Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attempts to malign and discredit the Freedom Convoy protesters as extremists is going to fail and “backfire.”
Shapiro appeared on Fox News Wednesday morning to discuss Trudeau’s attempts to belittle protesters that are demonstrating against Canada’s COVID-19 regulations and vaccine mandates in Ottawa. The protest has lasted nearly two weeks as repeated attempts by the Canadian government and Ottawa’s police to evict the demonstrators have failed.
Trudeau again slammed the protesters in a speech to Parliament on Monday, his first public comments on the Freedom Convoy since quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. Trudeau claimed the protesters were waiving Nazi and Confederate flags. Such symbols have not appeared among protesters in any significant numbers, though a handful of individuals have toted them at times.
“Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop,” the prime minister said. “People of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighborhoods. They don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner or Confederate flag.”
Shapiro said that Trudeau’s repeated attempts to dismiss the protesters as a “small, fringe minority” and lump them all in with extremists, racists, and Nazis are bound to fail.
“This sort of tactic, which Trudeau is picking up from the American Left, is likely to be wildly unsuccessful,” Shapiro said on Fox News. “Everybody can look at this convoy and see that they are not flying Nazi flags en masse, that these are not radical right-wingers. This attempt to paint everybody who is opposed to the authoritarian tactics of the authorities on COVID as Nazis and far-right crazies – it’s going to backfire. It has backfired.”
“The reason that all these places are changing policy – including Alberta, by the way, which just decided to end a bunch of its own mandates – the reason that they’re doing all of this is because the people have had enough. A year or two late, but they’ve had enough,” he added.
On Sunday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency in his city over the protest. Watson’s announcement said the protest posed a “serious danger and threat” to Ottawa residents.
“Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government. It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders,” the statement said.
The Freedom Convoy began as a trail of truckers driving across Canada to Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates but has since grown into a days-long demonstration against Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions. The protesters have raised millions of dollars toward their cause.