Holding the line: Canadian truckers remain steadfast
For three weeks Canadian truckers and supporters have remained entrenched in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario. They have come by the thousands to peacefully ask their government to remove all Covid mandates that have locked down the country for the past two years. On Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, police moved in and have started arresting truckers and have brought in a Long Range Acoustic Device, which is a weapon that will blow eardrums.
On Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, The Ottawa Police issued a notice to protesters advising that anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking of streets, are committing a criminal offense and could be arrested. On Friday morning hundreds of police have blocked off all streets leading to downtown and the protesters are now holding the line near the Parliament buildings. A second line is close to the War Memorial with the protesters using the new snow to erect a 5 foot snow wall and parking vehicles on the sidewalks and touching bumpers so to slow the police progress if they are rushed. Ron Clark, Freedom Advocate, was live-streaming from there and said, “It will be the biggest snowball fight in history.”
The protesters aided by retired military personnel used their flags and large road cones to carry the snow to their wall all while shouting “freedom” and honking horns. The police are rumored to have teargas and snipers on the roof tops near the area. “All the main exits are blocked by police. They have every side street blocked, hundreds of cops everywhere. Every parking lot is cordoned off with a cop car sitting in it,” Mike Hovorka reported Friday morning. The Fence Post talked on the phone and via text to Mike Hovorka, who is a retired power company worker from Saskatchewan who traveled as a navigator for a friend with a semi.
The convoy leadership has recommended for the truckers to regroup and they do reportedly have a contingency plan that they’re not going to reveal until later.
TRUDEAU’S REPONSE IS NO RESPONSE
So far the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to meet with the leaders and on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, he enacted the Emergency Act or War Act which declares all protests illegal and institutes martial law. Trucks and property can be seized without a warrant, insurance and licenses revoked and persons imprisoned indefinitely. Even though the Emergency Measures Act must be passed by parliament, police are already enforcing the measures. Bank accounts of truckers and supporters are being frozen and the Canadian government is even trying to access individual’s crypto wallets. A hacker accessed the names and information of donors on the GiveSendGo platform and made them public. Reports are circulating on social media of individuals named being fired, doxed (personal information being maliciously published online) and bank funds frozen.
The bank seizures are worrying many Canadians, prompting withdrawals of funds and account closures. Many of the large national banks have been having online outages of their banking services and empty ATMs are also being reported.
The Canadian Civil Liberates Association posted, “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met. The Emergencies Act can only be invoked when a situation “seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada” and when the situation “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada. Governments regularly deal with difficult situations, and do so using powers granted to them by democratically elected representatives. Emergency legislation should not be normalized. It threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”
Many of the protesters feel that the mainstream media in Canada is failing to report the truth so social media is flooded with live-streams, photos and personal accounts. Some of the Facebook pages have been deleted and or censored only to have them pop up again under a slightly different name.
On Feb. 16, the Ottawa Police issued a statement regarding the protest. “We are going to take back the entirety of the downtown core and every occupied space. We are going to remove this unlawful protest. We will return our city to a state of normalcy.”
The protesters are committed to remaining peaceful and many Canadians have brought their families to participate. Bouncy castles, road hockey and live music have separated this protest from others seen in the country. Prime Minister Trudeau has taken criticism from across the globe as he has labeled the protesters as terrorists. In June of 2010 thousands protested the G20 conference resulting in a riot where dozens of businesses and even hospitals were vandalized, almost 100 police officers were injured and over eleven hundred protesters arrested. That riot wasn’t deemed an emergency.
Over the past week hundreds have participated in the Jericho March inspired by the Biblical story of Joshua and the people of Israel marching around the city of Jericho for seven days. The Canadians walked a lap around the parliament buildings for six day and on Feb. 17, they did seven laps followed by 7 minutes of the trucks blaring their air horns. Pastors also spoke and prayed.
Hovorka was on the scene Thursday and he said there was a heavy police presence all day. In the evening two of the Freedom Convoy organizers were arrested, Chris Barber and Tamara Lich. Both individuals were very peaceful and complied with the police. The truckers have lawyers on the ground and have a legal defense fund.
Feb. 12, marked another day of peaceful demonstrations by thousands of Albertans across the province. From trucks once again converging on the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton to hundreds more riders joining truckers and concerned citizens at the ongoing Coutts Port of Entry protest. Along with those larger rallies, slow roll protests with miles of vehicles sprung up all around the province including smaller communities like Medicine Hat. Organized by area residents and local business folks miles of semis, trucks with livestock trailers, water haulers and passenger cars alike took to the #1 Highway to once again let out politicians know we want are full freedoms back,” Mona Howe, a local said. “It is unclear whether the slow rolls will continue this weekend due to the uncertainty of the federal government’s recent enactment of the Emergencies Act (highly unnecessary according to legal officials as well as provincial leaders) to disperse and hinder these protests. As a result of the enactment the Coutts rally has been dispersed and only a handful of protesters remaining at a new off highway location designated by the RCMP. Both truckers and farmers involved cannot risk losing any more of their livelihoods to this tyrannical government forcing their hand. As far as I know a rally is still planned for tomorrow in Edmonton at the Alberta Legislature by many in the area.”
The Coutts, Alberta border blockade dispersed on Feb. 15, following a police raid on Sunday evening. Several arrests were made including that of a woman who was doing laundry for the protesters and allowing them to shower in her home in Coutts, according to Jory Evans via a Facebook livestream. The truckers and farmers in the blockade decided to leave peacefully before someone was hurt and since they felt that some radicals had infiltrated their group. Many of them moved to a new location to protest near Milk River along the highway. The arrests came after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted to sabotaging three pieces of heavy equipment parked a mile from the highway on private land. All battery cables were cut, filters removed and fuel lines filled with spray foam.
UNITED STATES RESPONSE
Sixteen U.S. governors along with Premier Jason Kenny of Alberta and Premier Scot Moe of Saskatchewan have signed a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden asking them to immediately reinstitute vaccine and quarantine exemptions for cross-border truckers.
A U.S. convoy is scheduled to begin Feb. 23, 2022, in California and make its way across the country to Washington, DC. Millions of Australians gathered at their capital over the week asking for freedom, and freedom convoys across the world are gaining momentum. An Israel convoy is estimated at 40,000 vehicles.
“The trucks are still here, they are not going home, and in fact more trucks have arrived. Anyone considering coming to support the truckers, do not be afraid, that is what they want, for you to be is afraid. This Saturday could be the largest population that Ottawa has ever seen in the history of the city,” Hovorka said. “And now it’s unlawful for us to have a Canadian flag flying on our vehicles. It won’t be a real law but that’s what they have said. When in the history of any country has it been that you couldn’t display the national flag. I haven’t seen too much new stuff either, just that there are checkpoints set up and you need to confirm that you are a local resident in order to pass. The emergency measures act has passed through the house of commons which is no surprise because the NDP always side with the liberals so together they can have a majority. No it needs to pass the Senate which hopefully some of the senators have something between their ears and the moral compass. I believe the vote in the senate takes place on Monday.” The emergency debate was canceled on Friday due to police operation and the house is not in session.
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