As a Canadian, November 11 is an annoyance. Poppy fascism always rears its ugly and violent head.
What is poppy fascism? It’s certain Canadians and English apeing the worst behaviours of Americans, the “participate or shut up” mentality, the desire to harass and commit violence against those who won’t obey the ignorant rabble, when concepts like individual freedom and democracy are seen as a problem by those who claim to believe in individual freedom and democracy.
Poppies are allegedly a “symbol of remembrance” for those who participated (or died) in wars and war crimes. Instead, they have become symbols of nationalism and militarism, of forced indoctrination. Just as Americans become angry and violent for those who burn flags and refuse to stand for the magic song, Canadians and Britons become angry and violent towards those who refuse to wear poppies. And it gets worse every year.
Whole Foods of Canada made the decision not to allow any political symbols on their employees’ clothes or uniforms. This applied not just to poppies, but also to BLM imagery, political parties, cops, or anything else. It was a consistent policy across the board. But to poppy fascists, the idea that a private company on private property could choose to set a policy within its workplace (which did NOT apply to customers nor to employees when they are not working) was “offensive” to them. Whole Foods was threatened and harassed not just by the publc, but also by the Canadian media.
Whole Foods Market, the luxury grocery chain owned by Amazon.com Inc., has ignited a storm in normally placid Canada after telling staff there that they can’t wear poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day.
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As reports began to circulate on Canadian media about the decision, the chain began to trend on Twitter.
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the decision “disgusting,” later adding that the province will introduce legislation to stop any employer from banning employees from wearing poppies during Remembrance Week.
Typical Ford, not understanding the concept of democracy and individual rights, wanting to impose participation and override the rights of business owners – but only when it’s what he personally thinks. When he agrees with a business’s policy, I’ll bet he wheezes a different tune.
More below the fold.
Whole Foods quickly cowered for fear of lost profits:
Canada’s veterans affairs minister Tweeted Friday that Whole Foods would be allowing its Canadian employees to wear poppies at work, after a move to initially stop the practice received criticism and prompted motions from politicians across the country.
Whole Foods had earlier said it had updated its dress-code policy last month, to specify a ban on anything other than the standard uniform, in an effort to clarify rules for employees.
[. . .]
[A]fter an online furore erupted against the move on Friday, it would appear the retailer has now backtracked.
“Just spoke to the Chief Operating Officer at Whole Foods,” said veterans affairs minister Lawrence MacAulay on Twitter. “Employees will now be able to wear their poppies at work.”
Backpedaled, backed down, and completely lost its spine. There wouldn’t be this big a hissy fit if it were a ban on religious symbols at work.
Kevin McKenna of The National (Scottish newspaper) puts it succinctly:
WITH each passing year in Brexit Britain the degrading of the poppy grows fiercer. Once, this quiet symbol of reverence for those who fell fighting tyranny and fascism in two world wars stood for something pure. Now it has been weaponised by forces resembling those we resisted with the lives of our sacred youth.
Each year a self-appointed popular Stasi monitors our television screens and scours the internet seeking out public figures who are caught in flagrante without a poppy. At this rate the poppy dissidents will soon be getting rounded up and sent to a month-long re-education camp to ponder their wilfulness.
The poppy raids would begin around the middle of October with known troublemakers and curmudgeons targeted and taken off the streets for their own protection. That way too it would stop the possibility of them inciting UK patriots appalled at their traitorous behaviour.
Michael Stewart, the only football pundit on BBC Scotland who doesn’t speak English as a foreign language, found himself under scrutiny last week for appearing on air without a poppy. November hadn’t even begun.
Nowhere, it seems, and nothing is considered inappropriate to bear this symbol of self-sacrifice and quiet heroism: the bigger and more belligerent the better.
The two emphases are mine.
There is no “legal requirement” to wear a poppy; those who want it required hate democracy and individual freedom. (This past week, I was kicked out of and blocked by an allegedly Canadian facebook group for saying that.) Not wearing a poppy does not prevent others from wearing one. And most importantly, choosing or refusing not to wear a poppy does not justify verbal or physical harassment and violence, no matter how much poppy fascists would like to perpetrate it.
