(1) Communism is work than honking
(2) The freedom convoy is a civil rights movement and faces the same obstacles as the old ones
(3) Terry Fox, Resurrected as Victimized Canadian Icon (Janice Fiamengo)
(4) Taking Back Our Freedoms podcast
(5) Some much-needed humour
(6) The situation on the ground in Ottawa
(7) Trudeau backs down on use of military force
(8) Canadian military will not break up the truckers’ Freedom Convoy in Ottawa
(1) Communism is worse than honking!
Some folks in Ottawa don’t like the honking. On Twitter someone wrote this message:
So true! There were a lot of responses to it worth reading. Some of them are below:
Tell them “it’s just two weeks” or until all restrictions and vax passports are lifted. That should give them some perspective.
A reminder that if the truck convoy never happened, every single Conservative MP would still be 100% silent on the communist takeover.
The sad thing is that we are sleeping walking towards a Communist takeover. Glad you recognize that!
Freedom of expression is not always convenient especially if the opinions being expressed don’t align with those of the fearless leader @JustinTrudeau
I grew up in Communism and what’s happening in Canada is worse. The path we’re on makes communism look like a walk in the park.
Too many have become comfortable Communists. They need to read some history books regarding how hard it is to get rid of.
The Truckers will leave when we get our freedom back. With Communism my family has to leave to find freedom
Good folks here – first time I have felt good about Canada in a long while.
Urge your citizens to come out peacefully, this is your moment. Remember the “yellow vest” in France, they missed their moment, now they’re STUCK with Macroon.
Just wait until Canada’s ten days of Summer.
It’s so great to see people celebrating life instead of fearing it.
Hmmmm where are the racists, CBC?
I am actually getting excited with the possible of Trudeau getting ousted! O’Toole is gone now – there is hope.
Also, taking away people’s livelihood in the name of greater good.
Exactly with communist you won’t be able to own a home, bed or anything including your health. Sure it’s nice to sleep but if you don’t stay awake or wake up soon, you won’t be able to afford one night of sleep!
Trudeau represents worldwide neo-Communism as he is a WEF member of young global leaders and therefore committed to execute Klaus Shwab’s Great Reset plan.
I am now 48 years old, I was born in the USSR. This is the iron curtain, the inability to change the place of residence, total control by the state, the lack of basic household and hygienic things. The whole world is watching you, make no mistake, stop the commies.
Starving to death with your children because Nazi Trudeau mandates cost you your career.
It is not about jabbed or un jabbed. IT IS ABOUT FREEDOM. The single most important concept in human history.
This is starting to remind me of the Arab Spring that ended the Authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mohammad Mubarak of Egypt!
Above: not a real photo but it’s a reference to this story: “Trudeau gave $830,000 for COVID-19 research to the same Wuhan virus laboratory suspected of kicking off the pandemic“
Tweet: Canada needs a stronger Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
[i.e. one in which medical tyranny can never again be allowed to occur!]
Reply: listen to Brian Peckford on the Jordan Peterson podcast. We have it. We just need the courts to enforce it.
We have the Canadian Bill of Rights! It’s amazing and gives our freedoms under God. That’s why they made the charter to give us privileges under corrupt government!
We need a first and second amendment.
It’s not a very strong governing document if the government has ways around it (notwithstanding clause).
(2) The convoy is doing what the civil rights movement did, and for much the same reasons: to oppose segregation, and using the same tactic of nonviolent protest.
Ottawa City Council is very much against the convoy, even to the point of trying to steal the GoFundMe money. It’s similar to the way in which the city leaders of Birmingham, Alabama and police were against the civil rights movement when it came to town.
There’s a video with these councillors speaking with venom against the convoy, saying such things as “we need to cut off the pipeline to these mercenaries” (the protestors). Would they ever dare have done that to Black Lives Matter? No, because they supported BLM!
Birmingham used a police force to break up the march with water cannons and police dogs. That got a lot of negative press at the time, and ever since, because it was seen as brutal and repressive. The teens who got attacked were nonviolent.
Instead of using police or military to disrupt the peaceful protesters in Ottawa, the Trudeau regime is using Ottawa City Council and the legacy media to attack them. The CBC and Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, etc. are Trudeau’s attack dogs, unjustly smearing the truckers as racist, hateful, etc.
Here’s an exchange over this point:
The Black Lives Matter march (of June 5, 2022 last year) was attended by Mayor Jim Watson and others on city council who endorsed the Marxist organization that had burned down neighbourhoods in the U.S. and was responsible for deadly assaults there, including the murder of police.
