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Lethbridge Herald: Rights of convoy participants deserve to be respected

As I write this article, it is the morning of Thursday, February 3rd and I am in Ottawa. I just came into the office after walking down Wellington Street, where rigs, Honda Civics, Ford F-150s, and RVs are parked, and people of all ages and all backgrounds are advocating for a return to normal life.

I could take an alternate route that would allow me to avoid most of the supposed “chaos” but why would I? It is an honour and a joy to walk among and converse with those who have gathered on Parliament Hill from all corners of our country.

During my journey, I passed hundreds of signs that say “thank-you truckers”, others that speak of love, and yet others that call for freedom. I received a lot of smiles, many thumbs up, and a few horns were blared.

On Tuesday I talked with a family pulling a wagon with their two little girls and a baby in tow, carrying a sign that said, “Thank you Truckers.” I stopped and talked with them, and they shared that they travelled four hours to be present for the day. They are vaccinated but feel it is unfair to discriminate against those who are not.

The mainstream media would like you to believe that this is an anti-vaccination protest made up of a homogenous group of disgruntled white men. Even the Prime Minister continues to frame participants as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.” It is just not true.

Throughout the week, I have talked with truckers, nurses, postal workers, teachers, construction workers, and stay-at-home moms. Some participants wear crosses and some wear turbans. Some are in their seventies and others are still in diapers. Some are not vaccinated, and others are vaccinated three times.

Images, sound recordings, and video footage of the Freedom Convoy, and the thousands-upon-thousands of Canadians who have come out to support the participants in their week-long journey to the capital, have inspired many.

Who would have imagined the largest trucking convoy in history would lead the way in a mass demonstration for freedom in the capital of Canada? There are reports of trucking convoys following suit in countries around the world.

Though there have been a few unfortunate incidents carried out by a handful of agitators, they do not reflect the majority of the protesters. I condemn those acts, as have the organizers of the Freedom Convoy. Those individuals must be held individually responsible. Afterall, just because Mr. Trudeau wore blackface, it does not mean all Liberals are racist, does it?

Some other things worth noting, which you will not hear from mainstream news, is the amount of respect and decency these protestors have displayed. They walk around at night picking up garbage. They shovel snow to clear the sidewalks. They have people manning the National War Memorial to ensure the monument and area around it is respected. How many other protests can boast the same?

In contrast, hundreds marched through the streets of Toronto on Saturday calling for the destruction of Israel and engaging in violent uprisings where “Death to the Jews” was shouted vehemently. Where was the mainstream media? Where was the Prime Minister?

The hypocrisy is sickening. Canadians should be outraged—or at least not silent.

The vast majority of those taking part in the Convoy for Freedom have positive motives. In a free and democratic country, they are peacefully demonstrating, which is their right to do. The Prime Minister would do well to listen. Canada is speaking.

We are witnessing a remarkable movement in history. If you do not respect the position taken by those participating, I hope you can at least respect their right to take it.

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