July 12th, 2024

Truckers’ message about masks was hijacked by extremists


By Lethbridge Herald on March 2, 2022.

Brian Hancock – Lethbridge Herald publisher

What began as a peaceful protest of a ruling made by Justin Trudeau was somehow lost along the way. Trudeau decided unvaccinated truckers should not be able to cross the border anymore, the truckers decided to take their disdain to the streets in the form of a peaceful protest. Everything was legal on both sides of the issue, the issue would be tried in a court of public opinion and most seemed to side with the truckers when things first began – then things changed.

What began as a common group against a single issue was quickly lost as more and more lost causes joined in to try and get some traction. On their own they had no support; they looked at the truckers as an opportunity to get some validity. Little did the truckers realize that every time another group of outsiders joined them to “strengthen their support,” they were actually watering down the trucking issue and making the truckers an afterthought in their own movement. 

Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers took over the movement – they hadn’t been able to gain any traction on their own issues so they hijacked the truckers’ cause without them even knowing. The original argument became secondary, the truckers were lost in the mayhem, the supporters forced their way in and became the focus and the case for the truckers was no longer front and centre. They tried meeting with provincial representatives to overturn a federal mandate. Their focus was lost. 

Then entered the extremists – white supremacists, gun-toting trouble makers, anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers – anti anything was welcomed into the “peaceful protest” and the terms of engagement started going in the wrong direction. They and their views were not invited, they just joined in and took over. In their need for validation the truckers took them in and revelled in their support. Naively they still thought people were there to support them and their cause, not until the last minute did they realize they were no longer what the convoy was all about. Now the blockade is gone and the trucker’s issues remain. Sadly, support for them is waning; they had a valid concern but got caught up in the emotion and lost sight of the cause. You may not agree with their cause but peaceful protest is allowed in our democracy. It was no longer peaceful when the radical’s guns were found. Line the side of the highway with the horns blaring but let fellow truckers do their job, don’t punish Albertans while trying to send a message to Ottawa. Voice concerns and send a loud and clear message – instead they let the fringe causes beat their drums louder, eventually drowning out the truckers message. 

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SophieR

A nice story. Here is another:
It was not about the quarantines. The fact is that the U.S. had the same rules which would mean that these same returning truckers would have quarantined in the States when entering. Their concerns about quarantine do not make simple sense.
According to current reports (and probably to be affirmed during the coming court appearances), this protest was being planned many weeks prior to Trudeau’s health regulation that unvaccinated truckers were to quarantine when re-entering Canada. Given that the organizers were western separatists and one with links to proto-fascist alt right groups makes their ‘naivety’ suspect. More likely, everyone was invited to the party knowing their respective agendas. That the Ottawa protests didn’t skip a beat after finding a cache of arms at Coutts (weapons to be used to battle police) supports this perspective.
The movement wasn’t ‘taken over’ – it was what it was created to be. And what was that? Having a protest planned in the waning days of Covid health measures suggests that the intention was to disrupt government and challenge Trudeau, and to take away his ‘win’ managing public safety for the past two years. It was also intended to nudge Canada’s National Front further to the right.
These people are, by and large, Trump-like proto-fascists impatient with the democratic process that continues to give the Liberal party a mandate to form minority governments. It was an insurrection. That a few witless truckers and farmers got caught up in the excitement is probably correct, but that it was a protest-gone-awry is unlikely.
(Meanwhile, their ex-leader sells arms to the authoritarian regime in Saudi Arabia, now allied with Russia in the war in Ukraine. Let’s face it: these are not good people.)

biff

um, are you not aware of the reality that the trudeau govt has been selling military equipment to the saudis, too? (and yes, this has been going on with all of fed govts for quite some time – money trumps everything). indeed, saudi arabia is a land of significant human rights abuses. is one also not aware that the trudeau govt is snugly in bed with china? now, there is an even grander abuser of human rights. for that matter, the entire free world is pretty much snugly in bed with china. and with the saudis. perhaps it is not so good a thing to pretend that one individual or one group of nasty idiots is a whole lot better than the other? the system we have been supporting with our illiterate “x” is rigged, cooked. but hey, if it makes one feel better to believe that lucifer is a better option than satan….

SophieR

Fair enough, biff. I was focused on making the point that this is not a ‘fringe’ thing – it is a worldview. But, as you have correctly said, arms sales and spooning with authoritarian regimes is a worldview shared by all neoliberals, which includes all of the political parties holding seats in government in Canada. I do, however, fear this sustained drift to the right by the CPC and their base.

biff

your point is well presented. however, it may be kind of a chicken or the egg thing. i do recall a couple of the initial interviews with truckers in ottawa, and in each case their focus was about standing up for their right to choose with regard to mandated vaxing. that was a little before the the general media decided to send in some of its own. ugh, and then came the incredibly biased 5th estate rewriting of all that (not to say those extremists were not involved – clearly they were and clearly they had support; however, that was not nearly the entire story).
we have come to a time, which has been building pretty much since the 1980s, where we will need to decide if the way forward should remain on its current path. i believe a compelling case can be made that we are on verge of authoritarianism throughout most/all of what we accept as being the “free” world; we are de facto governed by power and money that supersedes those we elect and punt out and reelect some time after: what we now have is a “demockracy.” and, that wealth and power always remains in power, far beyond the accountability of the “voters.” as a peaceful protest, as a volley across the bow, i would like to see what would come of a high turnout election with close to an equally high number of ruined ballots. that said, i do not see how continuing to move back and forth from tweedle dum to tweedle dee is changing much of anything for the better.

