Updated: Feb 10
"I'm frustrated." ~ Everyone, everywhere
I think this is the first post I've put out to the wild that isn't intended for anyone else. This one is just for me. I'd be thrilled for anyone else to read it, but it's a 7 minute read and oof that's a big commitment. It's purpose is really only to be cathartic. A self imposed therapy, if you will.
I'm hitting new levels of frustrated these days. Mostly because I've been following much of what's been happening in Ottawa for the past week and a half, so you can imagine the beating my mental health has taken. Throughout that ordeal, I've come across a number of "yeah but's" that were used by various people to defend the whole thing. Some were strangers, but some are acquaintances of mine. I refrained from responding or attempting to debate, but over time the frustration has been building and if I don't get some of this logic out of me I'm going to burst. Instead of completely exploding, or drowning in 17 boxes of wine, I figured I would get my rebuttals out in one place.
So here goes.
"We're fighting for everyone, all Canadians." Nope, you sure aren't! I don't recall having a say in this. I do recall having the opportunity to vote for our elected leadership, which I did. I assume you also did, because otherwise I don't know what makes you feel you have the right to try and stage a coup now or change any division's policy. The opportunity for change came with your municipal, provincial, and federal elections - all of which happened in recent history. I'm sorry you're not happy with the outcome(s), but, that's democracy. I know you feel like you're being a hero right now, but to a lot of other citizens who want these things you're just being an asshole.
"We're standing up for truckers who lost their livelihood over medical autonomy." If this is your position, you have been grossly misinformed. Full stop. No jobs were taken away from anyone as a result of the border crossing vaccine mandate. Truck drivers were given a delay to the rule to give time to get vaccinated. Most of them did so. The exemption period expired. The few drivers who chose to not vaccinate were re-routed to Canadian routes. That's it. A change to their job, but still their job. Also. NEWS FLASH....the border has two sides to it. *gasp* Even if we dropped the vaccine requirement to cross the Canadian border - fun fact - they wouldn't be able to get into the United States to begin with because there's a vaccine requirement on that side. So.....um, yeah. Next? *Edited to add: The VAST majority of protestors and supporters are not "truckers". Very few of them are. Most are general random Joe's who are taking advantage of the proverbial bandwagon because of their own frustrations.
"It's really just about freedom of choice." Nope, sure isn't! It's really sweet for you to think that. I truly wish this was the case. I'd be on board with this! If it was truly about freedom of choice, we wouldn't have countless reports of "freedom fighters" harassing citizens choosing to be vaccinated or to wear their masks in any situation. And don't even come at me with a defense that most of you support the choice because there are enough documented examples of this type of harassment to prove that "it's really just about freedom of choice" is not a factual position for the movement as a whole. For some of you it is really just about freedom of choice, and I do respect that perspective. But. BUT. For some of your group it's a desire for NO masks or other protective/preventative health measures at all, for anyone, even those who personally choose them. That division makes it quite obvious that this is not about freedom of choice. At least, not for anyone who chooses differently than some of your loudest supporters.
"We have the right to protest." Yup, sure do! BUT. This wasn't/isn't a legal protest. I won't get into the full list of reasons it isn't. I will however point out that many of the current participants and supporters were super quick to call out "illegal protest, shut it down" as soon as a First Nations protest recently blocked a single road or railway to protect their own land. For some reason that was very bad and illegal, but blocking off a full capital city as well as all lanes on major highways across the Canada is just and necessary, because, white people, amiright? Also, it's a counter-productive protest. See #2 for the border vaccine part. Mask requirements and business entry requirements are provincial rules, not federal, so......what exactly are you trying to accomplish here at a Parliament that isn't even in session? You keep saying things about Trudeau not listening to you but YO, THAT'S NOT EVEN HIS TO LISTEN TO.
"It's full of love and unity." Nope! Just, nope. I know that there are many images floating around making it look like a big ol' love fest (including bouncy castles and saunas, because, yeah that's normal for hardcore victimized freedom fighters) - but no. There are too many accounts of intimidation, bullying, harassing, vandalism, arson, death threats, racism, etc. etc. etc. You can try and spin the narrative all you like with pictures of protestors serving up meals and picking up garbage. Best case scenario is that those photo-ops are legitimate and true. I'm not convinced, but, let's say they are. I'm not giving you points for picking up your own garbage. You're not a 6 year old collecting gold stars for your chore chart. Also, you SHOULD be feeding each other, so please stop glorifying that. And if you also happen to be feeding homeless people in the area, it's literally the least you can do after eating at their shelter and keeping them up all day/night for 10 days with traumatic horns and music. You had no choice but to make things look full of peace & love after those other atrocities were publicized. My dog's on his best behaviour after I catch him eating shit he's not supposed to, too! But even if those lovely moments were genuine, great, there are too many people using your situation to get their not-so-lovey messages out there and do some truly awful things. So no, it's not FULL of love and unity.
