And then there were none.
As of Monday morning, the streets of the nation’s capital were devoid of semi-trucks and protesters. All the border crossings had re-opened and traffic was moving again in both directions. The only thing left happening outside in Canada, appears to be winter.
On Thursday night, police started their Ottawa operation. Arrests were made of some of the more prominent organizers of the protest. Pat King, Daniel Bulford, Chris Barber and Tamara Lich were all taken into custody, by Ottawa police. All were charged with different degrees of ‘Mischief’, and counselling others to commit ‘mischief’. I know that sounds like something very minor, like getting a ticket for jay-walking, but it turns out that ‘mischief’ is a charge that gets tied in with other charges and can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. That is not likely to happen, even to this far-right hate mongering quartet. ‘Mischief’ charges are just a quick means to take someone into custody and not let them go.
On Friday morning, while the foursome sat cooling their heels in jail, police in massive numbers started forming a line at the east end of the protest area. For the entire day on Friday, they slowly and methodically moved that line forward, regaining the city streets a few meters at a time. Honestly, paint dry’s faster than that police line moved.
From the time the Emergencies Measures Act was implemented by the federal government, Ottawa police had been telling protesters that they should leave. Police told the protesters they were coming. Police told protesters if they didn’t leave, they would be arrested and that big-assed rig they were camped out in, would be impounded and towed away. There was no night raid, urban warfare approach by authorities. The police didn’t sneak up on the protesters. They wore reflective safety vests!!
Why did the protesters look so surprised?? Why weren’t they ready with a response? After closing down the centre of a city for 23 days, you would think they would have some kind of plan for resistance. But they didn’t. They just stood there and shouted obscenities at the police and when police stepped forward, they stepped back.
If you look at the whole protest, from the time Joe Redneck started his truck in Alberta to drive in the convoy, to the moment he watched it being towed away while wearing handcuffs in Ottawa, it has been five weeks. That might be some kind of Guinness record! There was nothing stealthy about the trucker’s approach to the city and its intent to close it down, any more than there was nothing stealthy about the police advance to reclaim their occupied city. Both sides knew what the other was going to do, well in advance of it happening. Yet neither side was prepared. They just looked surprised.
Ottawa police were surprised that the truck protest didn’t leave the city after the first weekend, like all the other protests there had been in the past. They seemed surprised that the trucks were so large and took up so much space. They seemed surprised that the truckers disobeyed the street signs and drove up to Parliament Hill on a street with a ‘no trucks permitted’ designation. Even if they had the slightest notion, of just how obnoxious a redneck trucker could be, Ottawa police seemed surprised at just how bad they really are. I can let the city off the hook for that last one, I live amongst those rednecks, and sometimes even I am surprised at the way they think and behave. Regardless, the city of Ottawa seemed ill-prepared and utterly surprised, when the truck convoy hit their city 23 days ago and stayed.
The protesters were also surprised by the actions of the police. They seemed incredulous that after 22 days of them living on the streets of downtown Ottawa and holding a marathon street party, that the police would actually come in and remove them. They didn’t forward plan any better than the city of Ottawa did! They just stood in a line, stepped back and looked surprised! On Saturday morning, after a day of losing ground to police on Friday and repeated warnings that this day would bring a more aggressive police approach, when police arrived at the frontline in helmets and carrying batons, the protesters still looked surprised. The police told them they were going to do this if they didn’t leave, why the hell were they so surprised?!!! Didn’t any of this cross their minds while they sat in the hot tub for 3 weeks on Wellington Street??? The police were as obvious as a semi-trailer! I swear, for five weeks I have watched the world’s stupidest protest, involving the world’s stupidest people!!
The protesters are now gone from the streets and border crossings, but the whole matter is far from over. There is going to be a whole bunch of political and legal ugly coming the way for those in power over this event. In the end nothing has changed. The mandates that the protesters were protesting against, are still in place. Provincial health restrictions are slowly being relaxed, pretty much at the pace that the governments had said they would be. The only thing that I can see that has come from this protest, is a massive bill for the taxpayers of Canada. I’m not surprised.