Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada—The blockade of streets around government buildings in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, in the name of demanding an end to vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the U.S. border, has now, as of Feb. 10, gone largely unobstructed for nearly two weeks. Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole met with protest leaders on the first weekend, but because he had earlier expressed reluctance to legitimize the slow-speed insurrection, he was ousted in favor of interim leader Candice Bergen, who notoriously has sported a MAGA cap.
Government inaction is the only thing still lending legitimacy to these nominally anti-mask, anti-vaccine occupations. It has allowed the media to broadcast vows not to move trucks until mandates for masks and vaccinations for all diseases are removed, more than they have covered the words and banners of counter-protesters.
Despite 90% of Canadian truckers being vaccinated, organizers counted on a couple hundred semis (which they claimed numbered 50,000) to mask the fascist movements and money, especially from the U.S., propelling this “freedom convoy.” The mask came off quickly, as participants paraded Nazi and Confederate flags, and even TRUMP 2024 banners, through the streets, while others desecrated national memorials.
Truckers who had earlier vowed to block the highway connection between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick later carried out a merely symbolic slowdown in front of the CTV broadcast studio in Halifax. In Alberta, the border crossing at Coutts has been blocked, with officials weakly begging blockades to merely keep one lane open for the bottled-up truckers waiting to cross.
Local officials and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have connived to prolong these shows of opposition, despite calls from blockade organizers for Trudeau to step down and allow them to assume power. We know what Trudeau would have done to protesters if they had been First Nations Water Protectors obstructing an illegal oil pipeline, because he has unleashed violence on them.
But the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit beginning Feb. 7 is the ultimate test of Trudeau’s policy of condemning the blockades with words but allowing them to continue unmolested. It is no surprise that Trudeau can ignore the plight of truck drivers lined up 20 or 30 miles deep unable to cross the Detroit River, but you’d expect him to listen to the demands of capitalists unable to ship $400 million a day in auto parts alone back and forth across the border.
If any group labeled as terrorists was tanking the auto industry of two nations, they would already be facing a full military response. Since these terrorists, including the Nazis and the Trumpers, are falsely labeled as “peaceful protesters” (and as truckers and Canadians), they continue to undermine truckers’ jobs and the economy beyond their numbers or their political strength.
One thought on “Canadian convoy fuels fascism, not freedom”
To be tactful but frank, this is a very bad assessment or lessons to be learned when it comes to the “Freedom Convoy”
While the protest themselves are fueled by reactionaries and have counter-protests to them, I would have a better assessment of the situation at hand and what we can learn from it.
Firstly, we do oppose the truckers on the ground that “they are hurting the economy” which is the bourgeois position on opposing the protest. Protesting an abstract notion of “the economy” is something that is anti-socialist when revolutionaries oppose such an abstract notion which only clouds our understanding of reality rather than forwards it. We oppose these protests on the ground that they are fueled by reactionaries and the goal of the protest (or lack thereof) is being against vaccination and wearing masks during a period in which they are important to have in preventing further loss of lives or the spreading a virus that has claimed the lives of millions. This is the reason to oppose them. Protests, regardless of what basis they started on, should be allowed to happen as long as they are not a massive and direct threat to the lives of others surrounding that very protest or society as a whole. The anti-vax protestors are okay in protesting and refusing to work just like anyone else who strikes or protests, but since they are forwarding a reactionary message, then we should oppose them on that basis through counter-protest.
Secondly, I would not characterize Trudeau as being complacent in the protest, especially when he is willing to invoke the Emergency Act of Canada which will allow the government of Canada to take drastic measures in stopping the protest and will set a dangerous president to any future protests or strike that will happen in the future. This is also evident when he sees how he has frozen assets of these anti-vax protesters and has also forced postal workers back to work when they were striking during this period of time. We must be careful in how we address and understand protests or else we forget the quiet power grabs governments or capital will do as means of either silencing a given protest or reacting to one. These anti-vax protestors are to be opposed but do not paint the government of Canada as being okay in letting this happen.
In conclusion to all of this, my point is that we are not looking at the full picture of what’s happening and how we are ignoring other forces at play which leads us to come to bad conclusions. Revolutionaries should not be combating a strike to “protect the economy” or “being unlawful” when those are the same standards reactionaries, governments, and capital used to oppose workers’ movement or any movements for freedom. We principle oppose them for whatever goals they have while combating any type of power grab governments will use to create new ways of suppressing protests and strikes not only in that moment but in the future.