But now Watson has expressed concerned regarding the possibility of violence from the convoy, even though there is zero evidence of it thus far. In saying that he is echoing the views of the biased elitist media who are paid by the Trudeau with our tax money to gaslight us. What hypocrisy!
It seems the Ottawa City Council are all for the violent Marxist group BLM (typical virtue-signaling of the kind Trudeau is renowned for) but they’re against the patriotic citizens of Canada when they try to express the frustration of being politically voiceless and subjugated by unjust and pointless mandates!
These councillors live in an entitle bubble. They remind me of Marie Antoinette saying let them eat cake.
[It turns out that Ottawa City Council managed to freeze the GoFundMe account for the truckers. This was done by one Dianne Deane who appears in this video]
When all the major political parties are against the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Charter and have made the lives of the citizens miserable through medical tyranny, you can expect protest.
Ottawa City Council is a disgrace. Nothing but elitists who look down on working-class Canadians.
People of Ottawa, I hope you can grasp that the convoy is there to protect all our freedoms before they’re gone forever.
At least the police have been consistently pro-free speech: in June 2020 they said “As the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa is the seat of democracy for the rest of the country; the voices and ideas of those who live here should be heard and shared.”
I’m anti-mandate and anti-vax as well as anti-mask but even I know illegal parking when I see it. If I ever park illegally, my vehicle gets towed and held in a compound. The Ottawa police can’t tow the trucks like cars but they can start by arresting the driver of the easiest vehicles to remove, first, and have him drive his tractor outside Ottawa and send him on his way. Then, the second vehicle and so on.
The people of Ottawa are a mix of mandate supporters and resisters just like the rest of us. The City of Ottawa is not Parliament Hill and the politicians who inflicted the mandates. The convoy was a bad strategy started by a questionable person, Pat King.
You seem to be saying that it’s the right cause but the wrong tactic. Something similar was said to Martin Luther King Jr. regarding his march in Birmingham Alabama. He responded with this famous letter from jail:
“You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored . . .
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
Is the situation in Ottawa and Canada comparable to the civil rights movement. Yes, because the convoy IS a civil rights movement for equality and an end to mandates. We are suffering segregation and a two-tiered society right now. The harms inflicted on several million Canadians who choose freedom of medical choice is enormous. We pose no danger to anyone, since the mRNA injections do not prevent infection or transmission.
This is being done to us unjustly for political reasons, for power. The pain that these mandates has causes is nothing less than criminal. A protest is the voice of people who are not listened to. This convoy will go down in history as the greatest thing to happen to Canada in this century, I predict. All nonviolent movements for freedom are vilified at the time, but in time they gain the respect.
You mention “illegal parking” but the tactic of non-violent civil disobedience is driven by a moral concern for the good of all, for the fate of the country, for justice. A municipal infraction is the lesser concern by far. MLK referred to a Moral Law given by God and Natural Law to defend social justice. On this basis, he and Gandhi broke trespassing laws in service to the the voice of conscience.
MLK wrote: “there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all. Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
The convoy has met with great success in a short time, despite the PM and mainstream media being against the people: O’Toole is gone, Premier Moe dropped the mandates in Saskatchewan, and in Quebec they dropped the odious and discriminatory mandatory law. If the convoy continues and grows — which I believe it will as the weather gets warmer — it will eventually succeed in getting rid of all mandates in Canada — which should have happened long ago.
We should be following the UK and Denmark’s’ lead on this. Instead, Trudeau is doubling down, like Bull Conner with his dogs. I know Trudeau would like to unleash actual attack dogs on the people, as they did in Antwerp a few months ago, but the world is watching, so he can’t without looking like even more of a tyrant than he already is. Instead he attacks with the CBC.
We are witnesses to the injustice taking place in our country. It needs to end. The convoy is in the moral right. It’s a legitimate civil rights movement.
Lastly, as to the argument against “outside agitation” and disruption, MLK said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.: The same could be said of Canada.
MLK also pointed out that those who object were not too vocal against the conditions that led to the protest: “You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white structure left the Negro community with no alternative.”
Similarly, I would add, ordinary working-class Canadians have been left with no alternative. We do not have a voice in any major political party right now. With the exception of a few lone voices, the CPC leaders have been a huge disappointment. They’re far too cautious and afraid of the media and whoever is controlling the media. Meanwhile, the call for ending the mandates is growing.
