by Gord Magill
Tuesday, 8
February 2022
Dispatch
15:33

Why I took part in Ottawa’s Freedom Convoy

The media have consistently misrepresented our mission
by Gord Magill
Highway 417

Earlier this month, I was on an overpass across highway 417, 50km west of Ottawa, to welcome one of the many Freedom Convoys heading into the capital. They were coming to protest against mandated vaccines for truckers but also Justin Trudeau’s Covid Regime in general. It was -25 celcius but that didn’t stop us from waving Canadian Flags tied to hockey sticks and screaming at the top of our lungs as the convoy from Western Canada slowly rolled into the city.

I’ve been a trucker for 25 years in Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, so the least I could do was travel to Ottawa and express solidarity with my fellow truckers, and Canadians, who have been suffering under federal and provincial mismanagement of this crisis for two years.

In the week and a half since, The Freedom Convoy and its demonstration in Ottawa has taken the world by storm — and spun off numerous other protests around the world. The spirit of these protests has been absolutely festive — techno ravers have been throwing evening dance parties for the truckers and their supporters down the road from Parliament. And last Sunday there was a family day in downtown Ottawa — inflatable bouncy castles, and a ‘Truckers Open House’ where kids could climb inside Big Rigs, feel what it’s like to be in such a massive vehicle, and pull the cords for those loud air horns, which have become the rallying cry for opening our societies back up.

 

Contrary to the media portrayal that we are all far-Right activists and crypto-Nazis, people from all backgrounds have been in attendance. In fact, many Eastern European immigrants who have escaped authoritarian regimes have been providing the truckers with food and support.

But unfortunately, the media decided to smear us, and focus on photos of two individuals who were carrying a Confederate Flag and a swastika flag. These two people, of whom we have a tiny number of photographs, do not represent an entire movement. There have been accusations from clout-chasing Twitter personalities that we are financed by billionaires, despite the fact that GoFundMe stole $9 million CDN in donations, most of which were donated by regular working people like me in small amounts of $20.

Meanwhile, organisations who represent actual billionaires that own large corporate trucking companies, such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance, fully support Trudeau’s policies and have denounced the Freedom Convoy. It’s all very convenient for the laptop class to engage in these attacks, nice and safe in their offices, while the truckers are out in the streets, enduring a harsh Canadian Winter and sleeping in their rigs. That said, this is what Canadian truckers and workers of all sorts do every winter — get out there into the cold and miserable conditions to keep our society functioning, while media naybobs and politicos stay warm.

Influence and narrative control appear to be of utmost importance to Trudeau, his government, and the compliant Canadian media to whom he has given lavish subsidies. Instead of spreading vicious and untrue rumours about the truckers, why won’t Trudeau’s people simply meet the organisers of The Convoy instead?

To the residents of Ottawa, who would like us to leave, I would submit to you that you ignore the liars and smear merchants in the media, talk to a trucker on your street, and then ask Trudeau to end the mandates. The rest of the world is opening up and choosing life; Canada must do the same.

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James Joyce
James Joyce
9 months ago

I support the truckers, which is another way of saying that I support freedom. Comments by ultra-woke Trudeau and the mayor of Ottawa sound like they came from Belarus’s Lukashenko, not a supposedly free North American democracy. Their comments–essentially suggesting that the protesters had no right to protest–were truly shocking.
The media’s treatment is, once again, disgraceful. The protesters have no control over a single individual or two who show up with an abhorrent flag. Let’s not lose the plot. And Big Tech–GoFundMe’s theft of their C$ because of their political views is beyond disgusting. Big Tech has too much control and is irredeemably biased against freedom.
Compare this to so-called Antifa and BLM “protests,” where the objective was not freedom but destruction, and the favourable treatment they received last summer in the US.
Let’s hope the truckers hold their nerve. Keep calm and carry on! Bravo, courageous Canadians!

