So, the convoy got to Ottawa and the truckers honked their horns while blocking streets and… um, well, they… uh… they… what the hell did they accomplish?
There was so much hype about people arriving from across the country for the protest about vaccine mandates but even the news coverage largely showed people just standing around. True, that’s often what a protest is but this event seemed to lack real fanfare. I think the most anticipation was when people were on their way to the capital city. Other than that – meh.
Sure, the people urinating or dancing on historic monuments repeatedly got screen time because they’re a bunch of disrespectful idiots, but what other takeaways are there from this days-long protest? Residents of Ottawa are scared of them. Business people hate them. So, Mission: Accomplished?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about people speaking their mind and voicing their opinion. I’ve been doing that for over 18 years in this newspaper. While I hesitate to discourage people from standing firm to their beliefs, I do want to make them think about one thing: When do you throw in the towel on this campaign?
We’re hearing that protestors will remain in Ottawa for days, weeks or “as long as it takes” for the federal government to change vaccine requirements. Those are likely the people who are out of work and can make that kind of time. Good on them for sacrificing making a living to stand up for what they believe in. (Read that last sentence with a touch of sarcasm.)
Admittedly, the online fundraising campaign brought in over $8 million so I guess the protestors have that to live on for a while – or will the individuals camped out even see any of that money?
As we witnessed on Sunday, the crowd was less than the estimated 8.000 people who showed up earlier in the weekend. By Monday morning, the live shots from above broadcast a significantly smaller crowd. Each day, it’s been less and less.
There was one trucker who’d been posting updates from the road trip since leaving Alberta last week. Looks like he’s already headed back home (and I’m writing this Monday afternoon). He spent more time driving there than actually participating in the cause.
So, while I appreciate showing up to lend support, I guess I wonder if the group had as much clout as it thought it would.
I’m certainly not saying I hoped for violent clashes with cars overturned and buildings ablaze. That would be very, well, American. I thought there would be more impactful moments that would make Canadians say, “Good on them, I support that.” Instead, the rally went largely unnoticed by people who weren’t watching the news.