Viewed as a peaceful and homely country, Canada faced a challenge in the form of protests against the new covid-19 vaccine mandates. The new rules state that all truckers entering Canada are to be fully vaccinated or undergo quarantine and periodic testing till they are cleared as “negative”. Truckers from all over the country travelled to the capital city of Ottawa to protest against these new regulations. The protesters refer to themselves as “The Freedom Convoy” and demand that the mandates and regulations put on them be removed.
The protests were mostly peaceful but the actions of a few protestors are being heavily scrutinized. Some protestors were seen urinating on the National War Memorial and one of them had allegedly danced on the tomb of a fallen soldier. A few protestors were seen holding the Nazi swastika flag, comparing the covid quarantine situation to that of the Jews being trapped in concentration camps by Nazi Germany. Barricades were installed by the government around heritage and cultural sites, in the city of Ottawa to prevent further damage by the protestors.
These acts of indecency, albeit committed by a few, were caught on camera and have shaken the legitimacy of the entire movement. The possibility of peace talks and compromises has slimmed down to zero.
‘Shepherds of Good Hope’, A homeless shelter in Ottawa, reported to the cops that some protestors were harassing their staff and volunteers for food and supplies. They were verbally abused by protestors when they could not supply enough food for all who had come to their shelter. Trucks were parked in front of the shelter, blocking the ambulance services of the shelter. The trucks had to be towed with the help of Ottawa police.
"Canadians were shocked and frankly disgusted by the behaviour displayed by some people protesting in our nation's capital," Trudeau said on Monday. "I want to be very clear: We are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won't give in to those who fly racist flags. We won't cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonour the memory of our veterans."
Many Indian netizens have compared this incident to the farmers’ protest that took place in August 2020 where farmers protested against the three farm laws passed by the Modi government. The protestors in the farmers’ protest included a lot of Sikh and “Khalistani separatist” farmers. The farmers’ protest too, began as a peaceful expression of disagreement but soon turned violent.
Justin Trudeau was seen supporting and cheering the farmers, which was considered by many as a means to appeal to his Punjabi and Sikh vote bank in Canada. The Trudeau administration is now being criticized that they are being protested against by the trucker community, many of whom are Sikh and “Khalistani” too.
Kangana Ranaut, as a jab, tweeted to the Trudeau administration “The law of Karma strikes back.” She further commented, “Canadian PM was encouraging Indian protestors. Now in midst of protests in his own country, he is hiding at a secret location as the protestors threaten his security.”
We can only hope for the situation to reach a peaceful compromise without any more loss of life or property on either side. As of now, there has been no inclination to parley from either side. Politicians from the conservative party have publicly shown their support to the protestors, although the public opinion is not in favour of the protests.
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