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I second everything you just said James and would suggest that anyone who doesn’t either has vested commercial interests in the continuance of this ‘pandemic’ or does not value fredom in the same way as those amazing Poles who are turning up with thousands of free donuts and sausages.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

As I said elsewhere, taking the wages of a Tradesman (which a Trucker is) is a sin in the Bible. And these donations are wages donated so these truckers can get some wages as they are not because they protest for freedom instead of doing miles with loads. Go Fund Me is committing a sin by not giving the wages donated to these tradesmen…

“1 Timothy 5:18, ESV: For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.””

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Its funny that he keeps on repeating that votes trump constitutional freedoms. Limits on freedoms are not legitimate unless they are required by dire circumstances.

Not because a bunch of people voted for their paycheques.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

So why not condemn the behaviour of these individuals instead of claiming that the media has made it up as a smear?

Anouk M
Anouk M
9 months ago

I live about a 20-minute walk from Parliament Hill and joined the crowd on the first day of the convoy. It was an amazing, hopeful experience. Hope has been in short supply for those with dissenting views since Trudeau’s snap (re)election. Rebel News, True North and various bloggers present a different perspective, but most corporate media is towing the government line that the truckers are violent, racist, forcing businesses to close (a bit ironic, that one), that the city is under siege and other mind-bending nonsense.
I was raised a leftie. Workers’ rights were supposed to be a leftist cause. All the overseas farm labourers, truckers, minimum wage grocery and warehouse workers involved in getting an array of imported foods on the table — you’d think there’d be more appreciation for what it takes to feed a vast, cold country with a growing season shorter than that of the UK and most of the US.
What the heck happened to the left? They’ve gone mad.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
9 months ago

I stand with the truckers. I’m feeling, if not optimistic, at least mildly positive for the future. Once again, the left have assaulted our rights and liberties over a two year campaign of lies and deceit, and once again, they have been beaten back. We haven’t won, but I feel like we’re in the aftermath of El Alamein. “This is not the end, or even the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps the end of the beginning”.

Last edited 9 months ago by Francis MacGabhann
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago

Honk! Honk!

andrew harman
andrew harman
9 months ago

Go truckers!!

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
9 months ago

I hear the GoFundMe money has been released. Keep on Truckin’

Peter Whitehead
Peter Whitehead
9 months ago

Not released but returned to senders I believe.

James Joyce
James Joyce
9 months ago

Yup. Big difference!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

Viva truckers! Many in South Africa support you and what you are doing.

Ann Roberts
Ann Roberts
9 months ago

I wonder what the WEF is making of all this. I read recently that if Trudeau is unsuccessful in handling this and is removed – then a global house of cards may well start to crumble. The scale of this battle seems rather epic and I so appreciate all the protesters around the world. I often wonder if I will ever be able to get my mind around the complexities of what is happening. (THE WEF, The Trusted News Network, The UN’s Agenda 2030 ( strategic partnership with the WEF), and the Global Public-Private Partnership. I often wonder if the interplay of these was what led our Governments to lack discernment and scrutiny on what was right for their citizens in response to the ‘pandemic’. Are there any recent articles on what is unfolding that readers could share with me?

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
9 months ago
Reply to  Ann Roberts

Two years ago, a post like yours Ann, would have made you out to be a nutter. Fast forward to now and those abbreviations do mean something and the threat is absolutely real. 10/10.

Last edited 9 months ago by Justin Clark
Justin Clark
Justin Clark
9 months ago

oh not just the media… you have your own government keen to stir up trouble, to misrepresent the cause – “We Told Him To” – https://twitter.com/i/status/1490976861979090945. Disgraceful!

Last edited 9 months ago by Justin Clark
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Thanks for posting that. If it’s true, it’s shocking.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You can be sure it is true. We have seen loads of video footage coming from the protests and they all tell a different story to that presented by corporate media.

Richard Hopkins
Richard Hopkins
9 months ago

10-4, Good Buddy!

