You know the old story, any publicity is good publicity? Probably not in this case.
Vigilante violence shakes serene N.B. tourist town
From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Grand Manan, the pretty archipelago in the Bay of Fundy, is typically tranquil, best known for its pudgy puffins and mouth-watering lobster.
It’s a sleepy tourist destination and, for those who call it home, a peaceful place where people are used to leaving the doors unlocked at night.
But residents’ anxieties over creeping drug problems in the community sparked a violent, vigilante attack against suspected dealers on the weekend — and many are concerned that others will take the law into their own hands.
“For the most part Grand Mananers are rational people,” Mayor Dennis Greene said. “But I believe that people felt they had taken all they could take. I hope this was a one-time thing. But I believe it could happen again.”
What did go down in the midnight hours last Saturday was more fitting of the urban jungle or a Martin Scorsese film than of a fishing community that lures tourists with its serene seashore.
As many as 50 residents, ranging in age from twentysomething to fiftysomething, got together and launched an attack on a group of about 10 locals who the vigilantes suspected of dealing drugs from a house in the tiny community of Castalia, on the island’s eastern shore.
Participants on both sides brandished guns, baseball bats and knives. The battle rumbled over four hours into the early morning. Three of the island’s four RCMP officers were on duty and tried to break up what turned into a raging street riot, but they could not stop the vigilante gang from setting fire to the suspected drug den. As volunteer firefighters worked to douse the flames, the vigilantes hurled rocks at them; the house burned to the ground and more than a dozen people suffered minor injuries during the fights. Gunshots were also fired, though no one was hit.
Toronto’s elite now think that rural New Brunswick is in chaos. Sheesh.