With the political of weight of Former President Donald Trump behind the Canadian trucker protest against vaccine mandates, there’s no telling how impactful the events will be.
Dozens of trucks and other vehicles blocked the downtown area of Ottawa for a second day after thousands descended on Canada’s capital city on Saturday to protest against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Trucks remained parked on the streets near parliament on Sunday, a day before lawmakers are due to resume work after the holiday break. Hundreds of protesters were out on Sunday, too. Some truckers said they will not leave until the mandate is overturned.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Texas on Saturday, praised the Canadian protesters for “resisting bravely these lawless mandates,” in a sign the politicization of the pandemic seen mostly south of the border has spread north.
Trump praises the Canadian truckers who are protesting Covid mandates pic.twitter.com/0mkBzHcNQQ
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 30, 2022
In solidarity with the Ottawa rally, truckers and protesters have blocked a Canada-U.S. border crossing in southern Alberta.
In Ottawa, thousands gathered peacefully on Saturday and there were no arrests, though several questionable incidents are now being investigated by police.
One protester was filmed dancing on the war memorial – the tomb of the unknown soldier – and flags bearing swastikas were seen in the crowd. A downtown mall shut down because protesters refused to wear masks.
However, like the Jan. 6 protest, it’s not known if these actions were taken by actual protestors or insidious government actors infiltrating the uprising to give the appearance of chaos and to disparage the validity of the protest.
“We do not condone any disrespectful behavior,” the official Facebook page for the rally said on Saturday.
The demonstration started out as a protest against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers, but turned into a demonstration against the Trudeau government with a strong anti-vaccination streak.
Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family left their downtown Ottawa home on Saturday. Earlier this week Trudeau said the convoy represented a “small fringe minority” who do not represent the views of Canadians.
Prime Minister Trudeau says the "small, fringe minority" on their way to Ottawa "hold unacceptable views" and are undermining the rights, freedoms and values of Canada.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) January 26, 2022
About 90% of Canada’s cross-border truckers and almost 79% of the population has had two COVID-19 vaccine shots. Canada is now in the middle of a spike in Omicron variant cases that is straining hospitals.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra ruled out reversing any of the mandates on Sunday.
Canada’s Conservative Party supported the protest, which aimed a lot of its anger – in signs and chants – directly at Trudeau. The right-wing People’s Party of Canada, which holds no seats in parliament, turned out at the rally.
“We are super-spreaders of freedom,” People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier said in a speech on Saturday.
Meanwhile, liberals across North America continue to malign the protestors as super-spreaders, white supremacists, and anti-science whack jobs.
Author: Nolan Sheridan