Louis S
Louis S
9 months ago

A poetic homage to the protesting Canadian truckers
Highway Folk Heroes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aatN8Xy5S_E

Slow rolling big rigs pass through prairie plains
hauling future hope not just golden grains;
goliath-sized grills, smoking exhaust stacks, 
frontiersmen protest, demand their freedom back.

Massive engines growl, bright LED displays,
muscled men driving, honking horns on highways;
long distance drivers, honour guard greeted,
A multitude of supporters, mainstream deleted.

Belligerent blocking of Ottowa city streets,
credible stories dispute many abusive tweets;
nuance is needful, its all too black and white,
truckers trope-tarnished, taunted into fight.

Too much arm twisting and untrue trucker trashing,
bullyboy bluster, blue light battalions flashing;
not fact-checked “sad-faced” scornful speech,
freeway folk heroes reject his toxic overreach.

Where is any prophet to stand in static gap?
Both sides digging in, ignoring weather map;
truculent the truckers and arrogant the authorities,
who’s for mutual good, who just mocks minorities?

Alyona Song
Alyona Song
9 months ago

Bravo! Thank you Gord for letting out the truth. The smear campaign instigated by the “laptop class” (of which I am part) is utterly shameful.

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago

And when the interview?

R S Foster
R S Foster
9 months ago

…as an Englishman, I’m sorry you haven’t yet stopped by the Country where it all began, this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…but you capture the spirit that has animated us since Wat Tyler marched on London in 1381…and if you ever pass this way, I’d be proud to buy you a pint or three..!

Rory Hoipkemier
Rory Hoipkemier
9 months ago

Truck you, Justin!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
9 months ago

You do realise it’s not a smear if the reported behaviour is true? It sounds like deflection when you describe waving swastikas and dancing and urinating on the grave of the unknown soldier as ‘smears’ – especially when I’ve seen the videos reporting these as facts. It makes me distrust you and your position.
I’m disgusted by anyone who so disrespects those who have given their lives in our defence, regardless of their political position.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

In the UK Extinction Rebellion Insulate Britain has a systematic program of blocking motorways and other normal activities to force the government to follow their policies. In Canada the ‘Freedom Convoy’ is blocking the capital and preventing normal life there to force the government to follow their policies. Do you support both groups equally or oppose both groups equally? I challenge anyone here on Unherd to give a consistent explanation why they would favour one but be against the other.

Last edited 9 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

My thoughts precisely. It seems it’s not the actions that are in question it’s the principles behind the actions that get support (or opposition). If you believe that it’s ok to block streets and stop people going about their normal business, don’t criticise Insulate Britain for doing so, if you believe that it’s intolerable then criticise the truckers for blocking the streets. You can question, you can support( or not) the principles and beliefs behind either group, but at least you should be consistent about whether the actions are acceptable. Just to make my position clear, I think the actions of both groups are wrong.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

Really? To protest against an unjust law is one’s duty, protesting for Freedoms, freedom to not take Mrna into your body, freedom to move about un restrained – those are Fundamental Human Rights the worm Trudeau has illegally removed by decree. They are protesting OPPRESSION, and that is ones Duty.

“The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”

Insulate are just a bunch of eco-Fas* ists and the opposite of this protest against removing human rights.

Section 6 Canadian Charter of Rights (their constitution)

“protects the mobility rights of Canadian citizens which include the right to enter, remain in, and leave Canada. Citizens and Permanent Residents have the ability to move to and take up residence in any province to pursue gaining livelihood.”

Section 7, Canadian Charter of Rights

“right to life, liberty, and security of the person.”

The right to not have alien, artificial, virial, bat/mouse Genetic Material that is highly toxic and dangerous to some, and with no experience of what it does long term – Injected into your body. This is Nuremberg Trial Stuff.

