The following is an opinion piece on recent news about vandalism in our community by an Inside Langford reader.
Vandalism is one symptom of people feeling powerless and not valued. I think Langford has at least two types of vandalism – targeted attacks against a message, like the vandalism at the Loghouse Pub, and general disrespect of people (they are not always just youth) defacing property. People who are disrespectful and commit violent acts often do so because they feel they have no other options to express their fears and anger, their justifiable (in their minds anyway) rage has no legitimate outlet. If there is a sense of belonging – a sense of community, then there is sense of ownership that leads to stewardship not destructive behaviour, and empowerment that leads to involvement not random acts of protest.
I believe Langford has created, with its rapid growth strategy, many areas in Langford that have no sense of community, or areas that have lost the sense of community they once had. I see anger and sadness often expressed by citizens at Langford council and committee meetings where they see the changes being wrought on their neighbourhoods as their complaints are barely addressed. Read the rest of this entry »