was pretty ignorant. Did they think this through?

The Peace Tower on
The Hill
Then those who were ranting and raving when it wasn't clear who was responsible and why. Muslims must fear the repercussions. For this wasn't a Muslim. Truly, the Muslim students and families I worked with upheld the true values of the Islamic faith. This is not evidence or extreme Muslims, for Muslims do not believe in this type of violence. Islam is peace.

Raving lunatics, delusional fanatics are claiming the mind, body and souls of our young people. Those who are trying to find their way in the world, are looking for direction and something to belong to, and they suck in these kids who are lulled into this fanatical behaviour.  We must stop glorifying the so-called terrorists. These are murders, who lull these kids into their lust for violence, softened by video games  and violence in the media.

So-called Experts

The press did their best to find experts. When a situation is on-going, perhaps talking to the press, other than telling citizens what to and what not to do, might be a good idea. Retirees are the ones most guilty of this. For example, a former Special Operations Commander was explaining about the security footage in Parliament, and explaining that they need to balance the appearance of the government being open and accessible, with the safety and security of the politicians, and the public.

The experts, as well, must examine the laws surrounding this perpetrator who shot down our soldier. For he, and the young man who ran down two soldiers the previous day, have been targeted by police and thanks to intelligence, CSIS knows that they had extremist tendencies. They knew these wannabe terrorists, in fact, had both had passports taken away at the airport, as they tried to go and join the terrorists in Turkey and Syria. Threats sould not be taken lightly and bizarre behaviour must be monitored. You may be able to think it, but if you write about it, and communicate with terrorist groups, like the 90 potential perps who are being tracked,  there must be consequences.


Here is a crazy thing I saw. The PM plants a question in the parliamentary session to plant the notion that we are being attacked by terrorist.
When the Prime Minister becomes a central character in story of a terrorism incident
At the centre of the news about a terrorist attack this week, there was, in a curious way, the Prime Minister

What is to be remembered

The heroes who went to heroic efforts, beyond what our fabulous First Responders are trained to do. Then there are the First Responders, who tried, valiantly, to save the victim of the shooting.
The Security Guards who took the gunman down, and the two guards who were shot during the event. Look for the helpers, stop the blaming and shaming, and jumping to conclusions.
Speaker Andrew Scheer entered the Commons in the ceremonial parade through the halls of the Centre Block. Accompanying him – to applause from others in the hall – was Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who was among the security officials who shot the gunman who entered the Centre Block Wednesday morning when MPs were meeting in caucus rooms just steps away from the scene.

Look for the helpers and heroes
The schools, having gone into safe and secure mode - in a fully thought-out plan created after 9/11, kept the kids indoors, for safety, and informed parents with robocalls that all was well and it was a safety precaution.

I shall always laud the fact that my two granddaughters, age 4 and 6, had little idea of the ramifications of their safe and secure mode. They were happily carving pumpkins last night. Their parents had not enlightened them, since there was no need. Older kids will have to be debriefed, since we cannot protect them from this disaster, but there are guidelines, written by a psychologist for this.

During 9/11, the foolish principal in my school got on the PA system and informed staff and young students (JK - gr. 6) the the towers had gone down. My gr. 6 student knew people who worked there and the children were insanely afraid to walk home. They feared being bombed. I hope we've learned this lesson.

I'd like to thank those who refrained from snarky comments, trolls,  such as those comments implied that PM Harper should have been taken out. This isn't a day for politics. At one point, once the lockdown was continuing, I turned off the TV.

On Parliament Hill

I liked seeing the PM Harper, even whilst Twitter trolls were still contemning him, who brought us all together by lauding Vickers, crossing over to him and giving him a hug, then shaking hands and hugging Liberal Trudeau, then NDP Leader Mulcair.
The holes in the ornate carved wood, all will be a reminder that we will move forward.
I like the speeches by Harper, Muclair and Trudeau.

Elizabeth May

Motivations, connections, must be verified by the police, OPS and RCMP. Isolated deeply troubled men are being drawn to something crazy. We must keep peace, order and good government.

Nobody in the Canadian TV news business emerges as especially thoughtful and skilled at handling the circumstance

This was a thoughtful piece. Well done. I would hope that journalists, as do police, etc., have a debriefing and talk about the mess many made of the day. The Twitter rumours perpetuated ignorance and fear, even Mansbridge called up false notions many CBC reporters passed on. These reporters need to stick to the facts, not unsubstantiated rumours. The myths of the motorcyclist was shocking. They needed to back off and let the police do their jobs. Police spent much time hustling reporters away, rather than finding out what was really going on. There is a balance needed between capturing an image and allowing officers to protect us.

Photos the day after

  1. Breitbart News ‎- 3 minutes ago

    Twitter page that proudly sports the Islamic State flag published aphoto of suspected Ottawa gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau with the caption: ...

Photos from before

Chateau Laurier Hotel

Many tourists
The East Block in July

Famous Five statues behind The Hill, c.1999

On the hill, 1967


Nancy J said...

Jennifer, as I watched the news on TV, I could not understand how quickly the cameramen were there, outside as the guard lay on the concrete, in the corridors, in what looked to be the foyer as people entered, and then that horrific scene as they all ran, shooting so many times. I know if people are interviewed after a crime, their reports of what happened will differ, even if they are all there at the same time, they have seen it differently. Your words today have had much thought put in before you posted, thank you so much for this. Stay safe, you and your family, the wee girls too. Hugs, Jean.

Christine said...

such a sad terrible tragedy.

Hilary said...

There were many things that were shocking and deplorable about yesterday. And many beautiful acts which go scarcely noticed. What an utterly sad day.

Red said...

I followed this tragedy on radio. It was repeat , repeat. If they don't have anything new ...shut up.

William Kendall said...

It was a crazy, strange day. Being down near it all, you were hearing all these rumours and things that couldn't be ascertained.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Firstly; my heart goes out to all in Canada, as I know what it is to have one's sense of safety so jeopardised.

You are so right about the idiocy which prevails as a result of our modern equipment; I have held out against all of that bookphyzog and birdie stuff (for all sorts of reasons not pertinent here). Media has always walked a very fine line, but now ...

Add to this that each quarter century brings with it a 'terror' so that no generation can live without some sense of fear and it would be easy to sink into darkness.

The light, as you point out, comes from the positives which arise from the gloom; they can be difficult to see in the short term sometimes...but they will show themselves.

Blessings and Love; Be Safe. YAM xx

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm so sorry Jenn. A terrible thing. Yes, TV news is out of control here mostly because of their need to fill 24/7. I know people who watch news all day morning to bedtime and they are paranoid -- (not sure which came first, the paranoia or the TV news). But there has to be a line between being halfway well-informed and being made crazy.

We listen to NPR (not all day every day); it is fairly unbiased. The station here carries some CBC programs which I enjoy.

EG CameraGirl said...

Yes, there were many mistakes made. Too many people trying to be the first to get the information out. How sad they do it without thinking about the possible consequences.

Jenn Jilks said...

It is a well-covered place, with cameras everywhere, Jean. They did not show the footage of the take down, which I know they have, and that is fitting.

The Sargeant-at-Arms who took him down, in his 50s, stood behind a pillar, then flung himself to the ground, rotating to land on his back, and removed this threat to all the potential victims. He was given a standing ovation when he showed up the next morning in Parliament to do his job!