"The media isn't giving you the right information." Alright, hold my drink for this one. First it was "why isn't the media covering this", now it's "well they're not covering the right thing" and "don't watch the media". Pick a lane, guys. (Bad joke? Too soon?) It's pretty evident that the "why isn't the news covering this" folks got their wish and just didn't like how the general population reacted. That doesn't mean the news is wrong, but it might mean that you are. If your only source for "real facts" is someone like super trustworthy Zello user "cumsitonmybigrig" (actual user name), or the Maverick Party political separatist party leader Tamara Lich (who tried to use your cause for her own political financing, I might add), or the documented white supremacist Pat King, etc. etc. etc. you may want to give a real hard look at how easily you can be manipulated. If the guys who didn't finish high school and the most ignorantly racist POS disgrace of a Canadian I've ever heard (lookin' at you Mr. King) are saying different things than everyone else, I do agree that there's probably a conspiracy with different motives at play. We just disagree on which side it's likely to be on. It's not just media, though. For the past week I have been following along with some of the Zello channels with the convoy participants and supporters. Y'all are just telling each other things, and believing it. It's actually mind blowing how you can hear Pat "Anglo-Saxon Cleansing" King say things like 90% of Canadians are with you (hahaha no) and that 50% of Ottawa police resigned instead of opposing you (also no) and you blindly take it as gospel fact, but something like hospitalization rates is fake news.
"It's really good people with good intentions, there are always just a few 'bad apples', don't judge the whole movement on that." And here, people, here's where we have a MAJOR disconnect. Yup, definitely some good people supporting this. But here's the thing - doesn't matter. You can be the kindest, highly educated, most altruistic person, with the best intentions supporting this. That does not take away the fact that an alarming number of extremists are leveraging your platform to validate their actions. From Neo-Nazi symbolism, to homophobic vandalism, terrorizing women and children for wearing masks, burning Canadian flags (on video), knowingly blocking ambulances with passengers, setting fire to a populated apartment building and taping the exit shut, pissing on monuments, flying flags with death threats, etc. it is NOT all good people with good intentions. I know that many of you truly do mean well and feel you're fighting the good fight, I know that. But when you find yourself in a situation that aligns with those other people you might want to check yourself. Your platform is giving them a voice and a doorway, enabling and even encouraging their actions. When you find yourself in a situation where people like that are aligning with you, it's probably time to check yourself and reconsider.
"Enough is enough, we can't live like this forever." Okay, yes, this one on it's own is one I can get on board with. To a point. You're frustrated with restrictions. I get it, so am I. This isn't the solution. I do agree that after two years of this, we need to get on with living our lives instead of waiting for a magic button type of solution. I think most people agree with that to varying degrees. Where we disagree is what that means or looks like. For "freedom convoy" supporters, it's going back to doing whatever you want because you want. For many other members of our collective society, it means acknowledging that science and viruses exist and making some minor changes to maximize benefits for the general population. Sometimes this means doing things like wearing a mask to protect immunocompromised people. Some do it because of a mandate, but some do it as a personal choice, and their choice is just as important and valuable as yours is. If anything, I'd suggest that the choice made by someone considering the needs of others over needs of self has more value and weight to it. In any case, learning to live with an endemic is important but may require some changes. We brush our teeth because we learned gross and bad things happen to your mouth if you don't. We wear seat belts because we learned that driving a vehicle has risks. We wear things like helmets and condoms because we learned that certain activities warrant an extra layer of protection. I can go on forever, but all of these things and behaviours only became a part of life when we as a society learned and decided they were necessary. I'm not definitively saying that masks or COVID19 vaccines are the next seat belt, simply stating that learning to live with something is necessary but may require some adaptation to your daily life, as we've done countless times in the past.
Alright.....alright. I feel a bit better now.
Wait, one more thing.
Alright NOW I feel a bit better.