In the early days of January 2022, everyone knew the Omicron variant wasn’t that deadly. The original strain had a 99% survival rate for people under 60. Despite the fear-mongering in the media, the data coming out of South Africa was pretty clear. The coronavirus wants to survive and evolve and it can’t do that if it’s killing every host it latches onto. Ergo, the latest mutation, while extremely contagious, is as deadly as the common flu. And indeed, that’s how most countries decided to deal with the problem. Even the U.K., once known for its strict lockdown, removed their vaccine passports and mask mandates.
But not in Canada.
Whether it’s because of our fragile Soviet-era health care system or because our leaders are especially insidious, one can only guess. Consider, the messaging around the vaccine passport for truckers. For the first two years of the pandemic, these people were regarded as heroes. They continued working, bringing goods and services to Canadians. These truckers are for the most part isolated, driving alone in their trucks all day.
Still, the Trudeau government introduced a vaccine mandate for these former blue-collar heroes. The messaging mixed thanks to bureaucratic foibles. Are the cross-border mandates happening? Yes. No. Yes. No. And then, finally, yes.
Thus began the Freedom Conoy.
Despite Prime Minister Trudeau’s insistence that they don’t represent Canadians. That they hold “unacceptable views.” You expect to hear this rhetoric from some South American dictator. Not the leader of Western democracy.
By January 24th, truckers were en route to Ottawa. Not only from out West but from all over the country, even Quebec. In some places, the convoy spanned for kilometres. Two days later, an online fundraiser tops $5 million as the truckers cross from Manitoba into Ontario. Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly warns that the convoy could disrupt Ottawa’s downtown. He says the police are planning for up to 2,000 trucks and are looking only to communicate and keep the peace. Sloly rejects demands from the federal government to keep the trucks away. He says they have a legitimate right to peacefully protest.
By Friday, January 28th, the trucks started to arrive.
And not just trucks. Thousands of people (some estimate at least 25,000) arrive by car and foot. By late afternoon, the street in front of Parliament is inaccessible. Working-class protestors, equipped with Canadian flags, demonstrate peacefully. One random person brings a Confederate flag. The corporate press latches onto it, painting a narrative that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
This deception in the narrative only continues the next day.
Despite protestors giving out food to the homeless, the corporate press focuses on the few who harassed and demanded food from a soup kitchen. Instead of focusing on the peaceful nature of the protest, what their concerns were and why they were there – i.e. doing actual journalism – the corporate press focuses on the couple yahoos who danced on the National War Memorial.
Despite the self-governing aspect of the protest, the media is out for blood and demands police do something. Only one arrest is made. Sloly is adamant a mass arrest would only turn this into a violent riot. Sloly praises his fellow officers for keeping the peace and preventing violence.
By Sunday another protest has sprouted up.
This one in Coutts, Alberta where protestors shut down access to the U.S.-Canada border. Politicians denounce this move without a hint of irony. Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau is nowhere to be seen. Instead of coming out and meeting the organizing members of the protest, he hides in an undisclosed location. Fans the flames of the fire by saying he won’t give in to “those who fly racist flags” or “engage in vandalism.” Which would only be slightly annoying if his hypocrisy wasn’t painfully apparent.
A month before COVID restrictions damaged the world, aboriginal protests were blocking rail lines across Canada. Trudeau praised their demonstration. During the pandemic, long before any vaccine was available – Trudeau went out to a massive Black Lives Matter protest and took a knee.
By the 1st of February, Ottawa Police Chief Sloly is losing ground.
He doesn’t see a “police solution” to the demonstration. He wants to call the military in. The military refuses. Even Trudeau can’t stomach the idea. Meanwhile, the convoy’s organizers are very clear about their intentions. They will leave when COVID-19 mandates across the country are lifted. By now $10 million dollars has been raised but GoFundMe steals the money, saying the protest violated its terms and service and they will use the money for the charities of their choice. After backlash, the company agrees to refund the donations.
By Saturday, February 5th, two narratives are happening.
There is the official word from media giants like the CBC. That this is an illegal protest funded by American-born Trump supporters. Anyone currently occupying Ottawa is a racist flying a Nazi flag. Then there is the truth: children playing in bouncy castles, a community kitchen, people riding horseback, a hot tub, hockey games, and fireworks at night time. Thousands of people are still present. It’s a carnival. And it spreads to other countries.
On Sunday, February 6th, the Ottawa mayor declares a state of emergency.
Police announce they will arrest anyone attempting to supply the truckers with fuel. Protestors openly defy the ban by creating decoys. Some jerry cans are full of water, others are full of gasoline and diesel.
In Windsor, Ontario, protestors block the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing. Again, politicians denounce this without irony. Shutting down the border is only permissible when they do it.
Residents are annoyed. Trucks are honking their horns all night.
