Truckers in Canada’s Freedom Convoy protest against vaccine mandates and other Covid restrictions have responded to Government smears of violence, racism and links to far-right groups. The Mail has the story.
Angry truckers have lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after members of their convoy protest were arrested and charged with hate crimes during another weekend of unrest in the country’s capital city.
They have also strongly denied that they have ties to ultra-right-wing groups, insisting they are just “ordinary truckers”.
“It’s intimidation, nothing else,” Freedom Convoy protestor Guy Meister told DailyMail.com on Monday. “We are just a bunch of hard working truck drivers who are out here protesting the Government’s Covid mandates.
“We aren’t political, we are the working class.”
James Doull, 24, a diesel mechanic who is organising truckers parked along Wellington Street, where many of the parliamentary and Government buildings are located, claimed “all the stuff put out by Trudeau and the Government” about the convoy “are lies.”
“There is no racism, the truckers aren’t vandalising things,” he told DailyMail.com. “Fringe groups coming in may be responsible but it’s not the truckers themselves.
“We are not right-wing conspiracists, we are hard-working everyday Canadians who just want our freedom back,” said Doull, who lives in Grand Manan, New Brunswick.
Since DailyMail.com arrived in Ottawa last week we have seen no indication of violence or vandalism or any extremist political agenda. In fact, the demonstrations have shown the opposite.
Apart from the incessant honking of their horns, all has been peaceful. The truckers seem to have united the people of Canada in a common goal, to get rid of Government mandates.
People who came out to support the protestors brought food, clothing and other supplies. Families came with their children in tow, some with newborns, in sub zero temperatures to show their support.
We have not even seen any arguments with the few counter protestors who were in attendance.
Every trucker DailyMail.com spoke with said they came to protest non-violently and their only reason being there was to free Canada of its Covid mandates.
Truckers were conscientious of the public streets and kept them free of litter. They also shovelled snow and threw down de-icer making the streets and sidewalks easier to walk on.
Kids were welcomed by the truckers. On several occasions they allowed them to clamber up in their cabs and blow their air horns.
The truckers are protesting rules that say that any unvaccinated drivers have to quarantine for two weeks after crossing the US/Canada border in either direction.
Originally, both countries allowed an exemption for truckers to ease the supply chain crisis that has developed since Covid hit, but Canada ended that exemption on January 15th and the United States followed suit a week later.
The convoy, which organisers claimed stretched up to 45 miles long, set out from Prince Rupert, on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, on January 22nd and arrived in the nation’s capital last week.
Since then, Canadian authorities have taken an increasingly hard line, arresting seven people and opening 60 criminal investigations.
They also seized fuel and supplies for 1,000 vehicles Sunday and Ottawa mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency.
But truckers continued to converge on the capital city where they blocked streets, shot off fireworks and blared horns, in protest of the rules, which also cover drivers going the other way into the U.S.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: A judge has issued a 10-day injunction, effective as of Monday, banning stationary trucks from honking their horns in the Freedom Convoy. Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean said: “Tooting a horn is not an expression of any great thought I’m aware of” – an obviously fatuous remark in the context of a protest – adding that the local residents’ right to peace and quiet outweighed the truckers’ right to protest. He said the restrictions won’t last forever and noted that Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world – which somewhat implies his decision was inappropriately based on disagreeing with the protestors’ cause. Meanwhile, Trudeau has been slammed for smearing the protestors as a “few people shouting and waving swastikas”.
Profanity and abuse will be removed and may lead to a permanent ban.