Much ado was made about the self-described Freedom Convoy last month. Truckers shut down several blocks in Ottawa, Canada. They also blocked the border crossing at the Windsor Bridge at the Canadian/American border near Detroit. While the border bridge was cleared and reopened in relatively short order, the protest in Ottawa has also been shut down after nearly a month.
The Ottawa protest, when it was happening, had been plagued with reports of Nazi and Confederate flag-waving. There have also been reports of assaults and the desecration of a memorial to a Canadian war hero, Terry Fox. The protesters even harassed workers in a food bank whose food was meant for homeless people, not protesting truckers who failed to plan ahead or refused to wear a mask at any of Ottawa’s dining establishments.
Add to all that, many businesses in Ottawa have suffered as the trucks have blocked customers from getting to their locations as well as a lack of deliveries to the businesses from other trucks who are not participating in the convoy. It has been estimated that 90% of the truckers in Canada are vaccinated, still working, and by and large, not supporting the convoy.
The Canadian government is now freezing assets and arresting leaders of the protests.
Meanwhile, supporters of the Freedom Convoy remain adamant to continue the chaos here in America by organizing another convoy to converge in Washington D,C.
Things might not be going as well here south of the border as they did in Canada as evidenced by troubles in Scranton, Pa, where a large group was supposed to meet and head to the nation’s capitol.
One big problem was that the leader’s organizer suffered not one, but two flat tires trying to get to the rendezvous point.
That might have been a sign of bad things to come, The organizer, Bob Bolus, remained undeterred as he arrived at the staging site. It was there he was hit with another bad omen — no one but him was there.
Bolus did eventually have some company as an estimated 20 or fewer trucks eventually joined him hours later.
While Bolus initially said it wasn’t enough to proceed to Washington, eventually the small convoy embarked towards Pittson, Pa. where they intend to hook up with another small group of trucks and drive to Washington. They expect to arrive in Washington today.
But unlike Ottawa, American law enforcement is ready for the Freedom Convoy truckers, as well as National Guard troops, who will, if needed, be brought in to keep peace and order.
The Department of Defense released the following statement Wednesday morning:
“The Secretary of Defense has approved the provision of 400 District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG) personnel and 50 vehicles to support the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia at designated traffic posts.
This support was requested by the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency for DoD. DCNG personnel will be prepared to assist Metropolitan Police officers at traffic posts as soon as operationally and logistically feasible through March 7, 2022.
The Secretary of Defense also approved the provision of up to 300 National Guard personnel from neighboring states to support the United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers with traffic control operations at designated perimeter posts.
This support was requested by the USCP. National Guard personnel from neighboring states will be prepared to assist USCP officers as soon as operationally and logistically feasible through March 7, 2022.
The National Guard personnel will be in Title 32 duty status for both requests (i.e., Federal pay status). DC National Guard personnel will remain under the command and control of the Commanding General of the DCNG and the Secretary of the Army. The Commanding General of the DC National Guard will serve as the coordinating official for State National Guard personnel supporting the USCP, who will remain under command and control of their respective Governors.
Supporting members of the National Guard will not be issued firearms and they will not engage in the surveillance of U.S. or foreign persons, although they are authorized to report any observed criminal activity to appropriate law enforcement personnel. Although participating service members will conduct traffic control, they will not affect arrests or conduct other such law enforcement activities. The Metropolitan Police Department and the USCP are responsible for conducting searches, seizures, and arrests within their respective jurisdictions. National Guard personnel will adhere to the DC National Guard rules for the use of force.”
Some on the left and center of the political spectrum have mocked the Freedom Convoy and their goals, which according to organizer Bolus, is to protest vaccine mandates, inflation, and illegal immigration.
Those mocking the protests might want to remember that these truckers do have every right, under US law, to peacefully demonstrate for their causes. But at the same time, the truckers might want to acknowledge that some of these mandates are already being stripped away and that the so-called “inflation” happening is not a result of US policies and is happening worldwide. Furthermore, many believe much of what is happening is the result of corporate greed more than anything.
As far as illegal immigration goes, many acknowledge that the US is long overdue to reform immigration policy. The problem isn’t that, but rather which path to take to get to a more efficient place.
It might be said that these protesters are “running east looking for a sunset” and their efforts in the Freedom Convoy are more wasted than fruitful. Perhaps, as it has been suggested, the truckers might be more effective in just taking their trucks home and parking them to show their discontent. The same message would be sent, and they could do so without serving the white supremacist agenda that they currently may be serving. In addition to that, the truckers would be showing that they aren’t only interested in freedom for themselves. That was a big issue in Canada as the protests effectively shut down businesses and limited the freedoms of everyone around them in various ways.