For a month, a group of truckers, anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers and various elements of Canada’s far right occupied the streets around Canada’s capital in Ottawa. They’ve also occupied border crossings between Canada and the U.S. The so-called “Freedom Convoy” has demanded everything from an end to vaccine mandates and mask mandates to the jailing of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They’ve targeted Canada’s liberal ruling class, but have disrupted and harassed the lives of Ottawa residents. Police and the Conservative Party either have stood by or been in active support
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This past week, Trudeau declared a state of emergency not seen since unrest in Quebec in the 1970s. The police first cleared the trucker blockade on the Ambassador Bridge. And then police moved in to clear the truckers occupation of Wellington Street resulting in 100 arrests.
In this episode, flying solo, Scott first talks with Prof Roberta Lexier (@rlexier) of Mount Royal University about the situation, what is driving these protests, Canada’s politics and how the left in Canada can respond.
And then he talks with organizer James Hutt (@jamesrhutt), a labor organizer, about what’s happening on the ground in Ottawa and how the truckers occupation has led to disruption and harassment of vulnerable communities throughout Ottawa. James also talks about the “Battle of Billings Bridge,” where communities have organized to stop truckers’ resupply into downtown Ottawa.