Truckin’

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Let’s see now, what’s happening these days? Well, there’s a problem with the supply chain because there aren’t enough truck drivers available to get food and parts to stores and factories. Not a new problem, but certainly made worse by the pandemic restrictions. What else? Well, we’re about to get away from those restrictions, as more and more countries lift their various regulations. Of course, things in the US are still pretty bad, with only 63% of the people fully vaccinated, and more than 882,000 deaths, with around 3,000 new deaths every day. Not a place you would want to be, all things considered.

And so, a certain number of truck drivers decide this is a perfect time to take hundreds, if not thousands of trucks off the delivery system so they can drive all the way to Ottawa to demand their freedom. Freedom! That’s the cry. Personal choice, not mandatory vaccinations for those crossing the US border. Of course, even if the Trudeau government give in to their demands (mob rule!), it would make no difference, since the US government have the same law in place.

But let’s look at this plea for freedom. They are against mandatory vaccinations. But were they against mandatory training in order to be allowed to drive those trucks? Were they against mandatory licences to be allowed on the road? Were they against mandatory regulations governing how long they could drive before taking a break, or how far they could drive in a shift? Were they opposed to regulations, laws, dictating how carefully their rigs have to be maintained? Were these mandatory impositions on their freedom not serious enough to drive them to Ottawa to demand freedom?

The thing is, that this convoy is composed of more than those objecting to the laws designed to keep them and their fellow citizens safe. There are others who want all covid restrictions removed immediately. The fact that this is happening anyway seems to be make their journey to Ottawa a little less urgent. Then there are the real crazies, as one trucking association leader called them: the ones who want the Senate and Governor General to somehow get involved and remove the Trudeau government. Sounds like a coup, and there are those who have expressed a hope that this rally in Ottawa could be “Canada’s January 6″.

The official organisers of the convoy dissociate themselves from such ideas, and encourage others to report them to authorities. That’s good, and necessary, and maybe even more helpful than most of the Conservative Party’s comments on the situation. But here’s the thing: organisers cannot always keep control of what they start. I am all for protests, as long as there’s a rationale and a clear and achievable end result.

But I am also someone who has been on their share of protests, and I know how easily a crowd with genuine grievances can be manipulated by a small fringe group of extremists. Coincidentally, last Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Derry, Northern Ireland, when the British 1st Parachute Regiment shot into a peaceful civil rights march, killing 14 completely innocent people. In response to that, we in Dublin marched on the British Embassy to protest, about 200,000 of us. In the emotional context, some extremists from the IRA firebombed the Embassy, which burned to the ground as we all cheered happily. Later on, we could appreciate how we had been used. Organisers cannot always control what happens to their protests.

At the time of writing, no-one knows how this whole convoy thing will work out. Will it simply be a peaceful occupation of Ottawa’s downtown? No problem there: people have a right to protest, no matter how vague and unrealistic their demands may be. But if it turns into something else, if the crazies have their way, then thousands of people will have been used, manipulated.

Look, it’s easy to shout for freedom, and some local businesses have gone public with their support of the truckers. But, to repeat the questions above, why is this mandate so much worse than all the other mandates truckers acquiesce in? We can actually see the end of the pandemic restrictions coming soon, so why this demonstration of anger and grievance now?

Part of me is concerned that there are some, maybe many, Canadians who envy the Americans their January 6 Insurrection. They look to the south and want to mirror what they see there, to have their own right-wing militias, their own Fox News fans, their own Trump conspiracy theories in a Canadian context. This is not a ridiculous idea, because that fringe has been happy to spout their rhetoric and hatred throughout the pandemic, and before. Waving the Canadian flag (some upside down) does not make this event any more Canadian.

But this is not the Excited States of America. This is a country with a very different history, different culture, different political system. There is absolutely nothing that Canadians need to envy about other countries and their ways. It may seem more exciting. It may seem that they can adapt American ways to Canadian contexts, but that is a dangerous and damaging belief. Mandatory vaccinations have saved us from polio, for example, even within the lifetimes of people living free as a result. We all put up with mandates, whether it’s speed limits, driving licences, age limits on voting, limitations on foreign travel with passports and visas. We usually accept that these are necessary to keep us safe, to provide security and prevent chaos and accidents and death. We accept them because we know they keep us, and our friends and neighbours safe. We consider those limitations a price we’re willing to pay for that reason. None of us are completely free, as a result, and that we accept. Is that concept so hard to grasp?

10 COMMENTS

  1. It doesn’t matter that the vexx shots are NOT a vaccine, and in no way resemble polio vaccine made from a killed virus. it doesn’t matter that the shot does not sterilize Covid-19 virus, nor prevent transmission. It doesn’t matter that the vexx is experimental gene therapy with unknown long-term health consequences.