If the convoy had not happened, all of Canada would have followed Quebec’s lead in imposing mandatory vax on all citizens over age 18. We were headed down a long, dark road towards a bleak future in which the state dictates everything and the people are powerless. Thanks to truckers, there is hope again for a free nation. I suppose we should thank Trudeau for uniting us – against state tyranny.
One last point (a minor one). BLM and MLK’s cause are not the same at all. BLM is pro-violence and anti-family and anti-Christian. It’s openly Marxist and racist. MLK was a Christian pastor who was for integration, equality, nonviolence and brotherly love. He actually spoke out against the 1960s against the precursor of BLM, the Black Power movement for it’s violent tactics. He said let us not judge each other on the colour of our skin, but on the content of our characters. BLM takes a different approach. There’s a good book that goes into detail about this: Bearing the Cross by David Garrow.
The Canadian freedom movement is also non-violent and much of it animated by Christian values. And it’s against segregation and discrimination and is using protest as a method to bring attention to injustice. There are many important parallels.
I thank you for raising the point you and for your patience with my long reply. The sooner all the mandates and restrictions are dropped nation-wide, the soon the convoy will leave.
This is actually an historic event, unparalleled in Canadian history. I really believe people will look back on it with pride, saying I was there to help the cause of freedom. We were on the verge of losing everything until the truckers stepped forward. These guys are true heroes. I can’t thank them enough.
Even the police chief says the protest has been peaceful and friendly, despite efforts by the PM and media to demonize it. That demonizing effort has backfired on the international stage. People see the truth.
Yes it’s an inconvenience to some people and the Ottawa City Council seem irked, but my message to them is that they should recognize and respect the importance of this and actually help the freedom movement, not move against it. They are really on the wrong side of history if they keep up the small-minded attacks.
Thanks for your thoughtful replies . . . Just by chance, I was re-reading my analysis of Socrates and Thracymachus in one of the Plato’s Republic last night and your answer reminds me of that debate over “is might right?” and “what is just?”
I’ve been wondering where all the philosophers were in the social media on this convoy! Here you and I are. I’ll consider just a couple of points for now. You said “We were on the verge of losing everything until the truckers stepped forward.”
Actually, the tide has been turning worldwide quite noticeably since the weakest variation Omicron, and since Dec. 25, 2021 but the best reference point for me is Boris Johnsons cancelling all mandates for vax a few weeks ago and since then has been called to resign. Why did BJ cancel mandates at that time? It seems that there are a series of lower level court lawsuits claiming various figures are “accessories to murder”– in the UK. THAT method appears to be working.
You wrote: “Yes it’s an inconvenience to some people and the Ottawa City Council seem irked.”
It’s more than being irked. The ‘life support system’ and ‘daily life routine’ system of a city of a million people who are on both sides is being adversely affected and disproportionately so, compared to the survival of the highly paid Members of Parliament and other government officials and employees. I cannot tell if Parliament is even in session or if Question Period is being conducted. It is unjust that daily lives of Ottawans is put upon more than the daily lives of other Canadians.
Re: the first point you make: “the tide has been turning worldwide quite noticeably since the weakest variation Omicron. Yes it has but instead of removing the restrictions or even leading up to it, Trudeau met with ministers and decided to double-down, which led to Quebec’s Premier saying they would impose a mandatory vaccine regimen, like Austria, through a punitive tax. Other provinces were to follow, and the rhetoric was clearly for being more draconian and restrictive, not less. Canadians saw this and reacted with the convoy. Were it not for the convoy, Canada would be moving in the wrong direction on this.
We owe our freedom to the truckers. Trudeau has been going down the path since he was elected in 2015. He is a closet Communist who covets a Chinese-liked dictatorship for himself and has terrible things to the Canadian people. The pandemic was his golden opportunity impose tyrannical rule and he did so, with gusto, and openly said he would do so in order to impose a Great Reset. The convoy was and is needed. We still have mandates in Canada that need to be lifted and they won’t move till they’re gone. Normal methods are not working because the people have no voice in Ottawa. The CPC are pathetic. The convoy has already succeeded in numerous wins: several provinces announced easing of restrictions and O’Toole is gone. All that is due to the convoy. No thanks to the CBC and MSM however.
The 2nd point, on the inconvenience: The people in Ottawa who object to the protest are, in my view, missing out on an historic event: the revival of Canadian patriotism and emergence of the Canadian freedom movement.
