In fairness, aside from the covid debate itself, "hundreds of truckers constantly honking" doesn't sound like nonviolent protest and really is something I'd want the military to remove if it was happening on my street. If there's any form of non-lethal protests that we consider going too far, seems like this is it.

Expand full comment

I think when leaders employ the "wait for them to get tired and leave" strategy the protestors often respond by trying to be more annoying in the moment.

Being annoying in a way that undermines the protest is a limiting factor. But how much of a limiting factor that is depends on how friendly the narrative is to the protestors' cause.

Expand full comment
Feb 4, 2022·edited Feb 4, 2022

Providing a little bit more context on these (I live in Canada, though not anywhere the convoy passed through):

> He refused to meet with them, and he referred to them as racist. At first I assumed this was on priors, but it turns out he was saying some of them were waiving swastikas, which seems like a clear tactical error assuming it happened.

There were Nazi flags and Confederate flags flown (yes, in Canada, there were people with those!). There's plenty of images published of this. I assume it's a small minority in the convoy, but I don't know of any way to measure this, and regardless it's what became the face of the convoy in left-leaning Canadian media.

> “Having a group of people who disagree with the outcome of an election, who want to go a different way and bring in an alternative government, is a nonstarter in a responsible democracy,” Trudeau said.

When Trudeau said this, he was referring to some in the convoy's demand he resign. I don't know if this was an official demand on the part of the convoy, but it made a number of headlines.

> Somehow getting that last 10 percent vaccinated is ‘how we get through the pandemic’ rather than the 90 percent making a further mandate unnecessary.

Regarding this, Canada's hospital system has far, far less capacity than in the States and has been far more easily overwhelmed. Ontario's hospital system, for example, was by many measures overloaded during January. Plenty of patients needing surgery, cancer care, etc. have had their surgeries postponed, and Canada already had sky-high waiting times.

In this context, with hospitals already normally running close to 100% capacity before the pandemic, the additional burden from the 10% unvaccinated has a larger impact than it would in the States.

I suppose you could have offered a choice everyone in Canada a choice to either vaccinate or not vaccinate, and everyone who is unvaccinated signs a waiver saying they're fine being at the bottom of the triage list if they go to the hospital for covid-related disease and dealt with this issue once vaccines became widely available, but this never happened for what I would guess are obvious reasons.

(The true fix to this where we fund an increase in medical system capacity is of course not nor has it been a particularly urgent priority for politicians.)

I think there's a fair point to be made that since we're likely past the peak in Canada that further restrictions can be safely dropped for now, although one has to wonder at further variants. We really lucked out that Omicron was as mild as it was. Who knows what next winter will bring?

> Plus, in what is hilarious to us because we’re not there and don’t have to suffer through it, constant honking of all of their horns.

One final point regarding the calls to bring in the military, and this is anecdotal: the trucker convoy was in Ottawa for a number of days, and they were honking their horns throughout the night for all that time as per complaints in r/ottawa. Regardless of what you want to call this, I personally would have hoped for police or military action to remove the convoy if I lived in the neighbourhood there having to put up with it. Days of ruined sleep is, if not violence, at least something anyone should be forced to deal with in civil society. I've heard people in the area claim their pets have had serious stress issues from the honking and they've been forced to pay thousands in vet bills (though as always you should take Reddit comments with a grain of salt).

Expand full comment

As you point out, if there is one group that probably constitutes an absurdly low risk of spreading Covid, it's truckers. And at a time when we're still suffering from widespread supply shortages, it is even more absurd to impose vaccine mandates when the result could well be to create massive new labour shortages as truckers quit for refusing to comply with the absurd mandate.

The whole notion of mindlessly imposing vaccine mandates on everybody, regardless of their role or context is absurd. It’s like security theater at our airports, like searching old ladies at the airport for bombs because they might be jihadist terrorists.

The alternative to do going out high risk groups (like young Middle Eastern men in the case of jihadism, or people with asthma or other comorbidities in the case of Covid) and treating that small number differently from everyone else is to make everyone equally miserable in the name of fairness and non discrimination.

Expand full comment

Best source I've seen for what's it's like in Ottawa is this youtube channel: https://youtube.com/c/Ottawalks

The blockade at the US border in Alberta is still, partially, ongoing and a different group of people with similar aims.

Expand full comment

This shows the kind of people joining the convoy - definitely worth a watch!


Expand full comment

Global News is reporting that GoFundMe has suspended their account:

“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”


Expand full comment

Without protest the COVID mandates would go on forever. If anything I wish we had more protests of greater intensity sooner. Then maybe we wouldn't have had lockdowns and school closures and toddlers in masks for two years.

Expand full comment

If the military gets deployed, I am waiting to see if any analogues to the famous Tank Picture show up.

Expand full comment