Participants in the Canadian trucker convoy protest in the capital city of Ottawa against vaccine mandates are slamming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he claimed Monday that they were “racist” and that participants defaced war memorials.
Over the past week, hundreds of truckers drove across the country to converge on the capital to protest vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the U.S-Canada border. They were cheered along the way by supporters, and have protested peacefully.
— PeiAtenshon 🎖 (@TeoDiezYsiete) January 30, 2022
Establishment media outlets attempted to paint the truckers as racist, antisemitic, and Islamophobic, citing “experts.”
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant addressed the crowd on Saturday: noting that it was both diverse and non-violent:
I was invited by the truckers to give a short speech. Here’s what I said: pic.twitter.com/ZYclZwDBtH
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) January 29, 2022
— Mid Winter Trucker's Luck.. (@H0tdish) January 28, 2022
The protesters briefly decorated a statue to Terry Fox, a Canadian runner and cancer research activist, with flags and signs.
What’s Happening the Downtown Core of Ottawa:
– Truckers Honking and Fireworks, disturbing local Businesses and Citizens
– Defaced and Desecrated the National War Memorial and the Terry Fox statue
– Threatened to shoot Government Officials
— daniel (Taylor’s Version) (@futurepositionz) January 31, 2022
They later cleaned the statue, though media reports claimed they had vandalized it.
Peaceful protesters cleaning the Terry Fox statue! @CBC won't show you this tho! #DefundCBC #FreedomConvoy2022 #FreedomConvoyCanada2022 #ConvoyForFreedom2022 #fringeminority pic.twitter.com/O1PaqgpMzZ
— SpaceOtter (@SpaceOtter16) January 30, 2022
They also cleaned up the protest site:
Just look at these far right, neo nazi, racist, dangerous, fringe minority trucker protestors cleaning up Ottawa after the protest.
How dare they! pic.twitter.com/TortVsdBH3
— Based UK (@Based__UK) January 30, 2022
Trudeau, speaking from quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, declared Monday:
Over the past few days, Canadians were shocked and, frankly, disgusted by the behavior displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital. I want to be very clear: we are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonor the memory of our veterans.
“Canadians were shocked and disgusted by some people protesting in our nation’s capital,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says. pic.twitter.com/cxt2P2krg4
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) January 31, 2022
Trudeau appeared to be echoing unverified claims on social media, including claims about the Terry Fox statue, and a claim that truckers had parked their cars on a war memorial.
If Indigenous people did this we'd NEVER hear the end of it. Earlier today, the white protesters taking part in the trucker protest in Ottawa parked their vehicles on the cenotaph at the National War Memorial. And then later got drunk and stood on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. https://t.co/MpZylvpcmU pic.twitter.com/7f2Qn9iRck
— Christian Big Eagle (@CreeWarrior2010) January 29, 2022
Levant told Breitbart News that the two people who had parked on the monument moved their cars when told to do so. He added that the claim of stealing food from the homeless arose from an incident in which a protester had asked to be fed at a soup kitchen.
Trudeau also appeared to refer to claims that truckers flew swastika flags, including one flown from an expensive hotel at some distance from the protest:
The Chateau Laurier is Ottawa’s most expensive hotel. It’s also an establishment political hang-out — there are always cabinet ministers and lobbyists in the hotel bar. There is simply zero chance that a trucker would stay there. This is so obviously a false flag hoax. https://t.co/vGuSoUbVek
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) January 30, 2022
Levant said that one protester drew a swastika on a Canadian flag — not to endorse the swastika, but as a commentary on Trudeau’s “fascist” mandates, one with which Levant said he did not agree, but which was not intended as a racist statement.
Another man showed up wearing a Confederate flag, Levant said, but had his face covered and was told by others to leave.
Trudeau’s claims were “complete B.S.,” Levant said, and an attempt to discredit legitimate protest.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.