An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE UGLINESS OF THE MOB MENTALITY played out in Ottawa on the weekend as the so-called Freedom Convoy of truckers cluttered up the Parliament Hill precinct.
Its supporters are complaining about the way the “fake news” mainstream media are reporting the event.
They grouse about the protest being referred to as an “anti-vaccine mandate” event, and about the tone of news reports that supposedly don’t reflect the real intent and reality of it.
True, no major violence has been reported, but it’s had some outstanding deeds of disrespect. Ottawa police say they’re investigating several incidents for possible criminality.
Maybe that’s because protesters urinated on the National War Memorial and danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
And because nearby residents complained of protesters defecating on their lawns.
And because staff and volunteers at a homeless shelter say they were harassed with demands for food, and one client was allegedly assaulted.
Or maybe because a large “Mandate Freedom” sign and an upside-down Canadian flag were hung on a statue of our beloved Terry Fox.
Meanwhile, a number of downtown businesses closed their doors as a safety precaution. Sunday, a news-media crew said it was surrounded and harassed to the point it vacated the area.
Protest organizers can insist all they want that these were isolated incidents but they have to wear it. When members of a protest bring out Confederate and Nazi flags, placards that employ foul language and advocate the overthrow of a democratically elected government, you know something’s wrong with the picture.
Protesters vow to stay “as long as it takes,” until Justin Trudeau resigns, the Liberal Party is abolished and/or the vaccine mandates are repealed.
It should surprise no one that the message has been lost among all this bluster and confusion. The convoy and the protest will be remembered as just another publicity stunt that featured idiotic acts of disrespect and unattainable demands.
They should all go home.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.