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Courage that drives the truckers’ Freedom Convoy


IT takes courage to settle in a climate as cold as Canada. The Natives were the first to brave and thrive in a northern wilderness as beautiful as it is treacherous. From the First Nations to the earliest European settlements, and through its embattled French and British colonial history and beyond, there is one fundamental truth on which the Canadian legacy is built: The courage to live free.

From the Underground Railroad whose northbound secret networks led enslaved Africans to the American and Canadian free North; from the battlefield of Vimy Ridge to Passchendaele’s No Man’s Land; from the White Cliffs of Dover to those of Dieppe; from the D-Day Beaches in Normandy, to Ortona, Italy; and from the peacekeeping missions in the Balkans to Afghanistan, the selfless sacrifice to protect the dignity and liberty of others has long been an integral part of the Canadian identity.

Since 1867 – the year of Canada’s political independence from the British Empire – an estimated 113,000 Canadians have been killed in action and nearly 230,000 have been wounded in domestic and foreign wars. To put these numbers into perspective, the population of Canada in 1867 was 3.4million. Today, it is 38million.

The willingness to fight for the rights and liberties of marginalised and oppressed people, at home and abroad, has defined the great Canadian spirit of courage, adventure and freedom. Today, this spirit is the driving force behind the Freedom Convoy to end all Covid restrictions and mandates after two years of government overreach.

Said to be the longest truck and motor vehicle convoy in history, this was the Canadian truckers’ answer to a vaccine mandate imposed on their industry, effective from January 15. It has since grown into a nationwide movement for the civil rights and liberties of all Canadians.

The convoy left British Columbia for Ottawa on the weekend of January 23 and rolled into the Canadian capital for a peaceful protest at Parliament Hill on the weekend of January 28. All week, thousands have braved the harsh winter cold, standing on bridges and roadsides in up to minus 22 Fahrenheit (not accounting for wind chill factor) to show their support for the convoy. With typical Canadian kindness and hospitality, people have been tweeting their willingness to offer drivers warm meals, hot showers and accommodation along the way and upon their arrival in Ottawa.

The first trucks, motorists and pedestrian supporters of the convoy arrived in front of Parliament Hill on the night of January 28. The demonstrations started in earnest on that Saturday. Canadians have been peacefully protesting in front of Parliament Hill by day, and dancing in the streets in the extreme cold of winter’s night, to the sound of truckers honking their horns, music filling the air and fireworks illuminating the sky.  

So far, nearly 120,000 donations have been made and nearly 10million Canadian dollars (£5.8million) has been raised on GoFundMe to help pay for the convoy’s expenses. Any remaining funds will be donated to veterans’ associations across the country. Canadians and their allies all over the world are showing their support for the truckers, whose message is clear: They aren’t leaving Ottawa until federal and provincial governments put an end to all mandates for all Canadians.

Whereas in the United States the Covid measures and restrictions are now largely limited to certain cities, municipalities and states, Canada has been under government control bordering on martial law for two years. The hard-line rhetoric and actions against citizens who choose informed consent and who exercise their right to say no has escalated to the point where they and their children are forbidden access to nearly all aspects of free society.

After starting the new year with a 10pm province-wide curfew, the Quebec government is pushing a punitive tax on the unjabbed, despite the vaccines neither stopping the catching or spreading of Covid-19. It has recently forbidded them free access to superstores.

Canadians of all trades and professions have been wrongfully sacked over a zero-tolerance vaccination policy which in practice leaves no exceptions for case-by-case consideration of each individual’s personal medical needs, or medical and physical intolerances to inoculations. At a federal level, since November 30, more than 3.7million unvaccinated Canadians are prohibited from leaving the country by air, land and sea.

In an incredible turn of events, the most recent restrictions on the trucking industry have propelled one of the most significant civil rights movements in Canada. The truckers have captured the imaginations, hearts, and minds of people all over the world. They have inspired the Convoy to Canberra in Australia which arrived at Parliament House on January 31, and the European Freedom Convoy which is to converge on Brussels on February 7. 

Canadian truckers carry the most important cargo – the weight of every person who has been stigmatised, brutalised, gaslit, dehumanised, ostracised, degraded, injured and distressed for two years in the name of unreasonable, unscientific, unethical, immoral, and callous ‘public health’ diktats. They are going the distance for a marginalised population inhumanely, unjustly and unconstitutionally stripped of its absolute right to exist and breathe freely in society, as established in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In a country where intellectual, scientific, medical, academic, political and social opposition is being suppressed and assailed, the Freedom Convoy is a profound act of courage and selflessness. It is the ultimate reflection of the true Canadian spirit of strength and resolve, as it carries the hopes of all Canadians worldwide who yearn for the country they once knew: the True North Strong and Free.

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Mary Dawood Catlin
Mary Dawood Catlin
Mary Dawood Catlin is an author, historian, pianist, and advocate for human rights and liberties. She is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards). She is currently a doctoral candidate in Music and Musicology at the Sorbonne, Paris.

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