by Angela Felzmann
I am Canadian. Let me say it again; I. AM. CANADIAN.
I am a Calgarian, born and raised.
I’m all for protests, expressing views, righting of wrongs and advocating justice, humanity, values and purpose. Protests: I have attended many myself but they have all been peaceful. I protest to raise a point, and point out concerns.
But what is happening right now in Ottawa is not peaceful. This is not a rally call about equal rights or freedoms. This is about people demanding entitlement and privilege without having any responsibility of contributing towards the safety of society. This is about a pandemic, and a virus, that keeps our health care system under duress, People in hospital are dying.
Vaccination will be the only way to get a hold of COVID-19, just as vaccinations have been relied on to protect all of us (yes, worldwide) from other illnesses that have threatened human life.
Nothing good will come of this “freedom” movement. Canada is better than this, and we deserve so much more.
Recently, a battle of words and wills, rationalizations and justifications spilled onto my Facebook page and, in the end, there was no answer to questions I posed.
What is this “Truckers For Freedom” convoy really going to really do in Ottawa and beyond.
What is their plan?
Are they looking for a Canadian insurrection of sorts? Let’s be honest, the US insurrection was a disgraceful mess.
Do these “Truckers for Freedom” not realize the USA also require mandated vaccines for truckers at their borders too? It’s not just Canada. What is the convoy going to do in Ottawa? What is their plan?
Are they going to try and hold Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hostage?
Is it their intent to make supply chain issues worse than what they are?
What is the goal?
Unless they can provide clear answers, I have no desire to engage in a war of words, views, or wills on my Facebook page. We will have to respectfully agree to disagree.
But is not enough for some. Race is an issue that continually creeps to the surface. I have explained about my stance regarding white nationalists and separatists and, instead, they flooded my page with comments about love. I’ve seen other posts online about all the love in these protests and I just shake my head in disbelief and shame.
I was even asked if I was familiar with the theory of confirmation bias. A bit hypocritical I thought (especially given the subject matter). Seriously, I’m brown. I’ve been actively involved in what’s been happening with world politics for the last 10 years.
Yes, I’m familiar with confirmation bias, just as much as I am with unconscious bias and race theory. I dare suggest those that doubt may want to educate themselves of all the bias theories – where they originate and how we use them for our narratives. It’s the understanding and awareness of these theories, and how and when we rely on them, which brings about effective influence in these kinds of matters.
People supporting this “freedom” movement need to have their eyes wide-open and pay attention. The people organizing this “trucker” convoy all have ties to ultra-right wing white nationalist groups. There is a reason this ideology is labeled as dangerous.
You have your rights and freedoms. It is your choice to want to ignore a virus that’s impacted the entire world. To put your wants above public health is not fair. Going to a movie, dining inside a restaurant, taking in a concert, partaking of sporting events or getting a haircut aren’t part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This does not constitute enslavement of any kind.
You all still have food, clothing, a home, heat, clean water, your children still have their education, and you are all able to receive medical care. Vaccinated or not. No one has taken these inalienable rights away from you.
It seems to me, they know nothing of what being oppressed and controlled is. xThis is not China. There’s been no Tiananmen massacre. This is not South Africa where apartheid ran corrupt, rampant and unchecked for the police and government officials. This is not Afghanistan, there is no Taliban reign of terror or repression of living life. This is not Germany where a holocaust has wiped out millions of people because they are Jewish. There are no concentration camps or firing squads.
You all need a history lesson of what communism, tyranny and absolute control of government is. We don’t know because this is Canada. Ask the Rawandans, the Blacks or the Jewish, what oppression, enslavement, and having your rights stripped away from you are.
Don’t you dare compare yourselves to the victims or survivors of these atrocities because you are required to get a vaccine to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading further.
Get over yourselves and do the right thing. Get vaccinated. If you continue to choose not to get vaccinated, that is your choice, but stop whining and demanding your “right” to move about society freely.
In deciding not to get vaccinated, you are a greater risk to the community at large.
The only way we will get ahead of this thing is through vaccination. And while the virus mutates and there will be further variants to contend with, it may very well be that we will take booster shots for years to come, as well as wearing masks. Get over it, or stay home and live in the limited bubble the laws permit you to. You decide.
Politics is an ugly game; corruption, hypocrisy, and contradictions abound (certainly there is no lack of it). This protest targets Trudeau in an alarming way. I challenge you all to say that your disdain is misdirected. He has done a lot for Canada and the provinces during all of this, and I scoff thinking what dire straights we would be in should we have a Conservative party in control of our federal politics.
Look closely at what your provincial leaders have failed to do and how they have contributed to the poor handling of all of this. I can’t speak to other provinces, but I can tell you that Alberta has taken a huge hit in the cost of living. There have been cuts to all public services, housing, and post secondary education, and a governmental will to destroy our mountains and water for coal and for pennies. Indeed, people are struggling to make even the basic of needs met or keep their head above water. There is no Alberta Advantage to be had here.
Take a good look at the Conservative leaders saying they support the truckers. They swear they disavow the extremists out of one side of their mouth, but support your cause at the same time, while wanting you all to get the booster. Think about that.
These “truckers” have gained some bad press for behaving disrespectfully towards a war memorial and the Terry Fox statue. Stop it. Act with some dignity and pride.
But finally, let me say, I am so impressed to see how united Canadians can be and how much they want to fight for something they think is right.
How fast this all came together and the amount of money raised for this cause is admirable. But this is not a cause I can support because of the organizer’s hateful ideology.
Imagine what a force we could be should we decide to stand up for worker rights, for a living wage, for our health care workers and all other front line staff, for appropriate funding of public supports, services and resources. Now, that’s something I would be all over.
Nothing good will come of this “freedom” movement. Canada is better than this. And we deserve so much more than this misrepresentation of our country.
Angela Felzmann is a frustrated writer living in Calgary, Alberta.