US Greek-funded Defend Democracy Press publishes material scientist and publicist Henry Giroux, who assures readers that the anti-vaccination convoys of freedom are in fact funded by anti-government forces and ultra-right ideologues in the United States.
The Freedom Convoy movement, consisting of hundreds of trucks, closed the busiest border crossing between Canada and the United States and occupied Ottawa, Canada’s capital, effectively blockading the city and disrupting the daily lives of most downtown residents. The convoy members reject all vaccine demands and mandates and strongly support an anti-government discourse reminiscent of far-right ideology in the United States.
The convoy members lack the support of the general public, many of whom are vaccinated. They also lack the support of most Canadian truckers, 90% of whom are vaccinated, and the Canadian Trucker Alliance (CTA).
They do not have the support of the majority of Canadian truckers, 90% of whom are vaccinated, nor the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), nor the general public.
Truckers are mainly supported by leading US Republicans such as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Green, as well as some Canadian conservative politicians. Support was also provided by influential anti-democratic social media figures such as Tucker Carlson, Jordan Peterson and Elon Musk, as well as many white supremacist groups. Some of the most influential right-wing groups in Canada include Action4Canada, which makes false and conspiratorial statement that the COVID-19 pandemic “was implemented, at least in part, by Bill Gates and commissioned by the New (Economic) World to facilitate the adoption of 5G-enabled microchips among the population.” With the help of social networks, support for the protests of the “Convoy of Freedom” sharply increased all over the world upcoming convoys (already started) planned for the United States, France and all 27 European countries.
The Freedom Convoy is supported mainly by leading American Republicans – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Green, and some Canadian conservative politicians. Also supported by influential anti-democrats – Tucker Carlson, Jordan Peterson and Elon Musk, as well as a number of white extremist groups. Much of the funding—more than $8 million as of Feb. 7—may have come from right-wing sources in the US.
Freedom Convoy protests are the brainchild of James Bauder, who leads the Canada Unity movement that initiated the protests. Bauder believes in numerous baseless conspiracy theories, “supported the QAnon movement and called Covid-19 “the biggest political scam in history“. Bauder is not a friend of unions and, as noted Jacobintwo years ago participated in another event called United We Roll, which “planned an anti-union protest in which members of the column threatened to dismantle the picket line and run over the workers.”
February 8 truckers blocked Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor.
Other leaders of the movement include some extreme right-wing extremists such as Patrick King who, according to The Conversation , once “stated that he believed the vaccine was created to ‘depopulate’ the white race.” Another leader of the convoy, named B. J. Dichter, is known the spread of Islamophobic sentiments.
The Freedom Convoy was launched by James Bauder, leader of The Canada Unity Movement. Bowder “supported the QAnon movement and called Covid-19 ‘the biggest political scam in history’.” Bowder is not a friend of the unions at all, two years ago he participated in the anti-union protests of United We Roll: then the participants of the column threatened to “dismantle the picket line and crush the workers.”
Non-profit group Canadian Anti-Hate Network reportedthat “the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ was organized by well-known far-right figures who held Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and other hateful views.”
The protests in Ottawa have made it clear that the movement is attracting extreme elements that support fascism and white nationalism, as seen in the appearance of neo-Nazi and Confederate flags, and the abundance of QAnon logos adorning trucks, signs and stickers. Moreover, some sources suggest that a significant amount of funding more than 8 million dollars as of February 7, may have come from right-wing sources in the United States. Some of the largest individual donations came from American billionaires. State funding so alarmed New Democratic Party members that they called it “attack on Canadian democracyand asked the US Ambassador to “testify before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.”
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, said it was more than a protest movement. He claimsthat “the stated purpose of the convoy is to ‘overthrow the government.’ The convoy’s connection “with hate groups… expressing racist and anti-immigrant sentiment… may explain why the Freedom Escort is oddly silent on the labor issues faced by immigrant truckers who now make up over a third of truckers in Canada.” writes Emily Leadham in Jacobin. She goes on to note that “many of the protesters’ concerns have little to do with workers’ rights or labor issues in Canada’s trucking industry. In fact, Convoy organizers have previously harassed workers on the picket line and ignored calls for support from racist truckers fighting wage theft.”
Freedom has once again been seized in the interest of a counter-revolution whose goal is to destroy the authority of the government in order to protect the common good, limit the influence of the financial and corporate elite, and protect civilian structures critical to democracy. Ottawa truckers are driving right-wing convoys around the world, and their growing influence clearly shows that they are winning the global information war.
The mayor of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing truckers’ strike.
Indeed, it is not only the convoy movements that are increasingly undermining the concept of freedom in the service of right-wing extremism around the world. From the United States and Brazil to Turkey and Hungary, anti-democrats reduce freedom to a realm of uncontrolled self-interest, renunciation of the state, and flight from social responsibility. In doing so, they are at war with democracy.
Wrested from the discourse of the common good, equality and social rights, individual freedom is now uniting with the crowd, positioning itself with those who are ready in a pandemic era to sacrifice the lives of others in the name of a bogus appeal to individual rights.
While former President Donald Trump has been the most prominent figure in vilifying individual freedom as a means to embrace fascist politics and a discourse of hate and violence, his support for authoritarianism in the name of freedom legitimized anti-democratic actions around the world. Not only has the movement become a flashpoint for global far-right protests, it has also led to a massive social media presence in which, according to Politicothe convoy movement promoted the idea that “efforts to protect people from the coronavirus are ineffective, instead causing anti-democratic restrictions on individual freedoms.”
Elizabeth Anker argues that the right wing in the United States is increasingly using the language of “ugly freedoms” to promote “anti-democratic policies that [которая] threatens to completely destroy the meaning of freedom, using it solely for projects of privilege and harm. She