KEEP ON TRUCKIN’–The Revolt of the Essentials.

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’–The Revolt of the Essentials.

            So, the Canadian truckers protest is currently in Day 9. Canada’s capital city Ottawa, has now declared a state of emergency. The truckers began as a convoy showing opposition to vaccine mandates and Covid restrictions, and ballooned into a general protest of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the virus, which they call heavy handed, authoritarian, and a temporary lockdown that never seems to end.

“After nine days of noisy and chaotic disruption, Ottawa’s mayor declared a state of emergency as major cities across the country were hit over the weekend by protests opposed to vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions.

“With no end in sight to the protests in the country’s capital, Ottawa police announced that they would begin arresting anyone who attempted to bring material aid, such as fuel, to the protesters, some of whom have set up camp in the city.” Ottawa mayor declares state of emergency over trucker convoy protest – The Globe and Mail

                From the Toronto Sun “The mayor of Canada’s national capital declared a state of emergency in his city on Sunday in the face of ongoing protests that have overwhelmed local resources shortly before police moved to choke the convoy’s supply chain.”  Ottawa mayor declares state of emergency over protests | Toronto Sun

                “Choking off the convoy’s supply chain.” Okay. It’s not just fuel being seized: the fundraising site “GoFundMe” acceded to a request by the Trudeau government by freezing $10 million given by the convoy’s supporters. At first GoFundMe said they’d re-direct the money to a short list of other beneficiaries provided by GoFundMe and chosen by the truckers. Facing a huge backlash, GoFundMe agreed to rebate the money to the contributors. The damage has been done, however, and nothing undercuts your reputation as a financial fiduciary than simply taking your client’s money. Trudeau may survive but GoFundMe could end up as roadkill.

            And nothing undercuts your reputation as a good Socialist man of the people than showing an authoritarian fist. True, Mr. Trudeau’s father responded to Quebec separatism by declaring martial law. But the FLQ really were terrorists who really did kidnap and murder a cabinet officer. These truckers seem like—well, regular folks who drive trucks.

            The response from Trudeau was utterly cliché. He called them all bigots:

            I’m surprised he left off “wreckers, hoarders, kulaks, and anti-Soviet hooligans.” Down this way, our Washington Post’s (“Democracy Dies In Darkness”) political cartoonist Michael De Adder, denounced the dissidents:

“Fascists.” Yup. And quelle horror: some are reputedly carrying Confederate Flags! That’s right. Confederate Flags. In Canada. Sure thing. Next, you’ll tell me they’re waving Red Wings banners in Toronto.

So okay. The lines are drawn. Up there north of the border, a large bunch of working class folks have gotten tired of the Permanent Virus Emergency Regime. They decided to drive their trucks on up to their capital to petition for a redress of grievances—which is not enshrined in a Constitutional Bill of Rights because Canada doesn’t have one. Still, they did it anyway.

            The protest mushroomed, as more and more working folks figured they too were sick of the Permanent Lockdown. Upon arrival at the Capitol, they’re called all the default denunciations: Fascist-racists-homophobes-Islamophobes-transphobes-anti-Semites, the whole boilerplate menu. Financial service institutions froze and seized their money. Now their ‘supply chain’ is being ‘choked off.’ How will it come out? I don’t have a clue. But I do have a couple of thoughts:

ONE: I’m so old, I can remember a year and a half ago when these very same trucker guys were called “our heroes.” Back during the first months of the “two weeks to flatten the curve” we had a phrase: essential workers. It was amazing who they were: doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMS, grocery store clerks, and yes, truckers. Also amazing who they weren’t: journalists, reporters, politicians, TV celebrities. They were the froth, the Essentials were the rock. But how quickly we turned from praising Our Heroes to firing nurses for not wanting a vaccination, de-funding police, mask-hectoring store workers, and now siccing police on truckers.

TWO: So what if the Canadian truck protest gets broken up and sent home? What next? All these working people are just going to say “too bad, so sad, we lose?” This time they drove to the capital. What if next time they just don’t drive anywhere at all? How soon will Canada, and America for that matter, shut down if the truckers stay home?

What if a lot of these deplorable plebian Essentials just decide to withhold their racist-fascist-homophobe labor? Whoopi Goldberg and The View ladies will drive a truck? Mr. Michael DeAdder boss an 18 wheeler down a frozen interstate? Justin Trudeau unload a semi and stock a grocery store?

You scared of truckers coming out to protest? Be even more scared if they decide to stay home.

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