Trudeau’s government is invoking emergency powers that, in the past, have only been used in times of war and against terrorists. Canadians expressing support for the truckers on Facebook are even receiving visits from the provincial police at their homes — the People’s Republic of Canuckistan is apparently more than just a jokey name.
Some left-wing American journalists and commentators have been even worse, openly urging violence and property destruction as retribution for the truckers’ act of civil disobedience against Trudeau’s regime. Nothing makes leftists angrier than when their own tactics are used against them.
In American terms, the Left’s hypocrisy on this trucker protest can be illustrated through comparisons to the Occupy Wall Street protests of more than a decade ago. Love them or hate them, most decent people did not want to see the police march into the parks and beat the occupiers silly with billy clubs. The media even nauseatingly insisted on taking them seriously even though it was too much for most normal people to be lectured about inequality and economic hardship by a gaggle of privileged, white college kids who had never experienced either.
From a Canadian perspective, however, there is a much more apt comparison than Occupy for what Trudeau is doing now. Most Americans might not remember or know about this, but credit the New York Times editors, of all people, for bringing it up. Specifically, in November 2020, Trudeau spoke out in favor of a farmers’ protest in India that had fouled up New Delhi highways for a year. When Indian authorities cracked down, Trudeau was happy to get up on his high horse, volunteering Indians and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suffer the consequences of road-blocking civil disobedience with the equanimity that a free society requires.
“Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest,” Trudeau even said. Wow, that quotation is really a howler now, isn’t it? Peaceful protest is great — just don’t try it inside Canada, and you’ll stay on Comrade Trudeau’s good side.
One need not agree with the truckers’ cause to understand the danger that Trudeau’s dictatorial behavior poses to the rights of free speech and assembly. Clearly, like their southern neighbors, Canadians made a mistake in their last election.
And unfortunately, they do not have the First Amendment to protect them from power-hungry tyrants like Trudeau. They could really use one.
This incident stands as yet another reminder of how important and crucial to a free society the First Amendment really is with its near-absolute support for free speech and free discourse. Those who would weaken such protections, whether in the name of preventing hate speech or limiting campaign contributions, are just little tyrants waiting to show themselves — just like Justin Trudeau.