To serve and reflect

Social media brouhaha over planned gathering had darker moments.

The darker side of human nature reared its head during last week’s brouhaha over the short-lived Rainbow Family gathering at Raft Cove Provincial Park.

Alarmed by an event page on Facebook indicating nearly 2,000 members of the counter-culture group were “going” to camp at the park for a month, concerned local citizens promptly launched their own event to protest the event.

The thread of discussion that resulted included hurled invective, name-calling, misinformation and character smearing.

What was purported to be simply a concern for the preservation of a pristine natural environment threatened to devolve into verbal free-for-all between supporters of the “hippies” and the “rednecks”, before the site was shut down in favour of a more reasoned protest site with greater posting restrictions.

Social media can play a positive role in modern society, but this was not its shining moment.

To their credit, the Rainbow Family campers seemed to behave with more decorum than many, calmly accepting their eviction from the public area in spite of the fact fewer than 100 had arrived in the first week of the camp.

We are glad that North Islanders care enough about their region to take action when its geography, culture and lifestyle are threatened.

And we’ll take them at their word when they say the Raft Cove protest had nothing to do with the type of people involved in the aborted campout.

That’s why we’ll be looking forward to the protest against the latest West Coast campout planned on Facebook, the “Grant Bay Campout!!” event complete with invitations to bring trucks, quads and dirtbikes. It’s set for August 23-26.