Art Should Not Be Censored

Art Should Not Be Censored

Messe des Morts

A festival I genuinely look forward to every year.
If you know me at all you know I dislike being in a crowd.
It isn’t bad though when the crowd is made up of friends.

Fourteen of us (me and my friends) planned our trip to Canada for months.
Where we’d eat, where we’d sleep, and which attractions we wanted to see while we were there.
Many more people I know and often see at shows across the United States and in Europe did the same.

Montreal, Quebec – November 26, 2016

Montreal Fine Arts Museum

Across town, earlier in the day I went to an exhibit at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum.

And let’s just say… art is subjective.

Art should not be censored.

Music brings people together.

Concert goers waiting patiently for hours in the cold outside Théâtre Plaza.

The metal community is one of the kindest I have the honor of being a part of.

One of the few times I have ever voiced my opinion on someone else’s social media was to express that there is a camaraderie amongst metalheads that is unique.
Perhaps a bit dark
Perhaps a bit depressing
Perhaps a bit angry
But they are accepting.
Of course we aren’t perfect. People are human, so therefore erred.
I love Montreal!
I love Old Montreal.
I love the museums.
I love the history.
I love the food and restaurants.
I love the architecture of the buildings.
I love all the fabulous bridges.
I love St Lawrence River.
I love Mont Royal.
ANTIFA made me never want to return.
I find it important to state that even if you listen to a particular artist’s music, it does not mean you share the views of the artist.
Some people like me, might not even know what life views the artist’s have.
I just like what sounds good to me.
Concert goers being told to disperse peacefully because our show had been cancelled.

There are so many videos surfacing about the protest in front of the venue, but I haven’t seen a single one from the Metro.
We were told to be peaceful.
We were told NOT to stand up for what we believed in.
We were told we would be safe at the Metro.
We were met with aggression from people who were young enough to be my child, with no real life experience, spouting hate with information that was incorrect, which they never bothered to even try to understand.
Brainwashed followers hiding behind masks.
Terrorizing the streets.
I never felt so unsafe in my life.
If you truly believe in your cause you should be able to stand in front of me without hiding your face.
You are a coward otherwise.

I was physically attacked.
I was kicked, shoved, and kicked at.
A young man threw his lit cigarette in my face.
No one was allowed to defend me.
I was not even allowed to defend myself.
I was so mad and upset that the police watched it happen and did nothing.
The Montreal Police had sided with the people who were truly spreading hate.

When my group of friends finally all made it in the building, ANTIFA followed us in.
Two of our friends had already made it through the turnstiles…
I was trying to stop the tears and anger in my heart.
The people I love most were being aggressively harassed.
ANTIFA, wearing masks, jumped the Metro turnstiles.
I REFUSED to be trapped in a place where there was no police presence at all.

I feel like ANTIFA wanted us to.

We got an Uber instead.
Some of our friends were still on the other side of the Metro turnstiles…
I can’t write about their story, because it did not happen to me.
But I can say I was terrified for their safety.
I would not go into the hotel until I knew they were safe.
They arrived safe, and to my relief they didn’t take the Metro.

Throughout the night I heard many stories of similar happenings.

This is just my account of a small portion of the night.
I feel such empathy for Black people and Natives in the US.

I feel victimized.

If you are like me, you have no idea what ANTIFA is.
Perhaps it’s just misunderstanding the difference between political movements and artistic expression.

Looking back (now 2020), I think the people who make up antifa might be partially responsible for the current cancel culture climate.
I wonder how the culture climate will be in 2024…