Many people have good reasons for not wearing them. I object to the militarism and colonialism, to the “thank you for your service” crap said by those who want illegal wars. Canadian soldiers didn’t go to Afghanistan to “fight for freedumb”, they went their to secure a share of the oil the US promised as the spoils of war crimes. And now that the war is over and the “allies” lost, Canada is worse off and Canadians in more danger than before the invasion. Remember Osama bin Laden’s October 2003 video asking why he didn’t attack Sweden?
Other people have very good reasons. Football player Nemanja Matic is a Serbian, and his home was bombed by the “allies” in 1999. From November 2020:
This weekend, we saw Premier League clubs support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal ahead of Remembrance Day.
To support the appeal, clubs embroidered a poppy on their shirts which will then be auctioned to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal 2020.
However, you may have seen one player without a poppy on their shirt.
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[T]wo years ago, the Serbian explained why he refuses to wear one – because it reminds him of when his village was bombed when he was 12.
The 1999 bombing was led to drive Serbs out of Kosovo and Matic has previously defended his decision on Instagram.
He wrote: “I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone’s right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict.
“However, for me it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999.
Irishman James McClean is from Derry, Ireland (not “northern Ireland), where the UK military murdered fourteen innocents without provocation on “Bloody Sunday”, January 30, 1972. For seven years, he has endured religious sectarian abuse as well as hate speech and threats for his refusal to wear a poppy. People are mailing bullets to him. From July 2020:
James McClean has admitted he recently considered retirement in the wake of the abuse he receives.
The Republic of Ireland and Stoke City winger recently voiced his frustrations over what he views as a lack of support from his international team-mates in the same way they have backed the recent anti-racism campaign.
Since moving to England from Derry City in 2011, the 31-year-old has received death threats, bullets in the post and suffered abuse both online and during matches.
Now he has admitted that, with his oldest child aged six, the problem is presenting more complicated issues that have forced him into considering his future and how long he wishes to continue playing the game.
“There have been times only recently where I’m thinking ‘do we need this?’,” he told BBC Radio Foyle.
[. . .]
McClean also said he has yet to hear from any of his Republic of Ireland team-mates in the wake of his claims that he was left with a ‘sour taste’ over the lack of support for him in comparison to black footballers such as Wilfred Zaha and David McGoldrick, who have suffered racial abuse.
It says a lot when even the rightwing Daily Fail can post an accurate story about the problem. From 2019:
TV historian David Starkey has claimed Remembrance Sunday has become a ‘crazy religious ritual’ that imposes ‘poppy fascism’ on everyone in Britain.
Starkey, 74, said yesterday’s Remembrance services wrongly made soldiers out to be either ‘heroes or victims’.
He argued that now servicemen and women volunteer to defend their country because they want to do it, even claiming some ‘enjoy killing’ and should not be praised for it.
The controversial constitutional expert said Remembrance Day in the UK has created a culture that demands people prove they are thinking of the war dead.
He told the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Brexit Podcast: ‘There is what we call poppy fascism… the absolute requirement to do it.’
As I quoted that Daily Fail item, this was linked on the same page, November 11, 2020. Poppy fascists were sitting on their posteriors in their living rooms instead of attending a war memorial ceremony. They were actively looking for something to get upset about.
And they found one: two ceremonies in two different locations were running on different clocks were broadcast on TV simultaneously. One ceremony finished the “two minutes of silence” before the other, and someone started talking. Is this a hanging offence or something?
This Morning viewers were left outraged on Armistice Day after an official ‘disrespectfully’ spoke over the two-minute silence in an unfortunate blunder.
Just before 11am, hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby invited viewers to join them in the silence, before cutting to clips showing the tributes in different cities across the UK.
During the emotional montage, the poignant chimes of Big Ben were heard before crowds were seen observing the sign of respect at the Garden of Remembrance in Edinburgh.
After just one minute, an official at City Hall in Belfast interrupted and started to thank people for joining him in ‘observing’ the silence in an awkward blunder.
The person spoke into a microphone, telling the crowd: ‘It is two minutes past 11, thank you for joining us in this act of Remembrance and observing the two minute silence.