The residents of Birmingham in 1963 were not happy with thousands of people flooding into their sleepy town to disrupt it with protests, either. They complained to the city officials who then attacked the protestors with water cannons, police batons, and attack dogs. This was captured on TV, to the horror of the world, since the protest was nonviolent.
Instead of attack dogs, Trudeau is using the MSM and Ottawa city council to attack while he vacations in the U.S. The CBC is the Bull Connor of Ottawa, smearing and defaming the truckers with unfounded allegations of racism. Life will go after the protests, but for now they represent an extraordinary opportunity to be part of something truly historic. I wish I was there in person and evenly those who are. I cannot imagine being an Ottawa and resenting it and missing out on the euphoria and joyous celebration there right now. This is not a normal time. It should be savoured.
Canadians are rightfully demanding freedom after two years of some of the worst restrictions on the planet. They are freezing to do it, because it’s so important. They are heroic. Trudeau and Ottawa City Council comes off as the villains in all this, just as Bull Connor did in 1963. Those who attack the convoy and supporters are deeply unhappy people. But Canadians who are demanding their freedom are celebrating because they have found one another in a country where the leaders have abandoned them — and that’s worth dancing in the streets for.
AOC loves the truckers? lol (she is speaking about 2020 riots, but it’s applicable)
(3) Terry Fox, Resurrected as Victimized Canadian Icon
by Janice Fiamengo
With the eyes of the world now on Ottawa, where an enormous truckers’ convoy is demanding an end to vaccine mandates and the resignation of the country’s hapless prime minister, Canadian print media have seized on the alleged “defacement” of the Terry Fox statue in downtown Ottawa (here and here) with the breathless outrage normally reserved for acts of extraordinary cruelty or contempt.
The mayor of Port Coquitlam, Fox’s hometown, claimed to have been “mortified” by what happened, expressing his angry conviction that whatever message activists might have had in mind was now lost because “thousands if not millions of people in this country are going to see what they did to the Terry Fox statue and be absolutely disgusted.”
But what exactly was done to the statue, and why should it erase the message of the Freedom Convoy?
It’s true that Terry Fox (1958-1981) was for a time the closest thing this taciturn and divided country had to a national hero, an attractive young person who responded to adversity with grit and grace. Fox was an athlete and cancer survivor who, after having had a leg amputated in 1977 due to bone cancer, set out on an east-to-west run in 1980 (the Marathon of Hope) to raise money for cancer research. When his cancer returned 143 days into his punishing marathon-a-day run, he was forced to end the campaign, but an annual event held across Canada continues to celebrate his memory and to raise millions of dollars. Although his name is not nearly as well known today as it once was, he seems an unlikely target for angry protest. One might even draw a parallel between Terry and the truckers, both crossing the country with an altruistic aim.
In recent years, damaging statues has become a common tactic by social justice activists. During the Black Lives Matter-sponsored “Summer of Love” in 2020, statues in most major cities in the United States were graffitied, toppled, beheaded, smashed, or set on fire (a partial list is found here). Statues in Toronto and other Canadian cities were also targeted for desecration. And though such acts caused outrage amongst the public, some politicians cheered on the fury of the activists while media outlets minimized the chaos and destruction they caused.
In contrast to the swath of damage left by BLM agitators, the Terry Fox statue has not actually been harmed in any way, though one wouldn’t know it from the hand-wringing headlines. Pictures of the “defaced” statue show the figure of Fox with a cap on his head, an upside-down Canadian flag in hand (symbol of distress and danger), another flag draped like a cape from his neck, and the placard “Mandate Freedom” balanced between his chest and arm. Whether one finds the appropriation of Fox’s image to have been in good taste or not will likely depend on the intensity of one’s beliefs about vaccine mandates as an assault on individual liberty. In any case, it’s hard to see any ill will towards Terry Fox himself, or Canadian society in general, in the action. No effort at all will have been required to restore the statue to its pristine form.
The ironies here are multiple, and the near-baseless fuss provides a snapshot of the upside-down state of cultural politics in Canada, in which a demonstration for liberty by genuinely working-class people—exactly the constituents our leaders claim to care about—can find almost no support or even a fair hearing. Terry Fox too, truth be told, was largely ignored during much of the first part of his run, especially in inward-looking Quebec, where newsmakers couldn’t be bothered about an Anglophone activist.
Today, the legacy media has been working overtime to dig up dirt on the Freedom Convoy and to minimize the extent of its popular support. The dirt-digging has proved difficult given how well-organized and self-disciplined the truckers have shown themselves thus far. Hours of video footage have highlighted the surprising lack of rancor and good-natured diversity of this pan-Canadian uprising, with its plethora of Canadian flags, patriotic anthem-singing, and outbreaks of pickup hockey.