TonyPargeter

He’s an anarchist.

Resolute

Welll … no. It started when the Canadian federal govt enforced its mandate that prevented crossborder truckers without then-current covid vaccinations from returning to Canada without submitting to 14day quarantines and experienced harrassment. Thus making working as a crossborder truck driver not possible. Thus causing reportedly 16,000 truckers to lose their jobs. Signs, posters and online coverage indicates concerns with all other government mandates created to address its stated promoted perception of covid risks and desired preventative measures.
There were reports of a few illegal actions by a very few citizens that attached themselves to the freedom convoy protest but insignificant except to the media and governments. Its presence in Ottawa center created a nuisance to those living there. BUT that seemed an unavoidable consequence of making its point, that of calling for the return of government-curtailed freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution (subject of course to the reasonabless wafflewords put in by Trudeau Sr) and unremovable by hmanity’s natural order.
In summary, the Freedom movement did not appear to me to be captured by any illegal or immoral bent whatsoever.
Media and government actions villifying bouncy castles, honkhonk, friendliness, smiles, caring for others and the simple joy of living, are another matter. Despicable actually.

TonyPargeter

Maybe you should stick to sports because you seem to have unwittingly transposed the convoy debacle with a sporting event complete with teams where you cheer for the side you like.
Any support of that convoy is utterly indefensible because it was illegal to start with; since WHEN does peaceful protest include THAT?
And what exactly were these gung-ho truckers protesting anyway? The pandemic restrictions/protections? Public health as a concept? The pandemic ITSELF? The virus? The SKY?
Sophie points out the fact of simultaneous American restrictions/protections being conveniently left out of their “argument.” Also that little memorandum thing about overthrowing the government, AND our democracy, which was the ultimate aim based on an irrational hatred of Trudeau and the Liberals. Conservatives here, in expunging progressivism, have become much like the Republicans in that they can’t win elections here without cheating because the majority of Canadians are progressive, read Liberal, NDP, Greens.
It doesn’t look good for a newspaper publisher in particular to support an insurrection I’d say.

biff

it was not illegal to start with. there is a lot of anger and reaction that came to use the protest as its voice. that came to undermine the initial point, being that of the vax mandates. given that those mandates already were being relaxed, the libs could have pulled the contentious and stupidly timed vax mandates for the truckers, and nothing close to what happened would have emerged.

TonyPargeter

BS, the Americans had the same mandate at the border anyway. It was about overhtrowing government. It became indefensible on day one when they parked where they did.

biff

oh yeah, i guess they could have waited another few years, unitl another useless charade called an election could happen. as it had already come to be, far too many people had either lost their job/career due to not caving in to govts forcing vaxes on them, or, took the damn vaxes that their belief, their choice, and/or their conscience did not agree with. it is a warped understanding of freedom that you and too many others have been conditioned into.

TonyPargeter

You forgot one in all your high-flown rhetoric that sounds like you’re talking about religion or American-style patriotism instead of a basic public health protection in a bloody pandemic…. along with “their belief, their choice, and/or their CONSCIENCE,” (cue the hand clutched to the heart) you forgot what is probably the most basic reason– rampant, irresponsible misinformation created by algorithms. And then you went all in and denied the pandemic itself. Why stop there, why not up is down, black is white, Russia isn’t currently waging war on Ukraine, etc. etc.
This is why you have lost any influence you had on this forum, such as it is. Because of YOUR warped understanding of freedom….

biff

you are off the rails. your sad take on freedom supports the new, neo-liberal religion, one that is replete with the supremacy of the official narrative. indeed, the right to one’s conscience is not a right – one has only a right: a duty, to follow what the gods in power say. you have earned your man from glad outfit. you must find it puzzling when reading dystopian novels or watching dystopian movies, as i figure they look quite normal and natural to you.

Last edited 2 years ago by biff
TonyPargeter

Yeah, that’s what science is for sure. A narrative. That’s why the IPCC took DECADES to actually come out and SAY out loud that mankind has indeed caused climate change, AND made it worse by “politicizing it.”

biff

what?! where did the climate issue come from here? we are talking about forced vaxing, about who owns one’s body.
i agree that humans have adversely affected our planet, in a massive way. mind you, the only ting that the idiots in charge have really been doing is giving away public money to the usual private hands in return for no real solutions.

