Trudeau Uses Violence Against Peaceful Protestors - Part 1 (February 19, 2022)
The Violence Begins
My alarm went off at 6:15 AM. I looked around the same hotel room in which I had lived in for the past three weeks.
It felt like I was well into the movie Groundhog Day. Every day began with the same routine: I hobbled on my crutches to the washroom to wash up; I opened my computer to start the day’s work; and, like every morning since I broke my leg, I waited for the remainder of the crew to wake-up, one of whom would make a coffee-run to Tim Hortons.
As I looked out the hotel window to see if – yet again – Police had spotters on the adjacent roof tops, I contemplated the disorganization of “the organizers”. I wondered which individual, political, legal, or religious interest group was going to try to take ownership of the entire convoy today, sabotage our progress, or say something inaccurate or divisive to main stream media, leaving myself and our team to mop-up their mess.
Just as concerning was the plethora of self-appointed groups calling for seemingly “official” Press Conferences without any consultation with the original organizers or with the PR team appointed by Tamara herself - lead by myself and three others – all volunteers with extensive professional experience in Media and Public Relations.
… But this day would be different.
First thing in the morning, the resilient road captains who drove to Ottawa from all across Canada came to my room to talk with me. A lot had changed over the past 48 hours. Both Chris Barber and Tamara Lich had been arrested for... well no one really knew specifically at that point and as throughout the convoy, rumours and speculation were plentiful.
The road captains sat down in my room and I was pleasantly surprised that there were efforts being made on their end to roll out to de-escalate matters.
The vast majority of the people within the convoy’s organizational team were extremely level-headed, rational, and calm. Unfortunately however, there were a couple individuals with an unquenchable thirst for attention (as is the case in all grassroots movements) which coincided with their simultaneous obsessive compulsion to sow division and spread internal conspiracy theories among our brothers and sisters in the freedom movement. Some as far-fetched as the one claiming that Tamara had intended her own arrest, which had been set-up and orchestrated by Tamara herself… Who knows, perhaps this was a clever infiltration by our government to sow unrest among our own ranks? I suppose we will never know. I too, was graced with mention in their outlandish theorizing, as were many other organizers. It remains a testament to the strength of our movement, that these divisive tactics paled in juxtaposition to the reality of how hard we had all worked for the movement, to keep everyone safe, and to have all our voices resonate in unison as one.
Luckily, in this meeting, there was no insanity. In this moment, we were all on the same page. The road captains recapped the previous night: A trucker had been approached by a groups of five or six police officers.
He hid in the back cab of his truck with the doors locked as instructed as the police officers pounded on the doors of his truck. This had happened in the past, however this time the police were escalating. First they drew their guns on the driver. He remained in the back of his cab in his bunk.
After repeated threats, the side windows were smashed and the cops entered the truck, dragging this peaceful demonstrator out onto the cold snow, and handcuffed him, to place him under arrest.
I realized then, as I expressed to the road captains, "the government has now turned violent, and is threatening violence like a third-world dictatorship. If you ask me, it's time for us to go, we cannot have drivers and our supporters get injured. The government and the police are completely out of control. We can litigate this in the future. Let's get everyone out of here." We were all reluctant to leave, but they agreed and echoed my sentiment – we hadn’t come to Ottawa for physical altercations, to fight, or risk truck drivers being beaten mercilessly by their own government.
They started talking about which liaison police officers they could call, which drivers are the best ones to talk to first to help encourage everyone to pull out. There was a concern that some drivers would refuse to leave. I suggested to the road captains, whom were the voices of leadership on the ground, the importance of persuading them, so that no one got hurt.
This had become a political matter for which Trudeau would increase his extremism, because he had become a laughing stock for the international community. We have done our job and woken-up reasonable people to the extremist faction running Canada’s and Ontario's government. People were now paying attention.
The road captains left for a conference which I, too, joined albeit delayed by my wheel-chair.
We called the liaison police officers. The liaison officers were aggressive and demanded that we leave immediately – or else. We said we would need time to communicate to everyone but would try to mobilize everyone as quickly as possible.
One of our supporters who had been working with the media team, doing on the ground reporting and sharing video content, came to my hotel room, short of breath, telling me that the police were on the move. He told me that they were boxing-in everyone on Rideau Street, so they cannot leave, preparing for mass arrests. I could hardly believe it. We had notified the police about our imminent departure, something the road captains were instructed to tell to the remaining drivers. He said the police were kettling demonstrators. Then another volunteer came in with corroboration .
I started sending messages to our teams in the various chat groups to inform them of what was happening.
Shortly after I received a call from one of the lawyers volunteering for the convoy. He said to me, verbatim, "Benjamin you need to leave the hotel ASAP." I was confused. I had been the spokesperson. I had only helped to organize the team and keep everyone calm and focused on a message of peace, love, and unity – what was the problem? He said, "Tamara and Chris have both been arrested. If you get arrested there will be no one left to to speak out about the Convoy and fight for freedom. We can’t have you restricted to a gag order like the others will likely have to agree to. Just leave as soon as you can. This should help deescalate the situation." As aggravating as this was I acquiesced, looked around my room, at my crutches and tried to figure our how I could get out to Ottawa while simultaneously, along with the road captains, began messaging the need for de-escalation and exit from Ottawa. As they reached-out to truckers on the ground, I undertook social media messaging imploring the Ottawa Police and OPP to calm themselves, and stop escalating tensions.
The police had been turning downtown Ottawa into Tehran with a perimeter fence and dozens of check points. I figured I would try Uber and see what happens.
I called a friend who lived outside of what was the “red zone” in Ottawa and who had helped me after I broke my ankle. I told her I was coming back a few days earlier than planned, because of what the government was doing.
When I got into the Uber and we started moving through Ottawa, beautifully covered in snow from the previous night’s storm, I was shocked at what I saw. The peaceful demonstration that had resulted in no criminal charges and zero violence, which had a period of time reduced Ottawas crime rate to almost its lowest levels, was replaced with a police occupation, a fence barricade and check-points at every other block. After all my years of traveling through the most dangerous parts of South America I have never seen a degree of such excessive force. I started to get worried. Would they be checking vehicles? Would that be a problem? Was I in trouble?
But the checkpoints seemed to be focused more on people entering, and police seemed far less interested in the theatrics of Prime Minister Blackface. After getting on the highway I saw that many of the exits were backed up for miles due to police inspections. My Uber driver, a wonderful man from Jamaica was inspired by the convoy and Canadians who came together for freedom. He didn't seem to recognize me. Fortunately, he took a longer route to avoid the police check points.
I arrived at my friend’s place. She was concerned about my ankle and about how I was feeling, but she was most anxious about the behaviour of our government. She is well read on geopolitics, history and tyrannical regimes and expressed fear towards Canada’s embrace of tactics used by well-known historical dictatorships.
This was just before we both realized all my bank accounts, credit cards, lines or credit – in other words, everything – had been frozen. The Trudeau government had now taken the stalinist approach of trying to starve us.
To be Continued in Part 2…
Coming soon: Honking For Freedom Legal Offensive
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