Pundits could only fall back on their standard response to any expression by the working classes not authorized by the Crown Prince of Woke (and generous funder of Canadian media compliance) prime minister Justin Trudeau. Using his facile arsenal of slander, Trudeau accused the protesting truckers of racism and abuse, tweeting that they were “steal[ing] food from the homeless, “fly[ing] racist flags,” “engag[ing] in vandalism” and “dishonour[ing] the memory of our veterans.” Given that the only hard evidence for any of these claims was the so-called “vandalism” of the Terry Fox monument, that has had to be seized on with melodramatic intensity.
Terry Fox was a beautiful young man who briefly inspired a nation notoriously reticent about heroism. But we haven’t heard much about him lately. As a heterosexual white man from a middle-class family, Fox is no longer the ideal representative of Trudea’s nation without a “core identity,” and under other circumstances, celebration of him as “iconic” would likely draw criticism from the arbiters of Canadian civic morality, who would urge us all to look elsewhere—to dark-skinned, Indigenous, and female personages—for our heroes. There are plenty of those at the Freedom Convoy, now unheralded by the media apparatus.
It is testimony to the old adage about politics making strange bedfellows that, with their “We’re all in this together” mantra coming under threat as never before, even those who might normally disparage Terry Fox’s white male privilege are prepared to portray him as a sanctified victim.
And a reader’s comment:
“The furor over the not-actually-vandalized Terry Fox statue is matched only by the hysteria over the single (as far as I know) Confederate flag and the two (as far as I know) Nazi flags (one a swastika flag under an F*** Trudeau flag on a common flagpole and one a Canadian flag with swastikas in each corner) among the gazillions of flags and placards at the rallies on Parliament Hill. And how is it that no one among the MSM managed to see the two rainbow flags I saw on January 29th? The atmosphere on the Hill on January 29 was celebratory, jubilant, euphoric even. The overwhelming message of the protesters was “Freedom!” Oh boy — you can really see the $1.2 billion in government funding for the CBC and the $600 million to support “trustworthy” news sources at work in the reporting about the Freedom Convoy protest on the Hill.”
(4) Taking Back Our Freedoms podcast
This is a show mainly with Canadian physicians who disagree with the mandates and restrictions and are in Ottawa right now to share what they know. There are a couple of former police officers as well, sharing their assessment. I wrote about this group here.
(5) Some much-needed humour
Above: similar to Socialists Condemn Workers Of The World For Uniting
I guess this is a meme from protestors to those who complain of the honking? It’s a good point. Compliance has cost all of us. Non-compliance is the only way out.
Below: Trudeau`s real allegiance
Below: how Trudeau looks to the world
The most insidious lie in modern history: just two weeks to flatten the curve
(6) what’s the situation on the ground in Ottawa?
A real disparity between the news and reality:
Matthew Lavender on Twitter gives updates on Ottawa. Seems peaceful and hopeful there.
Above: a Chinese woman is thankful for people standing up against Communism.
Below: the Ottawa police chief says all is well. No violence.
(7) There’s something fish about this story because it appeared in all the MSM (Yahoo, Reuters etc) It seems coordinated, perhaps to scare the truckers. As though Trudeau is saying he won’t use the military now but might later?
Here is a version of the story from a conservative publication Lifesite news:
This contradicts a report in the Toronto Star that military involvement was ‘an option’.
OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s military will not be breaking up the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. Rumours have circulated in legacy media that the Canadian military will dispel the Freedom Convoy protests in the nation’s capital, but a source in Ottawa says that isn’t the case.
Paul Vieria, the Canadian correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, tweeted yesterday that a spokesman for Canada’s defence minister, Anita Anand, said: “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”
Spokesman for Canada’s defence minister, following comments from Ottawa police chief Sloly on possible need for military’s help in trucker protest: “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”
This comment contradicts a report by the Toronto Star that the Ottawa police might seek assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces.
In a similar fashion, legacy media [The Toronto Star] said there had been clashes between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the trucker blockade of the Canada-US border in Alberta, but this was proven to be false.
In 2020, Prime Minister Just Trudeau stated adamantly that it was “never appropriate” to use the military against Canadian citizens. [was this in reference only to BLM/Antifa or all Canadians?]