A 21-year-old Ottawa resident files an injunction to keep this from happening. By Tuesday, February 8th, this injunction is in place and the trucks fall silent. This embarrasses Ottawa police, mayor, and city council.
Adding to the embarrassment: tow truck companies refuse to move any trucks. Whether out of fear for their safety or because they support the convoy.
But this is soon glossed over by a narrative that the trucker protestors are using children as shields. All nonsense, of course. The presence of children at protests does complicate how the police can respond (as in, they can’t go in with guns blazing). But to hear the viewpoint of CBC or the Toronto Star, only far-right extremists bring children to protests and use them as cannon fodder.
A new fundraiser starts on GiveSendGo and raises over $6.3 million in just four days.
The Ontario government obtains a court order, attempting to keep this money from the Convoy. But GiveSendGo, an American company, says the Ontario court has no authority over them. Later, the site is hacked and the names of donors made public. Despite the narrative that Trump Republicans and Russians were behind it, a majority of the donors are Canadian. Most of them are middle and working class.
By Friday, February 11th, Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency.
That weekend more people pour into Ottawa but the protestors at the Ambassador Bridge are forcibly removed.
On Monday, February 14th, Justin Trudeau invokes the Emergencies Act to end the peaceful protest. If passed, this means that tow truck companies won’t have a choice. If the police demand they move the trucks, then they’ll have to move the trucks or face the consequences. Including charges of domestic terrorism.
Meanwhile, provinces across the country start dropping their mandates.
They claim it has nothing to do with the protests but only ideologues believe it. Reopening and removal of restrictions were supposed to be gradual well into March and April. Now vaccine passports and mask mandates are disappearing instantly.
The next day, Ottawa Police Chief Sloly resigns. Possibly because he felt the Convoy had a right to peacefully assemble.
The blockade at Coutts, Alberta ends peacefully.
The protestors even hug the officers and everyone stands together to sing “O, Canada.” But 13 of these people stand their ground. They are arrested and their cache of weapons seized. The media creates a narrative that equates all protestors with this fringe group.
On Thursday, February 17th, the police begin making arrests.
Organizers are charged with mischief and encouraging others to commit mischief.
On Friday, February 18th, and over the weekend, the raid continues.
Parliament is set to meet to debate the Emergencies Act but the vote is cancelled so the police can use the Act and remove the demonstrators.
The House of Commons finally meets Monday night to approve the Emergencies Act that has already been used. Justin Trudeau says the “state of emergency is not over.” Even some legacy media outlets, like the National Post, express concern over this. How easily Canada slips from one emergency to the next, granting the federal government extraordinary powers indefinitely…
The motion passes 185-151.
With the New Democrats voting in favour alongside the minority Liberal government. Despite their roots as working-class socialists, the New Democratic leadership has been anti-Freedom Convoy from day one.
The Emergencies Act will remain in place until at least mid-March. Both Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh allege that there are protestors “still hiding” in surrounding areas. It is eerily reminiscent of Stalin’s propaganda about “Trotskyites” roaming the USSR ready to destroy the country from within.
And it certainly is starting to feel like a communist dictatorship. The Emergencies Act not only expanded police powers but gave the banks the ability to freeze accounts. The Ottawa police tweeted, “If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges.”
It seems that in Canada, one can only protest if it fits the corporate press narrative.
Black Lives Matter? Aboriginal Land Claims? Shut down the country, if need be. Oppose losing your civil liberties in the name of public health? Good luck with that, racist.
This technique is all too familiar with Canada’s cannabis activists.
For years we protested for our civil rights to consume cannabis. After all, who has the authority over minds and bodies? Some bureaucrat in Ottawa or the individual? This is all we ever wanted. The freedom to peacefully consume cannabis.
But the corporate press narrative was pretty effective at making us seem like a bunch of lazy, entitled stoners who never contribute productively to society. They made our peaceful B.C. Bud industry look like a bunch of uncivilized biker gangs unconcerned with product quality or safety. They claimed our peaceful protests were harming city infrastructure and exposing children to the alleged dangers of cannabis.
And then, like that, the narrative changed.
Legalizing cannabis become a priority for public health. It was the only way to ensure a safe, regulated supply chain and to keep the product out of the hands of children. All lies, all cover for a massive transfer of wealth from B.C.’s underground entrepreneurs to Ottawa’s well-connected cronies.
Just like how the COVID lockdowns were cover for a transfer of wealth from local small businesses to global corporations.
If you find yourself questioning the corporate-state narrative on cannabis but accepting their lies regarding the Freedom Convoy, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and rethink.
Watch what happens when you question or protest a corporate-state narrative like COVID mandates or the true, liberalization of the cannabis plant.
Compare that to protests on issues the corporate state has approved.
It will then become clear: “What is presented as fact by the corporate press is a carefully constructed narrative intentionally designed to keep some very unpleasant people in power.”