These ‘RIGHTS have been removed by a man’s decree – the worm Trudeau just imposed this illegal law – this is Real Stuff – this is violating the Canadian ‘Bill of Rights’, this is Big, and it is the duty of every citizen to protest any infringement on their stated Rights.,

Last edited 9 months ago by Galeti Tavas
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m have not said that one should not protest, merely that it’s hypocritical to condemn the actions of those whose views you oppose whilst praising the same actions of those whose views you approve. Sometimes drastic action, even law-breaking, may be justified in opposition to egregious wrongs. Perhaps you believe that is what the truckers are doing, the climate activists believe that is what they are doing too; one has to judge just how egregious each of these actions are for yourself. All I am saying is just don’t have double standards.

Last edited 9 months ago by Linda Hutchinson
James Joyce
James Joyce
9 months ago

I hear what you are saying and I get it. I, too, am usually against double standards and try to call them out. But because I believe that this is a fundamental right, civil disobedience is warranted. Global warming is not a “fundamental right.” Neither is “social justice,” in part because it can mean anything to anyone.
But being forced to be a prisoner, deprived of liberty by exercising bodily autonomy crosses the line, and therefore the protests are not only acceptable, but required.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Some would surely say that an imminent threat to destroy human civilisation and much life on the planet was also serious enough to make protests ‘not only acceptable, but required’.

We are not going to agree here.

Last edited 9 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I believe that life is a fundamental right, and if climate change is as great a threat as most climatologists and meterologists say it is then these people are protesting an egregious wrong. I actually think that what they are doing is counter-productive, turning people against their cause, which is why I think that the protests are wrong. even though I support their cause.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
9 months ago

Well put Linda. Bit scary seeing how many support extremism on one side here, but are so damning about extremism of the same kind by the other side. I thought Unherd readers had more insight than that.

Last edited 9 months ago by Ian Stewart
Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In Canada, the truckers are standing against a government which has trampled their established and uncontested rights and liberties. In the UK, ER is trying to force something they have no right to onto unwilling and, at best, lukewarm people. In one country, they’re fighting for the return of what’s theirs, in the other they’re trying to shove something on people who don’t want it.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The Truckers are protesting against regulations that make their work more difficult. They are workers who use the roads. XR/IR, etc, are taking part in a “3rd Party” demo which has nothing to do with work or the use of roads.. They are not workers but doleys, retirees and those, like civil servants, who are, in many cases paid to do nothing useful.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Come on Rasmus, False equivalents and straw men do not make a case.

Insulate Britain is trying to force the government to add another layer of restrictions and laws on all the people. They want the Gov to MANDATE all citizens who own a building to under go vast costs, inconvenience, and lack of freedom over one’s own Home. They are Fas* ists wanting to take More Freedoms from the people, to impose more Government oppression on the people.

The Truckers wast the UNJUST, and illegal, Laws REPEALED, and the people be free again, they want to Remove Oppression, to return one’s Natural Freedom to move about, the Truckers are Anti-Fas* ist. pro Human Rights.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

We have a democracy on both sides of the Atlantic. That is the system that is supposed to weigh the interests of different groups and decide what to do. And we have the police, part of whose job it is to protect the legitimate decision makers against activist minorities who are trying to force their policies on everybody else. Whether the activist minority is trying to introduce or repeal laws makes no difference. It is just your personal version of ‘direct action is moral when I agree with the protesters and unacceptable when I do not’.

If one side can do it, so can the other. In the end we would have the street fighting men from both sides slugging it out, like they did in 1930’s Germany. And we would soon have a lot of burned-out trucks littering the roads of Canada. Personally I prefer democratic government.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“It is just your personal version of ‘direct action is moral when I agree with the protesters and unacceptable when I do not’.”

I see – I get where you are coming from – you believe in nothing which is ultimate. To you that which is bad is no different to that which is good, merely Relative. Only one’s lived experience can judge correct from incorrect. The eco-fasc* ists are no different than those protesting the removal of Constitutional rights and Freedoms.

Relative Morality and Situational Ethics. Protesting the removal of Constitutional Guaranteed Freedoms and Rights is no different than protesting all Citizens be Forced to get $$$ worth of insulation in the loft, and $$$$$ on heat pumps to heat the house.

