Pure class warefare: Ottawa smearing Truckers because we’re doing their job representing the People
Policians and media have no idea what to do with a movement that started without them and took them completely by surprise. Photo: Don Browne
by Gord Magill, Trucker
Forty-eight hours after an impromptu rave party erupted at the biggest truckers’ protest the world has ever seen, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed me and my fellow Road Warriors from a secret location he had been spirited away to, out of a fear that our peaceful protest against vaccine mandates would turn into Canada’s January 6.
“I have attended protests and rallies in the past, when I agreed with the goals, when I supported the people expressing their concerns and their issues,” our prime minister said. “Black Lives Matter is an example of that. But I have also chosen not to go anywhere near protests that have expressed hateful rhetoric, violence towards fellow citizens, and a disrespect, not just of science, but of the frontline health workers, and quite frankly, the 90 percent of truckers who have been doing the right thing to put food on our tables.”
Like the hysteria that preceded Trudeau’s flight, his comments were pure propaganda; Ottawa Police reported no incidents and not a single arrest—at a protest topping 100,000 souls; indeed, the mood was absolutely festive. The peaceful protest included flags and signs in both of Canada’s official languages and with more than a few four-letter words.
Of course, Trudeau is right that there was hateful rhetoric, too. Everyone has seen the photos, because like Trudeau, the media chose to focus on it. They found the single Confederate flag, and the single swastika flag, and they made their stories about 100,000 people peacefully protesting about the two among them who did so with hate.
These flags and the sentiments they represent are ugly and reprehensible, and many of my fellow truckers suspect these two people were plants. But even if they weren’t, tarring a demonstration that drew in excess of 100,000 people as racist and full of fringe extremists based on the actions of two people is quite a reach, proof of nothing so much as the fact that the media is clutching at straws to smear us—which are in short supply.
The question you should be asking is not how two racists managed to find their way to a protest of 100,000 people, but rather, why is it that the media who pretend to care about the working class, who until very recently were absolutely lavish in their praise of “essential workers,” have turned on us?
The Freedom Convoy was originally envisioned by Albertans Tamara Lich and B.J. Dichter as a smallish group of truckers, farmers, their families and supporters, who planned to head to Ottawa and express their discontent with lockdowns and vaccine mandates. The Federal government was requiring all truckers crossing the border to provide proof of vaccination to continue hauling goods back and forth, despite the fact that truckers have been doing so without this requirement for the entirety of the pandemic and with no evidence that truckers, alone in their rigs, spread COVID-19 any more or less than any other group. It was estimated that the mandate would put 30,000 truckers out of work; because of Canada’s enormous trade relationship with the United States, most truckers in Canada haul south, and the domestic freight market would not be unable to absorb this many unemployed drivers.
But what was supposed to be a small protest soon ballooned, thanks to social media. Lich and Dichter started a GoFundMe, and news of the planned convoy began to spread, and spread quickly. Within a few days, many more truckers were pledging to join the convoy, and the GoFundMe attracted thousands of small donations from regular Canadians, often in amounts of only $20 or $50; many of those same contributors wound up on the side of the road, waving flags and showing support to the convoy once they began to make way for Ottawa from all corners of the country.
Videos of these roadside support rallies only increased donations, and further increased the number of Canadians turning up to bid the convoys well. At the time of this writing, the GoFundMe has received $9,626,550, a fundraising feat that exceeds the annual sum raised by Canada’s third largest political party, The NDP.
The Freedom Convoy might be one of the largest truly grassroots movements we’ve ever seen, and it’s taken on a life of its own, exceeding the expectations of the organizers and touching something deep in the collective psyche of Canada.
The vast majority in attendance at Parliament Hill were not truckers at all. In Ottawa, at the protest and online, I have heard from many that it wasn’t even necessarily about the truckers or their particular beef with the mandates, but a general feeling of having had enough—enough of lockdowns and coercion, enough of lives interrupted, enough of masks, enough of families divided over the questions of vaccines, of children’s upbringings being marred by this psychological warfare.
The media, bless them, and many of the rest of those in their class—unions and other labor organizations, various government entities, and Canada’s political parties—had nothing to do with this movement, and they have no control over it. They were left out. They are viewed with disdain by the public, because they lost touch with the fact that people have had enough of this. What they call a “fringe minority” of upstarts did what they were supposed to be doing: representing the concerns of the many millions of people whose lives had been impacted by government overreach.
And now that this Freedom Convoy has reached the capital and set a fire across the world, all of these managers, these elitists, this media and email-job class who hid at home while the working class continued to keep society functioning, are clutching at straws to cast aspersions on those of us who want to move forward.
With no gain for the managers of society to be had from this and no credit for them to take from it, they have chosen to smear us instead. But they should tread carefully; over and above the peril to already frayed and fragile supply chains, the working class of Canada have been inspired to action, and it is ever more obvious that we have no need for the assistance or approval of the classes who think they are so far above us.
This piece originally appeared in Newsweek and with used with permission of Gord Magill.
Magill is a trucker with over 25 years on the road across 4 different countries. You can find him on twitter @ghostofgord.