A Sunday piece on the leftist Canadian national news network CBC took issue with a certain term that “has taken hold among protesters who are part of the Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa.
The term in question is “freedom,” and according to some experts interviewed by the CBC, it’s “a slippery concept” and it “has thrived among far-right groups.”
“Freedom is a slippery concept,” said Elisabeth Anker, who is a political science professor at George Washington University and the author of “Ugly Freedoms,” a book that examines and critiques the history of freedom in America.
Her main criticism of the “far-right’s” use of freedom is that it has blocked efforts to fight for equality, coining this “violent freedom.”
“On the far right, [individual freedom] is often translated into somebody who refuses to be bound by norms of equality, treating all people equally or norms to remedy inequality, whether that’s trying to remedy racial discrimination or gender discrimination,” Anker said.
Canadian protesters in the Freedom Convoy have been demonstrating in Ottawa for weeks now as the government is ramping up efforts to dissolve the massive protest.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would be enacting the Emergencies Act, which grants the government more power to punish demonstrators.
But as The Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce reported, the new action from Trudeau isn’t changing protesters’ minds. “No one really cares about any new announcement,” protester David Paisley told The Daily Wire. “I mean the police have been breaking the law long before any emergency power. They were taking our fuel away. They were arresting people for purely having jerry cans or having empty tanks of fuel.”
Another expert interviewed by the CBC tried to explain Canadians’ seemingly new infatuation with this concept of freedom.
“As seen among some protesters currently opposing vaccine mandates and other public health measures, freedom signals a desire for freedom from government intervention or overreach,” said Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University.
Perry also tied the Freedom Convoy in Canada to what led to the riot on January 6 at the U.S. capitol. “I think it resonates very much with what we’ve been seeing — and maybe takes some inspiration from what we’ve been seeing — in the U.S. over the last year and a half or so, leading up to the last election and events of Jan. 6,” she commented.
The article concludes by stating the surprising rise of people calling for freedom over the “social good” in Canada.
“It’s been taking a lot of people by surprise to see people in Canada, who often seem so much more accepting of social interdependence, to start pushing back against it with the language of individual freedom,” Anker noted.
Canadian protesters most likely won’t be surprised by the CBC’s article as they have voiced frustration with a CBC reporter in the past. Last week, a protester told a reporter, “All you care about is your paycheck. You sold your soul a long time ago.”
The CBC journalist took to Twitter after the incident posting a video of the confrontation with the caption, “A small sample of what it’s like to be a journalist covering Ottawa right now.”
A small sample of what it's like to be a journalist covering Ottawa right now. pic.twitter.com/UsvypVXM92
— Joseph Tunney (@TunneyTun) February 9, 2022
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