Truckers for Fucking Freedom or whatever bullshit line they want to use so that it makes for an effective yet concise hashtag is eating up all my timelines. Protest for freedom? Really? Are people seriously that stupid? This isn’t about vaccine mandates- much. It is so much larger and dumber and dangerous than that.
Let me preface this by saying that I believe truckers should get vaccinated. I also believe that grocery store clerks, teachers, health care providers and literally everyone else should get vaccinated. Now, I actually don’t give a fuck what you ultimately decide to do for yourself, but if you decide not to get vaccinated to hep you fight a potentially lethal pathogen when it is available to you FOR FREE- I think that is absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Besides the Freedom Convoy, that is.
However, I am not entirely convinced that imposing a Canadian vaccine mandate on truckers crossing into the US is going to have the impact it is intended to on the spread or containment of Covid at this point. This shit is too far gone, and the truckers have a lot less direct contact with other humans while working than they probably even would when they aren’t working. I’m not opposed to vaccine mandates, but even I have to admit this feels like a bit of dick-waving and setting of a precedent. The other issue is that we don’t even really have a mandate for health care providers working with highly vulnerable populations, so the optics of that seem really idiotic. I know they are different jurisdictions, and Conservative vs Liberal folks in charge, but it still just doesn’t make as much sense as it should.
Having said all of that, there are so many holes in the premise of this “protest” that even I don’t know where to start patching.
The first is that we seem to be having a really hard time understanding what rights actually mean. One of our rights is NOT employment. We aren’t entitled to shit in terms of employment. If we were, then all of the people in this country with housing insecurity, or who get laid off, or can’t get their first job or anyone else who wants to work but can’t should march their asses over to Ottawa and sue the living piss out of the government for not providing them with employment. Employers or unions or crown corporations or anything regulated by government can create employment standards that you may feel violates your right to choose what you do for your body, but in the end you get to decide if you are willing to meet the conditions they set or not. That is where your rights begin and end. For example- when I worked as a bartender years ago, I really wanted to pierce my nose. The restaurant said that if I wanted to work there I wasn’t allowed to have facial piercings. I made a choice that I liked my job more than I liked the idea of having a hoop in my nostril. Condition of employment met. The vaccine requirement is no different, and plenty of notice was given regarding the change in standards. Everything after that is foot stomping, entitled, cry baby nonsense.
Second, I LOVE PROTESTS. All of them. I don’t care if I like what you’re bitching about or hate it. I love the fact that we have the right ( there’s that word again) to call our elected officials and tell them what we think. I love that we can organize with a bunch of like minded people and go hang out at government buildings and lobby for change, or ask to be heard. Protest everything you want. I think that if a proportion of truckers want to go and tell Justin Trudeau that he’s a shitty Prime Minister and ask him to reconsider and have a giant temper tantrum while telling him to fuck himself, they should be allowed to do that all day long, twice on Sunday and once in the ass.
The problem is that what I’m seeing isn’t a protest about a condition of employment that they think is unfair. That’s the excuse, but that isn’t really what this is about. It appears to be a front for a deeper political cause of trying to remove a public servant forcibly. It appears to be an attempt to organize the blocking of essential and emergency services to an entire city until they get their own way. The whole “surround them and starve them” ideal. That isn’t a protest. It’s an act of violence, war and domestic terrorism. If that is what happens in Ottawa this weekend, you’ll know you’ve been duped. One may agree or disagree with the implementation of vaccine mandates during a global health crisis, but that is not a protest and it needs to be addressed as such.
Third, I fucking HATE the term “mainstream media”. What the actual fuck does that even mean? Media that covers everyday news stories? The ones that have longstanding reputations for excellent journalism and high standards for ethics? Those guys? The ones you complain won’t cover your Freedom Convoy story and when they ask you for an interview to hear your perspective you spit on them and break their windows? Sounds to me like a made up term by a bunch of crybaby cowards who know they are full of shit.
Fourth, this country has a really, really, gross history of beating the shit out of Indigenous people and preventing them from protesting decimation of their own lands in peaceful protests and blockades. (major oversimplification) Those are protests- they are standing up for what is legally theirs to protect but most people are okay with it because we figure they have to let us take whatever we want from them. Comparing that to the roads and highways being blocked already by this clown parade and the lack of police presence or interest is very, very troubling. Until this “protest” is met with the same type of enforcement as they talk about guns and running over officials and forcibly overthrowing a government you can’t convince me that this country isn’t based on racism that runs so deep that there is no hope of trying to even pretend anymore.
Last, this is not just about vaccine mandates. It’s about a political spectrum that has become so hugely polarized that there is no longer hope for any cooperation, negotiation or compromise. Ironically, many of those who are so terrified of being controlled by a vaccine or a facemask or a governing body have no problem being controlled by a book filled with stories about arks and a magic omnipotent daddy in the sky whose son can walk on water and rise from the dead. NO disrespect to Zombie Jesus or anything, cause he’s my guy too, but I just don’t remember Him threatening that I’ll burn in hell for taking a vaccine. I don’t know. There just seem to be a lot of critical thinkers and freedom fighters that are so terrified of eternal damnation that they follow a lot of rules for those who like to bitch about, welllllll…..RULES.
So yeah. Lots to unpack about the Truckers For Freedom. If they end up having a honest to God protest, then great. Have at ‘er. Protest the fuck on, mates. Anything else that is going on, well, we can only hide the truth for so long.