Ramping up the Narrative

Ramping up the Narrative

by Collin Wynter

Police officers moved in on the Freedom Convoy protestors on Friday, February 18th and began making arrests, reaching over 100. This included apprehending Tamara Lich, 49, and Chris Barber, 46, who have been named in the media as organizers. Lich was involved in the original GoFundMe campaign that was set up as a crowdsource for the convoy. A narrative provided by law enforcement that the protest in Ottawa has become an “occupation” was used to shut down the fundraiser.

Canadian Parliament was also shut down on Friday, by Speaker Anthony Rota, under the guise this was to protect the safety of politicians and staff that would have had to attend the sitting. No reason was given as to why an online session was not permitted to continue the debate on the use of the Emergency Act, which appears to be already in use, considering officers’ actions on the ground.

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau claimed that the invocation of the Emergency Act was necessary to remove the protestors who he deemed to be occupying Ottawa illegally. Trudeau’s rhetoric, vilifying the Freedom Convoy participants, began weeks prior by painting them as: “antisemitic, Islamophobic, racist, homophobic, & transphobic,” to gain public support. This is in line with Trudeau’s efforts to create an identity of the ‘other’ known as the ‘anti-vax,’ who he labeled as “misogynists” and “racists” on a Quebec news show last September, just prior to the election. Not to mention his flat out statement that he would never meet with ‘those’ people- the truckers- the way he did with Black Lives Matter. 

Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minster of finance, also played a pivotal role in shaping the narrative. She made a statement that the “illegal blockades” alerted the government to the fact that crowdsourcing platforms such as GoFundMe and GiveSendGo were “not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act” [emphasis added]. Therefore, the invocation of the Emergencies Act is necessary for Freeland to be able to cut off those sources of funding. Which has already begun, with banks freezing accounts of persons who have donated to the convoy. At least two individuals have also been singled out for the RCMP to investigate. Another intended effect, would be to chill anyone’s desire to donate to non-government ‘approved’ protests (at least electronically) in the future. Freeland has also stated that some of the regulations will be “permanently in place.”

David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has also chimed in with threats to people’s finances, with this charade of a comment on CTV:

“If you are a member of a pro-Trump movement who is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, and millions of dollars to this kind of thing, then you ought to be worried.”

This ties in nicely with the January 6th lead the media picked up on a few weeks back and the fact that both Donald Trump, and Donald Trump Jr, have expressed support for the truckers. Citing a trucker declaring hopes this will be the Canadian version of what occurred in the United States, the storyline quickly ran out of gas, as those watching and supporting the Freedom Convoy, repeatedly called for peace. Protestors were warned by organizers not to enter a federal building for any reason, even if invited.

The Trudeau government has, since then, erected a chain link fence around parliament. Conversely, a fence that was placed around the National War Memorial was removed by veterans so they, and the protestors, could pay their respects. Heed no mind to the words “tear down” or another sort of propaganda being put forth by subsidized media. The action was quite peaceful.

Meanwhile, Public Health and Safety Minister, Marco Mendicino, tried to embed into the public zeitgeist, persons alleged to have been plotting a conspiracy to commit murder in Coutts, Alberta, were tied to the Ottawa protests. 

“Several individuals at Coutts have strong ties to a far right extreme organization with leaders who are in Ottawa,” he said in a press conference.

A border blockade had occurred at the Coutts-Sweetgrass crossing in Alberta for 18 days. It ended when the RCMP proclaimed they had found a cache of guns and ammo that was identified to belong to people associated with the protest. The only violence reported at Coutts came from a statement, made by Premier Jason Kenny: that an RCMP officer had been assaulted. The RCMP contradicted his statement, stating they were not aware of any assaults. The RCMP did, however, cut power lines in farm equipment in an attempt to stop more vehicles form being used in the blockade.

Mendicino, when pressed about his intel on the group in Coutts, advised journalists to pose those questions towards law enforcement.

Ottawa police have maintained a steady stream of tweets in an attempt to make it appear that the protesters are behaving illegally. There were claims that protestors were attacking officers, that a bike was thrown at horse mounted police, and a most grotesques statement, that children were being used as shields. This is after media published claims that children were at risk from diesel fumes and that child protection services may need to be called in. But where is the evidence of their claims? 

It is the narrative the authorities seek to control. The public perception that the Freedom Convoy is illegal, that the protestors are villains and instigators, and that the extreme overreach of government authority is necessary. Of course, none of this is true. Independent media on the ground has been covering this situation from day one, providing a clear picture of Canadians standing up and speaking out for their rights. With social media available, and the decline of viewership of television, one may hope that the true story will come through the public consciousness.

Published by Collin Wynter

Exploring rights of our freedom of expression and justice

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