Farmers Forum analysis
Now that the dust has settled on the Freedom Convoy, what are we to make of it? If you believe the Liberal-NDP coalition, the mainstream news media and many social media posts, the trucker convoy was an insurrection bent on overthrowing the government. The protestors are white supremacists, rapists, and even Nazis.
By some accounts, the truckers and their supporters should have been locked up. In the end, some of them were pulled from the crowd or from their trucks by police and beaten. The federal government ordered banks to freeze more than 200 bank accounts and three of the leaders of the movement spent two weeks or more in jail on mischief charges that have yet to be proven in court. As of late March, two other leaders were still in jail for their part in what has been a very peaceful protest (I am a witness. I was there everyday).
The three levels of government drove the truckers out of town in one weekend. It was easy. All it took was a little persuasion from hundreds of armed police officers, as well as automatic weapons, armoured vehicles, wooden sticks, tear gas, pepper spray, police snipers, charging horses and the end of a rifle.
By some accounts, the truckers and their supporters deserved that little nudge. The prime minister’s national security and intelligence advisor Jody Thomas gave us the official line on what went down. She insisted on March 10 that the truck convoy wanted to overthrow the government. She’s the national security advisor. She said it. It must be true.
Or is it? The truckers didn’t have the means — not enough weapons, actually no weapons at all. That is irrelevant, Thomas argues. They wanted to overthrow the government, she said. And that is enough. She likely didn’t see the press release from convoy leader Tamara Lich who stated that the protest does not support overthrowing the government.
It is also hard to overthrow the government with flags, cell phones, truck horns and barbecues. It’s hard to topple a regime by singing O Canada. Since Thomas seems to operate on a rather loose meaning of “overthrowing government, ” would she say that 66 per cent of voters in the last election wanted to overthrow the government?
Come to think of it, I’d like to overthrow a scandal-ridden government. I’m armed with vocal chords and one vote. Should I be jailed for my thoughts? Maybe not. But, perhaps, I deserve a poke to the head with the back of a rifle or a knee to the kidneys. Or, perhaps, the underlying roots of my extremism should be addressed.
As for the truckers, their underlying roots of extremism must be addressed, Thomas said. Yes, Canada’s national security advisor said that.
Politicians cried that the horrors of extremism were everywhere. Someone peed on the war memorial on Elgin Street. They do that a lot on Canada Day. The underlying roots of extremism of Canada Day revelers might need to be addressed.
There was a Nazi flag that showed up on day one long enough to get photographed. The man never returned and none of the freedom Convoy supporters know who he is. But if we indulge in guilt by association, is this not a sign of their racism? Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wore a fascist scarf at a rally for Ukraine. Should her underlying roots of extremism be addressed? No need, we already know her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator, according to David Pugliese’s article in the Ottawa Citizen.
What about that masked man with a confederate flag? He was hounded until he left Wellington Street. The Liberal Party doesn’t have any racial issues. The prime minister has only worn blackface three times, maybe four or… never mind.
And did you see all of those Canadian flags among the Freedom Convoy protestors? Nothing says insurrection, extremism and “unacceptable views” quite like waving Canadian flags.
Remember all of those broken windows. Police broke truck windows and a police officer threatened to break the window of a restaurant that served truckers. One restaurateur said someone broke the window at his shawarma joint because he stayed open and served Freedom Convoy supporters. How dare those insurrectionists force other people to break windows to stop all that insurrecting.
Another niggling fact is that the only surviving drafter of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, former Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford, said that the charter he wrote does not allow a government to limit movement of its people. He too heard the argument that there was an attempted insurrection and after considerable thought, he saw the need to act. He is now suing the federal government. Strange too that former Conservative Minister of Defence Perrin Beatty, who wrote the Emergencies Act, said it should not have been used.
The Freedom Convoy is distinguished in that it is one of those rare grassroots protests that did not ask for a hand-out or make ludicrous demands. They only asked for the freedom that was theirs and was taken away.
How the freedom convoy was misunderstood