Saturday, December 10, 2022

Canada: Truck driver protest against mandatory vaccination spreads

coronavirus canada

There’s a big police force to crack the trucker’s blockade – but protests against mandatory vaccinations are spreading across the country

Truckers have been occupied for twelve days in the heart of the Canadian capital. Your protest is against compulsory vaccination. Now trucks have also arrived in Quebec and Toronto.

Truckers Are Jamming In Downtown Ottawa: Truckers' Protests Have Been Going On Since Late January.

Truckers blocking downtown Ottawa: Truckers’ protest has been going on since late January.

Andre Pichette / EPA

Police leadership in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is now relying on federal and provincial police forces to end a blockade of the city by opposing truck drivers. After the declaration of emergency, the mayor requested the deployment of 1,800 police officers. But there seems to be no quick end. Meanwhile, truckers were also arriving in Quebec City, Toronto and other provincial capitals.

The protest is directed against requiring vaccination for truck drivers in cross-border traffic with the United States. Apart from this, the truck drivers are demanding the removal of all the rules issued in the fight against the Kovid epidemic. This campaign has been going on since January 28. Hundreds of trucks drove into the city with “Freedom Convoys” (freedom convoys), which have blocked important roads and intersections since then.

The authorities had completely underestimated the protest

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Slowley must now admit that the police completely underestimated the protest. The protesters’ sometimes very aggressive slogans are specifically aimed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom they portray as an assassin with a syringe, calling for his arrest and calling for obscenities such as “Fuck Trudeau”. Along with insulting them. The fact that, in the wake of these events, the protest has been described as “peaceful” and “patriotic” by conservative members of parliament, is cynical to many in the capital.

Police Officers On March In Ottawa: They Must End The Trucker'S Blockade.

Police officers on march in Ottawa: They must end the trucker’s blockade.

Andre Pichette / EPA

Trudeau declined to negotiate with the truck drivers. Most of the sanctions were not issued by the federal government, but by the provinces anyway. Trudeau could not comply with the demand for the removal of all sanctions for constitutional reasons alone.

Court bans honking

Under Pressure: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Under pressure: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Justin Tang / Associated Press

On Monday, a judge issued an injunction to prevent near-permanent horning with compressed air horns, initially relieving people in the city center. The sound of engines and horns of heavy trucks running for ten days could be heard. Parents told of their children’s fears, who could not sleep and were shocked.

Old or disabled people did not dare to go out on the streets. Time and again it happened that those who went to the city center with their mouth and nose covered were taunted and harassed by the truckers and their sympathizers. A resident of the capital told CH Media:

“One came up to me and tried to remove the mask from my face.”

Another said that when she was jogging, the truckers abused her and insulted her. Scattered scenes of America’s so-called Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery and racism, are worrying ethnic minorities.

But there’s also an endorsement: In parking lots and streets in the city center, sympathizers of truck drivers fill diesel fuel into canisters to carry them to truckers. The police are now trying to stop the delivery of petrol in the city center and are confiscating the canisters. To fool the police and tie up the police forces, the canisters are filled with water or carried empty around town. A temporary storage facility for propane cylinders was set up in a park in the center of the city. Local politician Katherine McKennie described the situation in the city center as “absolute chaos” over the weekend.

“We are not China”

The protest is supported not only by the truck drivers, but also by many other citizens who oppose the restrictions. They see their freedom restricted. They have “freedom” and “we are not China” on their posters. In their protest, they wrap themselves in the Canadian flag, including families with children. There is dancing and singing at the intersections and there is a party atmosphere everywhere.

Road Blockade In Ottawa: Not Only Are The Truckers Protesting – Many Other Citizens Have Also Joined The Protest.

Road blockade in Ottawa: Not only are the truckers protesting – many other citizens have also joined the protest.

Andre Pichette / EPA

The protest is directed against vaccination and COVID restrictions. With a vaccination rate of over 80 percent, Canada is one of the countries in the world with the highest levels of vaccination among its citizens. Vaccination is not mandatory in Canada as a general obligation, but only for individual professional groups. Truckers are also included in this since January 15.

According to surveys, a general obligation to vaccinate would be accepted by about two thirds of the population. In contrast, it shows that opposition to compulsory vaccination is not only in a small minority. There has so far not been an opinion poll on the attitude of the truck driver to the protest. Canada’s weak health system, coupled with bed shortages and intensive care capacity, is currently being brought to the brink of collapse, as the relatively small number of unvaccinated people take up nearly 50 percent of bed capacity, according to official information.

With the declaration of a state of emergency, the city of Ottawa has the opportunity to request additional assistance from higher levels of government, provincial and federal. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wrote to Trudeau earlier in the week asking for a total of 1,800 emergency services to be deployed. The “criminal activity and hooliganism” of the past few days must end, Watson wrote. But trucks still ply on important roads and intersections in Ottawa. They could only be eliminated using very heavy equipment. Trudeau denies the use of the military.

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