Antifa Protests Turn Violent At Messe Des Morts Festival 2016
Violent protest apparently struck the Messes Des Morts festival that just took place November 24th - 26th in Montreal, with Portland-based metal band Uada offering this first hand account of events:
"First and foremost Uada would like to send our thanks to the promoters & staff who put a lot of hard work into organizing this great event. They were not only some of the most professional groups of organizers we've met but they also put the safety of the concert-goers first & deserve the highest respects for making that decision. We were honored for the invitation & despite the travesty Saturday night, we greatly enjoyed our time in Montreal.
"Secondly we would like to send our heartfelt apologies to the fans, as they were the ones who really suffered this weekend. We know a lot of people were looking forward to this specific night of the festival, including their first Uada experience, & it saddens us that we were unable to share it with you. We definitely will return to Montreal sometime in the future.
"When we formed in 2014 we made a point to be a band with zero political, religious or cultural bias in our viewpoints or our art. Music, art & our freedom to express it is extremely important to us but unfortunately at Messe des Morts this weekend we were forced to shut down & unable to share our art with the hundreds of people that were there to enjoy it. We know it was not specifically because of our band or in association with any of our members, but we were just as devastated by the turn in events as many others from all around the world were.
"While we were locked in the building as the riots of the Antifa organizations in Montreal intensified, we stood among a great group of cultural & racial diversity just as we did the previous night in the venue. We all gathered under one roof to forget about our differences & find common ground in something we all love, MUSIC. Meanwhile hundreds of Antifa (majority Caucasian by the way) stood outside protesting with threats, violence & vandalism.
"While we all strive for freedom of speech & expression, we also understand that includes the right to protest. What that does not include is the right to physically attack fans, steal merchandise/clothing from innocent by-standers, throw tear gas bombs into the commercial buildings nearby & later show up to our hotel to smash windows & hallway lights well after the show was cancelled.
"Everyone staying at our hotel (including those not there for the event) at one point had to evacuate the building due to Antifa members pulling the fire alarm as well as using tear gas bombs once again. This put families in the middle of the cold winter streets, in the middle of the night. What happened in Montreal was not just a protest, but an act of terrorism. Terrorism not just against the event, but against their own community.
"To our friends that were waiting for us outside before the show, we are so sorry to hear of the many personal attacks you experienced & hope you are now safe at home & healing well. To everyone else, please do not look at the cancellation of this event as a victory for those who opposed it. Look at it as a loss for all involved including the protesters themselves. They have been so blinded by their own hate & fear, that they do not realize their actions are a direct representation of exactly what their 'mission' is supposed to be fighting against. It is the media creating our divide & taking the stories they want to report and inflating them to such a colossal scale that they take on a life of their own. There were no acts of racism or fascism inside or surrounding this event from our personal experiences.
"For many of us, music is our release & our way of expressing our frustrations, anger, animosity & passion. We take to creativity, not violence & vandalism. As someone who has been a part of the metal community for well over 20 years, I can say that the metal-heads of the world are some of the most open minded people I've ever met & well capable of governing our own environments. But just like all groups, including the Antifa themselves, there will always be bad eggs & uneducated ones ruining it. Young thrill-seekers looking to make a change without realizing how to really do so. Unfortunately this weekend we all got another glimpse of the reality & state our society is in.
"This is the era of disinformation & the media uses it wisely to engage and direct us. Slowly but surely our freedoms are being taken away & Saturday November 26th, hundreds of people of all colors & creeds had their rights taken away due to the acts of terror.
"In closing to this statement all I can say is that actions speak louder than words & the actions of the Antifa were far more hateful than any words or actions we experienced at Messe des Morts. I hope that the actions of this weekend can shed new light into the surrounding darkness we people are drowning in. Learn to educate not discriminate."
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