    Here’s what matters: you either believe it’s wrong to force someone to inject a substance into their body, or you don’t. If you don’t, despite any dissembling about the ‘good of society’, you are supporting suppression and evil.

    The truckers showed the courage that our gutless nutless spineless ‘leaders’ did not. The politicians pimped out their constituencies to the drug companies. And the lickspittle press ran cover for them.

    When this Covid response debacle is recognized as the crime it was and is, ‘I was just following orders’ will NOT be a defense, any more than it was at Nuremberg.

    • False information. Vaccines are not associated with gene therapy. Technology was developed in the 90s and used in humans for last 10 years.

    • It is also false information that anyone has been forced to be vaccinated. No one is obligated to accept a vaccination against one’s will – just as no one is obligated to continue a career as a cross-border trucker. Both choices can be freely made.

  2. Great editorial. You highlighted the important facts. There are rules and expectations in life and if you don’t want to follow them, you accept the consequences. All support and sympathy for this movement is gone.

  3. John Hopkins University: Meta-analysis of the effects of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality: ‘While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.’

    They did what didn’t work, at enormous cost to others. Did any politician miss a paycheck or have their lives disrupted in any significant way? When people objected, they were attacked in the bootlicking ‘press’, and the pols doubled down. Your ‘small fringe group’ is every Canadian who isn’t dependent on a politician or a press-titute for a paycheck.

    They need to be 1 – booted out of office; 2 – prosecuted for crimes against humanity. And they know this, they know they are guilty. That’s why the increasingly unhinged rhetoric from Trudeau, Ford, Kenny, et al. ‘Racism, transphobia, islamophobia’ – they don’t have an original thought or a coherent argument in their heads, so try old-fashioned smear tactics. Pretty funny coming from Blackface Boy Trudeau in particular.

    The leader of a party that twice as many people voted against as for has been acting like a tin-pot dictator, aided and abetted by Erin O’Useless and Marxist Singh. So nobody is fooled, and nobody is forgetting or forgiving the role these evil people played in disrupting a country and destroying lives.
    Anybody who supports them is way on the wrong side of history; the censors and suppressors are NEVER the good guys.

  4. All that comes to mind after reading Scott’s post is, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. To further David’s thoughts on crowds, it is easy for a crowd to be mislead by a sinister leader. And it is easy for a sinister crowd to entice individuals to jump on the band wagon. The conspiracy theorists have laid a minefield of false information on social media that some otherwise responsible people are believing.

    The same thing happened with the polio vaccine, in fact. The resistance was so bad they had Elvis get the vaccine live on the Ed Sullivan Show. We have had some celebrities do the same with this vaccine, but social media is proficient at negating their influence.

    I will live by the if it’s good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for me mantra.

  5. Hey, Dan it’s not me you have to rebut, it’s that Johns Hopkins ‘nonsense’. And Yves, what do you think ‘mRNA’ means? Messenger RNA i.e. it carries a protein ‘message’ into your cells. Some people a lot smarter than me have pointed out potential problems with this. An mRNA vaccination results in an immune attack on the body’s own cells. This can lead to lasting immune dysregulation in the direction of autoimmunity or the opposite effect, tolerance. It will lead to inflammation and cell death in the short term, which probably explains why these vaccines have a much more severe short-term adverse effect profile than any other vaccine in common use. So no, this is not your grandfather’s polio vaccine.

    I’m gonna remain non-GMO, thanks.

  6. Doesn’t matter, like I said in the first response. I can quote experts and drop links all day about the concerns with the efficacy and safety of the not-vaccine, from experts with a lot more credibility than a flack that writes for Forbes. Not the point. You either believe a person’s civil rights are contingent on their vaccine status or you don’t. If the former, you’re a fascist. That is what the Freedom Convoy is about.
    And it’s disingenuous to say ‘no one is obligated to accept vaccine against their will’. Tell that to the fired health care workers, first responders and soldiers, among others, who chose not to risk long term health consequences.
    The useless scum who fired then were DEPENDING on then a few months ago; then they were ‘heroes’ who kept us all safe and supplied. What do you think would have a bigger impact on your quality of life, losing 1000 politicians who do little but push paper and create sinecures for their friends, or 1000 truckers who literally deliver the stuffs of live we all depend on.
    So my advice to the Freedom Convoy, give the politicians what they want. Leave Ottawa, and don’t come back. Don’t come back with truckloads of food, or fuel, or furniture, or building supplies. When the Geniuses on the Hill run out of toilet paper, they can use any mainstream press publication of their choice as a replacement.

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