Here’s another conservative media version of the story: Trucker Protest: Organizers Say Governments Have Yet to Reach Out
And in Alberta, the standoff, which could result in non-violent civil disobedience by about 50 truckers, continues. Rebel News is embedded in the trucker camp and state-media CBC is embedded in the police camp.
Protest in Pictures: Demonstrations to Demand Lifting COVID-19 Mandates Continue in Ottawa (Epoch Times) (go to this link for more photos)
OTTAWA—Many protesters still remain in Canada’s capital to protest COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
The Freedom Convoy first began as a movement of truckers who created convoys from different parts of Canada to drive to Ottawa and demand the federal government remove its requirement for truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border have COVID-19 vaccination. Many have since joined the movement to protest all COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.
(8) Trucker Protest: Organizers Say Governments Have Yet to Reach Out
Epoch Times, Feb. 3, 2022
With the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa soon completing its first week, organizers said today no level of government has yet spoken to them directly, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t confirm if he was considering opening such negotiations but says he remains “steadfast” in his vaccination mandate approach.
“So far, no one from the federal, provincial, or municipal government has spoken directly with us. Instead, they’re using you, the media, to portray us as racist, misogynist, and even terrorists,” said protest organizer Tamara Lich in a press conference on Feb. 3.
“As a woman with Métis heritage, a mother and a grandmother, I am offended. The reality is that members of this freedom movement are average peace-loving and law-abiding citizens from all walks of life, who are fed up with being disrespected and bullied by our government.”
Lich reiterated the protesters would not leave until they see a “clear plan” for the lifting of all pandemic restrictions and mandates, pointing to other regions that have recently made announcements to do so such as Saskatchewan, the U.K., and several countries in Europe.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked during a press conference if he would consider negotiating with the protesters. Trudeau did not reply directly but said he was following his election promise by imposing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.
“That is the decision Canadians took in the last election by voting for parties that were supporting those mandates,” Trudeau said.
“So having a group of people who disagree with the outcome of an election, who want to go a different way and bring in an alternative government, is a non-starter in a responsible democracy.”
In the Sept. 20, 2021 election, the Liberals held on to their minority government with 160 seats won, and 32.6 percent of the national vote. The Tories, who opposed vaccine mandates, came in second with 119 seats and 33.7 percent of the national vote.
A survey by Angus Reid released on Jan. 31 said that a slim majority (54 percent) of Canadians are in favour of ending the pandemic restrictions—an increase of nearly 15 percentage points from the results of a similar poll conducted in January two weeks earlier, which showed 40 percent in favour.
In light of comments the day prior from Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly that requesting military aid was an option in dealing with the protest, Trudeau was asked if military intervention was in fact being considered.
“One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military in situations engaging Canadians,” Trudeau answered.
“It is not something that anyone should enter in lightly. But as of now, there have been no requests and that is not in the cards right now.”
The Prime Minister added that police forces should “do their job to resolve this situation,” and said the federal government was providing help with the RCMP and intelligence services.
GoFundMe Blocked Funds
Keith Wilson, a lawyer from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) representing the organizers, addressed the issue of GoFundMe withholding millions of dollars collected by the “Freedom Convoy” during the press conference.
Wilson said the Freedom Convoy has taken steps to incorporate as a not-for-profit corporation and all banking and accounting arrangements have been made to ensure the funds are released.
“GoFundMe, because they were bombarded with an orchestrated social media and other campaigns to try and shut it down or take it, has exercised heightened due diligence, which we welcome,” said Wilson, whose outfit the JCCF announced today it has a team of lawyers on the ground to advise the organizers.
A former RCMP officer who worked as a sniper to protect the prime minister also spoke at the press conference to discuss the matter of security.
Daniel Bulford, a 15-year veteran of the force who says he resigned because of the vaccine mandate imposed on the RCMP, is coordinating security for the protest.
Bulford said he has extensive experience with large events in downtown Ottawa, such as Canada Day, and said people should be reassured that the extensive police deployment in place during the trucker protest is normal.
The former officer also said organizers have been communicating with the various law enforcement agencies involved to relay safety concerns.
Bulford also called into question the information regarding arrests that have been portrayed as related to the protest.
“I have it on very reliable information that people from the movement were not associated, and that offences related to property damage, and just an assault this morning, committed by agitators were witnessed and reported by a trucker and one of our volunteer security personnel, which was reported to the police and handled by the Ottawa Police Service,” he said.
Bulford went on to mention the acts of kindness and civility seen around the protest site, such as providing food to the homeless, picking trash off the ground, shovelling snow, and guarding the War Memorial.