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Last January 26, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insulted Canadian truckers by calling them a “small fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.” He also claimed that the truckers did not represent the thinking of Canadian civil society at all. However, 48 hours later, truckers from across the country, supported by millions of citizens, peacefully took over Canada’s capital, Ottawa, giving Trudeau a historic humbling.
The protest is unprecedented, as a good part of Canadians agrees with the demands of the demonstration: an end to the confinements, the vaccination mandates, the health passport and other Draconian health measures that have fed up the citizens.
While the media lie and discredit the protesters, the images speak for themselves: whites, blacks, Hispanics, Hindus and Indians, natives; elders, children, entire families; Canadians of all races and ages joined the truckers to stand up and put Justin Trudeau’s government in check.
Joining the truckers, farmers arrived in Ottawa with their imposing tractors to support the Convoy. A sign that more than one union stood up against the Canadian government.
Alberta cowboys were also not far behind and showed their support for the Freedom Convoy.
The Instagram page Canadian Freedom Convoy 2022, which currently has 460,000 followers, posted videos and photos of the demonstrations. On February 5, they uploaded an extensive five-minute video with impressive images of the protest in Ottawa. There you can see young people dancing and playing instruments, people singing and showing their signs asking for “freedom,” and even children on the shoulders of their parents demonstrating peacefully.
The images also show a clear unity among the protesters, regardless of race, belying government rhetoric that the protest is linked to “racism” and “white supremacism.”
Justin Trudeau and his allies use state force against protesters in Canada
There were not only shocking images for the demonstration of Canadian civil society, but also for the use of state forces to curtail freedom of expression.
As the demonstrations in Ottawa have been going on for almost two weeks and seem to have no end in sight, the mayor of the capital, Jim Watson, declared a state of emergency, arguing that the protest represents a “serious danger and a threat to the safety and security of residents.”
Likewise, Justin Trudeau, who disappeared for a whole week after the start of the demonstrations, gave a press conference from an unknown location to attack the truckers saying that they have a “hateful rhetoric.” This February 8, in fact, he tweeted that the demonstration had to be stopped because the truckers had no right to block the economy. Trudeau said this despite the fact that he himself, along with provincial leaders, shut down Canada’s economy with the lockdowns.
The rhetoric of the authorities did not remain empty words, as the police have been attacking the demonstrators and confiscating the fuel used by the truckers to light their portable ovens and withstand the very low temperatures in Ottawa.
The police also began arresting demonstrators. An eighty year old man was arrested apparently for not presenting identification. The agents threatened the citizens who denounced the arbitrary action, forcing them to go home.
Several videos of Canadian police officers arresting protesters went viral on social networks, generating outrage among users.
We must follow closely the images coming from Canada in the next few days, as the protesters remain firm in the streets and the authorities are beginning to use repressive tactics that may increase.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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