I took a detour from my usual route Wednesday and walked through a couple of blocks of the ongoing truckers protest in downtown Ottawa, Freedom Convoy 2022. I figured it might be my last chance to obsereve first-hand.
Police were suggesting that they might actually start to take action to remove some demonstrators and trucks as the protest entered its third week. Maybe people were arrested and trucks moved out overnight – I haven’t checked yet this morning.
There weren’t as many people around as there were on my previous visit, which was on a weekend. It felt more like a street party than the festival happening last time.
Being on a schedule, I didn’t really take the time to talk with anyone, just observed the smiles. Of course none of the local residents are smiling. After three weeks of this their nerves are lomng past frayed. They, like everyone else, just want rthis to be over. The truckers never expected they would be in Ottawa so long.
There was lots of honking as I walked down Wellington Street, despite the court injunction against such noise. I suspect the truckers, with the invocation of the Emergency Measures Act, figure it doesn’t make a difference anymore as to what they do.
Police were distributing warnings Wednesday, suggesting consequences should the trucks not be moved. They may even follow through, given that the federal government has given them the power to compel tow truck operators to haul the rigs away, whether the tow truckers want to or not. This isn”t martial law, but I’m not sure what you call it when the state compels citizens to act in such a fashion.
The protests has been extremely peaceful when I have been there. The government claims of violence seem rather hollow. Yes, there is potential – but there is also potential for violence on the floor of the House of Commons, That is rare, though it has been known to happen.
Two years ago Canada’s rail lines were being blockaded by advocates of indigenous rights. The government declined to act, then finally sent a Cabinet Minister to negotiate with the protesters and diffuse the situation.
Apparently the difference this time around is that the government has no desire to listen to the concerns of the protesters. Is that becasue indigenous rights are something the Liberals support, even when the country is held hostage by protesters, whereas opposition to vaccine mandates must be crushed because the Liberals don’t agree with the cause?
You tell me.