The honking will continue until morale improves. A consortium of supply chain, working-class heroes have taken to the streets of Canada to fill the air with incessant blasts from their big rigs to put pressure on the governing class and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Right on cue, within a couple of days Trudeau isolated himself from the media and the cacophonous convoy in an exposure-based protocol. This procedure, according to his own official government health officials, was unnecessary given his triple-vaccinated status. On the last day of January, less than a week after the tip of the convoy breached the Canadian capital, Trudeau announced that he tested positive, removed himself from Ottawa, and is now working in a remote area outside of the grounds affected by the protesters and their honking.
Later that afternoon, the healthy-appearing leader of our northernmost brethren released a video of himself speaking outside a residential home, making note that these protesters do not represent Canada. He even went so far to make reference to the many at home “watching in disgust and disbelief at this behavior, wondering how this could have happened?” Earlier on in this public health messaging catastrophe, he now infamously stated that those against the vaccine passports and border mandates were “a small, fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views.” Despite the obvious worry that should ripple through us all when we hear a leader of a democratic, free speech protected country calling views on citizens’ bodily autonomy and their right to assemble unacceptable, perhaps even more troublesome is the flat out misinformation and propagandized misrepresentation of the scope of this protest.
According to “Guinness World Records” the longest truck convoy on record was merely 7.5 kilometers long, clocking in at 480 trucks, in Egypt in 2020. The self-described Freedom Convoy is nearly a magnitude longer at 70 kilometers long, stretching from British Columbia to Ottawa, according to Benjamin Dichter, a spokesman for the convoy. There are an estimated 35,000 – 50,000 trucks taking part in this working-class protest of the new COVID-19 vaccine mandates being put in place at the border between the United States and Canada. These new laws are preventing truckers — the backbone of our supply chains, and the lifeblood of the national and international trade that we all quite literally rely on for goods, medicines, food and other pieces of a healthy, open economy — from crossing the border freely and thus functioning properly.
The mandates, while often argued in favor of their medical benefits, are in contrast to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, and the otherwise open borders between North American countries; many seemingly believe these are only being utilized as an infrastructural attack on free trade and the working class. We are not a science journal, nor is the editor, publisher or author qualified to speak on the medical pros and cons, but we are able to see the contradiction and hypocrisy presented in these asinine laws that have unfair and unprecedented effects on both the working class involved in the trucker profession, as well as the many citizens down the line who will begin to feel the pressures of a harder-squeezed supply chain.
One of the largest stories of this workers’ revolution against the bio-medical surveillance state is an eight figure GoFundMe campaign that was started in order to feed and pay the truckers for missed pay whilst they occupy the nation’s capital and pepper the night sky with horns from their eighteen wheelers. This GoFundMe account surpassed $10 million [CAD] before the centralizing figures behind the website decided to pause the fund and prevent further money raised by fellow working-class believers in the movement from making its way into the hands and stomachs of the convoy. Further maddening yet, the Canadian media has made allusions to governmental threats to utilize parts of the funds to pay for “damages incurred” by the convoy to the capital. Of course, there are no damages to be paid for, nor any injuries, deaths and not one arrest of any protestor that traveled to the capital city. Perhaps an adage that has lost its luster with overuse, but quite truly, “Bitcoin fixes this.”
The payment rails and processing services that are at the core of the GoFundMe.com concept are ripe for the picking when the political movements behind certain causes are not aligned with the centralized governing bodies of the platform. The peer-to-peer, uncensorable nature of a Bitcoin transaction could be, should be and is being put to use by the thousands of convoy cohorts and their financial supporters across the continent.
Not only could the Bitcoin network be used to create a catch-all address for funds to be sent from across the world, but that very address could easily and cheaply dispense funds across the tens of thousands of truckers making a stand against this border restriction in order to prolong their efforts until their demands are heard and hopefully met by the leaders of Canada. This is truly a workers’ revolution, despite the slander from supposed anti-fascist, pro-worker progressive party that runs the country, and every workers’ revolution has been significantly influenced by the financial underpinnings of the time; this time is certainly no different.
The strain on the supply chain and its inflationary effects, of course alongside massive monetary expansion of both Canadian and United States dollar supply, will only be further exacerbated by this protest, and thus the ability for the convoy to stay fed and financially supported will perhaps be the crux of its success.
We talked to an organizer who goes by NobodyCaribou on February 2 to gather further insight to the movement: “I was talking to one of the truckers today and he told me ‘I’m either leaving here in a police cruiser, a hearse, or I get my freedom’ and that’s the kind of long haul energy we have.” The physical realities of the pieces of the protest are perhaps not understood by the masses; the powerful, logistical infrastructure of masters of the supply chain allow fluidity of diesel refuels, food distribution and financial delegation all without an official coordination. These are people willing and quite able to withstand the war of attrition, many having outfitted their big rigs for sleeping and living quarters, and the stamina of passion to postulate about “how nice it’ll be when there’s longer days in the summer.”
The sole demand of the protestors is a simple one; restoration of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, specifically the clause that expresses “the freedom to exit, enter or move about the country with no obstruction.” NobodyCaribou wanted to stress and focus the blame on the hidden prime minister, and this obstruction of free movement in violation of the bodily autonomy of the citizens and workers of Canada.
Two figureheads of the movement, a vaccinated Jewish man named Benjamin Dichter and Tamara Lich, an indigenous woman of the Métis, have stopped allowing mainstream media into the meetings and pressers due to the excessive manipulation and miscategorization of the protest and its constituents. The vast majority of the truckers are in fact vaccinated, and due to misrepresentation of being a violent, racist and unruly mob, have begun to use their phones to “be the media” and self-police the convoy. NobodyCaribou described the ethos of these operations as “if you see something that doesn’t align with truth, peace, and love; call it out!” and further warned “do not engage with those you think are bad actors.”
The distrust of the few pieces of coverage that have made it to newstands across the world has driven the truckers to self-regulate and thus far has created a joyous energy of celebration for freedom. In the downtime between blast of horns and the daily rounds, truckers have found themselves with plenty of time to arm themselves with the tools of financial freedom, with many prominent Canadian Bitcoiners, such as Jeff Booth and Greg Foss, offering satoshis and access to educational materials. This is truly a collaboration of Canadians, French Canadians, Indigenous people, Americans, and many more demographics of freedom-minded folks alike, coming together in unity, love and peace to simply demand the upholding of their natural and legal rights.
NobodyCaribou reminds us “you can’t stop truth, peace and love.” Much like the children and families seen picking up garbage, handing out coffee, much like the few Bitcoin educators pooling together funds and materials, much like the truckers themselves making themselves heard with their horns and seen with their shining 18-wheelers, everyone of us can do our part in standing alongside the working class in their fight for their human rights. For those that wish to help and learn more, www.bitcoinstoa.com/freedomconvoy/ is hosting donation rails, wallet addresses, press releases, news updates, and more for both protesters in Ottawa and those of us at home. As Justin Trudeau said himself, “Canada is strong, because you are strong.”
This is a guest post by Mark Goodwin. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.