IMO

In peeling back the onion to describe what the Freedom Convoy represented, Winnipeg poet, artist and activist Cam Scott argues:

“…we might venture to say that the Freedom Convoy didn’t carry off a coup so much as it staged an exposé…The Freedom Convoy is a petty-bourgeois revolt against monopoly capital during a crisis—interests destined to drift in and out of alignment—and as such, it is purposed at the capitalist state, which secures the empty space of exchange between private interests.”
https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/what-was-the-freedom-convoy

TonyPargeter

Thanks for the link, will read it. Various takes on this but I’m going with the pure, venal hatred of Trudeau and the “libtards” that has been so assiduously stoked on social media for YEARS finally reaching critical mass in tandem with parochial western resentment.

biff

the primary issue with the long-winded piece is that it speaks of the “left,” and yet, there is no longer really much left of the “left” – not insofar as represented by any govt. the ndp is nothing more than a centrist (at its most left) to a neo-liberal leaning, bootlicking group. for the fool singh to utter, roughly, that he will support the emergencies measures act so long as it is not abused was absolute political gibberish: the invocation of the act itself was already an abuse. he supported the fascist action. and, no once criticises the ridiculous powers granted to bloody banks to be able to arbitrarily seize money, without any basis by basis court orders?! unions are no longer “left.” so long emasculated they are essentially owned by the neo-liberal power structure. there was time when the idea of owning one’s body would have been a “left” hallmark, and unions would have fought to maintain that ownership. however, they have already long caved to mandatory blood tests wherever ordered, and, laughably, have sold out their members by supporting forced vaxing by equating it with “workplace safety.” outrageous.
i dare say, the neo-liberal oligarchs could never have predicted how easily the masses could be duped, and duped they are. the convoy’s participants, though a disparate group of odd bedfellows, at least understands enough that change will not come via elections. at least “they” can see through the bs. not to say that “they” have the best solutions.

Last edited 2 years ago by biff
IMO

You appear to have missed the meaning in “As for the triangulatory “left” of parliament…(emphasis added) and the use of parantheses in this instance. Additionally, your concluding statement strongly suggests you don’t understand Scott’s perspective (whether or not you agree with it) and you make the participants in the Freedom Convoy an imaginary fiction with your use of parantheses.

Moreover, perhaps the reason contemporary society faces multiple political crises may be located in increasingly short attention spans demonstrating a limited capacity to engage with any “long winded piece”

biff

well, first let me say that to base so much of the blabbering on marx and engles is to establish a poor basis for anything. they are hardly relevant, and now well over 100 years after their publishing. next, the writer speaks of protesters as though they are all an homogenous group of fascist, white supremacists at heart, which is hardly the case. not to deny there were those among the protestors. a better argument would have been that the people protesting and supporting the protestors included fascists, and supremacists, which is curious, and even ironic, as they ultimately were protesting fascist govts – fascist govts that were implementing fascist ideals, such as exerting ownership over the body of its citizens. fascist govts that represent fascist oligarchs, the latter which sublimely control and de facto own so-called democratic systems. and, based on what you have presented in this forum, each in terms of your writing and the links you have offered, you are well aware that our “democracies” are under siege and failing.

IMO

Indeed, liberal democracy is under siege. But to suggest that Marx and Engels are irrelevant is to ignore the continuation of inequalities generated by late capitalism. Witness the obscene increase in wealth of the world’s billionaires, for example. OXFAM sums it up quite succinctly:

“Extreme inequality is a form of economic violence, where policies and political decisions that perpetuate the wealth and power of a privileged few result in direct harm to the vast majority of ordinary people across the world and the planet itself.”
https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/ten-richest-men-double-their-fortunes-pandemic-while-incomes-99-percent-humanity

biff

spot on. to clarify my point about engels/marx, i am of the belief their theories and outlook are antiquated. moreover, save for the somewhat continued use of the “proletariat,” and their pointing out the obvious with regard to wealth disparity, there is little to be gleaned in terms of solutions or prognostication.
so, the questions that we had best confront are, how do we spread the wealth, how do we spread the power, how do we ensure sustainability, how do the marginalised gain their fair share of enfranchisement, how do we instill and then maintain representative govt. i dare say “they” have us twisted and tied. still too many actually believe elections resolve our most pressing issues and concerns, and they have us divided over some pretty fundamental things, such as who owns one’s body. i am big on sustainability, on being far more needs based/less wants based, but i also believe in individuality, and the idea that the rights of each end at the body of the other.
as per naomi klein, the pandemic helped to further cement the wealth and power of the oligarchy, as we watched massive sums of wealth spill from the public coffers into very private hands. the fallout continues on, into the war in the ukraine. it is rather curious how that erupts just as covid winds down. it is my belief that the oligarchs knew exactly where to place chunks of their wealth so as to profit handsomely from the war. again, massive sums of public wealth move to the private realm, via the military industrial complex. consequent inflation, which already was over the top, will reduce the masses now to near nothingness.- desperate beggars in many cases. some have warned of the great reset to come – and yet, it has been well under way. now, if engels and marx had forewarned of this, they would indeed be prescient.