You might have heard or read about the so-called Freedom Convoy that has commandeered various locations in Canada over the past couple of weeks.
Its organizers supposedly began the convoy to the city of Ottawa, the seat of our federal government, as a way to protest the vaccine requirements for truckers who drive from Canada to the US and back. It quickly devolved into a hodge-podge of groups which are all demanding different things but which can be summed up as trying to force an end to all vaccine mandates and public health measures. The number of actual truckers involved is very small compared to the total of truckers in Canada. The movement has attracted all kinds of dissatisfied people with no clear leader or spokespeople.
They have occupied streets around the Canadian parliament buildings, honking horns day and night (including the air horns on transport trucks) and affecting the movement of healthcare and other workers and ordinary citizens, making their commutes to work difficult and preventing sleep. And they have occupied a bridge, the main conduit between Canada and the US, with dozens of transport trucks, bringing traffic to a standstill and affecting manufacturing industries both north and south of the border.
They don't seem to understand that it is the provincial governments, not the federal government, which set most of the mandates to which they object. There is also the irony that many of those protesting claim that vaccines and public health measures implemented over the past two years are destroying the economy, while their protest has added enormously to the country's economic problems in just a few days.
When the province of Ontario, where most of this is happening, declared a state of emergency, with the potential for penalties of up to $100,000 and one year in prison, protesters interviewed for the news invoked everything from "Bring it - we don't care" to "God will judge those who dare to intervene in our protests". The protesters have financial support from mostly anonymous donors, many of which have been traced to the US right, and this support provides food and fuel so they don't need to leave the area where they are set up. Those who are driving transport trucks are living in them, as they typically have self-contained units with beds and toilets, and a good number of them have young children with them. Others are living in hastily built shacks on public property. They are mostly maskless, and are hostile and aggressive.
The protests come at a time when the numbers of those hospitalized in the latest wave of the pandemic are just starting to recede to levels at which healthcare facilities are no longer stretched beyond their limit. I don't know if the protesters have thought of how healthcare workers are feeling at this point in the pandemic, having worked so hard to keep people alive for two years. If they did stop to think about it, they might have a light bulb moment and empathize with those workers. Or they might realize they themselves may need hospital care, sooner rather than later due to their determination to mingle closely, without masks, with hundreds of strangers.
They are tired of pandemic restrictions. Aren't we all? But the rest of
us are valiantly slogging along, continuing to follow the advice of our
top health advisors and medical science, in an effort to avoid crashing
the healthcare system and to progress to a point where we actually can resume
some kind of normalcy in our lives. The rest of us are aware that we need to work
together to protect everyone in our society and are willing to give up some of our
individual freedoms for the common good.
Yes, our citizens have the right to peaceful protest. But with the 24-hour blaring of horns, the blocking of other citizens' movements as they go about their daily lives, and the shut-down of a major economic corridor that has already idled plants on both sides of the border, this is not a peaceful protest. It is blackmail. And it's ugly.
Thankfully, the protesters represent only a tiny percentage of the Canadian population, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
Unfortunately, this tiny percentage is highly vocal, armed with vehicles huge enough to act both as barriers and weapons, and appears to have not the slightest idea how vaccines are developed, tested, or approved. Their actions are self-centred, childish, uninformed, and thoughtless.
If or when you see them on the news in your area, please remember that although they are (mostly) Canadians, they don't represent the views of the vast majority of Canadians. They are just a noisy minority using bully tactics to push around their fellow citizens and the governments fairly elected by them.
Rant over. Mostly.
I'm not going to let the news keep me from looking for the humour to share with you.
Here ya go, my friends. There is a theme today, and that theme is ANARCHY. (Props to the many YouTube videos which are compilations of memes with a theme. I have started taking screen shots of the individual memes, which is a shamelessly lazy way to harvest them.)
Definition of anarchy: a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. (source)
|In case it's too faint to read, the green screen says "Cash Only".|
Wishing you all a good week, with a minimum of stupidity of all kinds. Is that too much to ask?