Then there is no answer to you as you cannot see Protesting For Freedom is different to Protesting to Impose Oppressive Laws, or against Freedom.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You believe in nothing which is ultimate.

That is halfway true. I do believe in some ultimate moral values – even if I may be too lazy to do much fighting for them – but I’d say (with Isaac Asimov) that “You should not let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right“. In most cases what is the right decision depends on the specifics of the case, not on which ultimate moral principle you can manage to reduce it to. In fact I strongly disapprove of the (mostly left-wing) tendency to discuss everything in terms of human rights, for exactly this reason. It replaces a sensible consideration of the reality with abstract lawyering about whether a given case can be said to fall within some definition. Whether it is acceptable to prevent sitting prisoners in the UK from voting [yes], to deprive Shamima Begum of her British citizenship [no], or to introduce a vaccine mandate for smallpox or COVID [yes], depends on the specifics in each case.

The people who insist on their absolute principles in every case are generally intolerant (progressive, libertarian, or religious) who insist on the entire world being run to suit their personal principles. I would of course prefer my own principles, but they hold no sway over people who disagree, and there are large groups with violently contradictory principles in society. To make society work we have find a way to get along, agree on a set of ground rules and follow them. The alternative is that each group aims for total dominance, which in the end would lead to civil war. I would swallow much to avoid that.

Last edited 9 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There seems to be a refusal by many to see that the very act of living in a community and benefitting from that community needs some form of sacrifice for the common good. Societies cannot function for the good of the whole if no-one is willing to give. I do have some (very few) values that I will not give way on, but on the whole most other things have to be contextualised. I am against killing people, but would I be against killing a murderous dictator? Is the person who goes out with a gun and shoots the first person he sees the same as a person who goes out with a gun and kills a person who has ruthlessly made his life miserable for years and the authorities have been unable to help? Context is everything, and it’s not exactly the same as moral relativity. The latter is more concerned with differences in moral judgments between different peoples and their cultures, we are concerned with values and morals within our own (or very similar) cultures.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

I so agree.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago

I understand where you’re coming from, but ‘the common good’ has so often in the past been used to justify purges, exterminations and imprisonment. Personally, I’m for enlightened self-interest: recognize that people are both good and bad, but work together in ways that draw out the good without forcing it.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I often argue the case for enlightened self-interest, normally to people who are only concerned with themselves, and at least this way they might be inclined to act in a way that won’t harm others. The problem with the concept, however, is that, wthout genuine consideration for one’s fellows, enlightened self-interest very quickly degenerates into self-interest.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That argument only holds if you perceive government as Leviathan, after the manner of Hobbes, with no restrictions and no capability of overreach. Rights do not come from government.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago

Mostly rights do come from governments, or at least in democracies, from society mediated through governments, hence different societies have different sets of rights. International organisations have specified some “universal rights”, which then need to be accepted by the governments of each society, some do not accept them. I don’t see how a Leviathan-like government is need for this.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago

Now that sexual deviancy has become normalized it has become a state-protected ‘right’. It requires a Leviathan-like government to protect, enforce and indoctrinate these deviancies into the young and gullible, hence the Rainbow police state we currently find ourselves in. Those who speak out against it are lumped with bigots and conveniently marginalized.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

As I said above right, in a democracy, rights come from society mediated through governments There cannot be rights if there is no consensus, and there is no consensus on this issue. It is up to us as individuals to make known to our MPs (or whatever your political representative is called) what we think, that’s how democracy works. If we all sit at our computers and moan to each other pretty much nothing happens.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Take your blinkers off Galeti – your view of the world is so one sided.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well put. Fascinating to see the hypocrisy of the Unherd commenters here – I’ve seen the same people go nuts when left wing protesters desecrated the Churchill statue.
Apparently it’s ok to wee on the grave of the unknown soldier if you’re right wing?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
9 months ago

What happens in Canada is a tiresome irrelevance, as is Canada itself