Smearing the Truckers

You no doubt are aware of the protest being staged by thousands of Canadian truck drivers who have now converged on Ottawa. The truckers began by protesting against a vaccination mandate for truckers crossing the U.S. border, but it has grown into a movement opposing extreme and irrational anti-covid measures, and promoting freedom generally.

Naturally, the liberal press is horrified. You likely have seen this bizarre editorial cartoon that appeared in–where else–the Washington Post:

When I first saw the cartoon, I literally did not understand it. Someone had to explain that the Post’s cartoonist is calling the truckers who are demonstrating on behalf of freedom fascists. Freedom is slavery, after all.

Liberals have hoped for the protest to turn violent, but it hasn’t happened, as the New York Times grudgingly acknowledges:

Despite fears that the demonstration could turn violent, by Saturday evening the police said there had been no significant incidents.

This is how the Times describes the crowd:

Thousands of protesters on foot, many carrying handmade signs on hockey sticks, wandered through the parked vehicles and the slow-moving traffic or gathered on the lawn in front of Parliament. Some of them carried Canadian flags upside down; at least one flag had swastikas drawn on it.

Liberals always try to imply that if someone draws a swastika it means that person is pro-Nazi. Actually, it means (in this context, at least) that the person is accusing the Canadian government of using Nazi-like tactics. I don’t agree, but let’s not smear the protesters by inverting the intent behind their signs.

The London Times does the same thing, a little more blatantly:

There were chaotic scenes over the weekend as scores of articulated lorries began to roll in on Friday, joined by hundreds of pick-ups and cars, paralysing a large chunk of downtown Ottawa near the parliament building and filling the air with honks. Yesterday Canadian flags, “F*** Trudeau” banners and messages about tyranny mingled with Confederate flags, swastikas and the emblems of far-right groups.

The Times story includes a video of the protest that I can’t embed here. You see hundreds, maybe thousands of Canadian flags. No Confederate flags that I could spot. No swastikas. No “far right” emblems that I recognized. Just a sea of Canadian flags. But misrepresenting the right is the principal business of the left.

The press is making a big deal out of the fact that Justin Trudeau and his family were moved from their residence as a precaution. I have no problem with that, although given the total lack of violence–you might have thought they were expecting a George Floyd riot–it was an unnecessary precaution. But I would note that there was no similar outpouring of press angst when the Secret Service moved President Trump and his family out of the White House during a violent George Floyd riot. The AP headlined, “Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged.” But there was no sign of sympathy or concern about the propriety of the protesters’ violence:

Trump continued his effort to project strength, using a series of inflammatory tweets and delivering partisan attacks during a time of national crisis.

Here is more on the truckers’ protest from the BBC.

Defence Minister Anita Anand said the incidents were “beyond reprehensible”.

No incident described was even remotely violent. This one is darkly humorous:

Ottawa police said in a Twitter post that “several” investigations were now under way into the “desecration” of a number monuments in the capital city….

So now the Left is against desecrating monuments! I thought it had become more or less compulsory.

Putting aside whatever you may think about vaccination mandates, the hostility of the press’s response to any movement that expresses a desire for freedom is striking.

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