Canada's Convoy Movement Is A Racist, Anti-Democratic Venture
The “Freedom Convoy” movement, consisting of hundreds of trucks, has ground to a halt the busiest border crossing between Canada and the United States and occupied Ottawa, Canada’s capital, effectively blockading the city and disrupting daily life for most residents in the core of the city, Henry A. Giroux reported for Truthout.
Photo Insert: A truck bearing the symbol of the Freedom Convoy
The convoy participants reject all vaccine requirements and mandates and support a decidedly anti-government discourse reminiscent of far-right ideology in the United States.
The convoy participants lack the support of the general public, which is largely vaccinated. They also lack the support of most Canadian truckers, 90 percent of whom are vaccinated, and of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
The truckers are endorsed largely by leading US Republicans like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, along with some Canadian conservative politicians.
Support has also come from powerful anti-democratic social media figures like Tucker Carlson, Jordan Peterson, and Elon Musk, and an array of white supremacist groups. Some of the more powerful right-wing groups in Canada include Action4Canada, which makes the false and conspiracy-riddled claim that the COVID-19 pandemic “was carried out, at least in part, by Bill Gates and a ‘New World (Economic) Order’ to facilitate the injection of 5G-enabled microchips into the population.”
With the help of social media, support for the Freedom Convoy protests snowballed globally with upcoming convoys being planned for the United States, France and all 27 European countries.
The Freedom Convoy protests are the brainchild of James Bauder, who heads the Canada Unity movement, which launched the protests. Bauder believes in multiple baseless conspiracy theories and “has endorsed the QAnon movement and called Covid-19 ‘the biggest political scam in history.’”
Bauder is no friend of organized labor and, as Jacobin has noted, two years ago he participated in another convoy called United We Roll that “planned an anti-union protest where convoy members threatened to dismantle the picket line and run over workers.”
Other leaders in the movement include some hard-right extremists such as Patrick King who, according to The Conversation, once “stated that he believes the vaccine was created to ‘depopulate’ the white race.” Another convoy leader named B.J. Dichter has a reputation for spreading Islamophobic sentiments.