To the Editor:

Two weeks ago the Emergencies Act was invoked for the first time by Prime Minister Trudeau. There has also been a lot said about this, with the usual claim of “two sides” and indeed the question “why didn’t he just talk to the ‘protesters’?” – indeed, the right wing is having an echo-chamber enforced field day with the idea of personal freedoms being violated, and so on. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I think that it wasn’t a protest, it was an assault on democracy by ill-informed, easily-led, predominantly white people, led from behind by money that seems to take a great delight in perverting justice. Indeed, the only reason that the right would want to end mandates has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with the fact that things like mandates and lockdowns mean that they can’t properly exploit the people who normally work for them for a pittance. Taking those people and transforming them into an offensive weapon is obviously the next best thing, so here we are.

Or there we were, because over the course of the weekend the would-be insurrectionists were cleared out by police, who should have done their job properly in the first place (but of course, there’s always the problem that many of them were happy to see this happen). On live TV and generally peacefully. It’s ironic that the very people ‘protesting’ for their freedom were treated as well as they were, because they live in a country that appreciates what that means. But, as I saw on Twitter, there’s nothing that screams white privilege as much as being told for three weeks you were breaking the law and would be arrested and still being surprised when it happens.

The veneer of peace and joy to all men that the ’protestors’ clung to is nothing more than lipstick on a pig, when underneath and in plain sight people who are ‘different’ or who disagree (or simply wear a damn mask) are abused by them.

Undoubtedly there will be arguments about the validity of the invocation of the Emergencies Act (for instance, “Trudeau the Tryant” and various other quaint cries for ‘justice’). And before people start talking about “natural justice”, it’s not much more than a farcical attempt to justify the ability of someone who is stronger to do whatever they want, whenever they want. In short, it is not justice at all. Neither is it (social) Darwinism, which is the subject of another letter, I’m sure. It’s worth pointing out that it’s quite hard to be a tyrant when you are the leader of a minority government. It’s also worth pointing out that even the Emergencies Act followed the Charter to the letter, but of course that’s a minor detail. In any case, now that the Act has been revoked after less than a week, those who use anything as an excuse to hate Trudeau will undoubtedly find something else to hang their hats onto, all the while ignorant of the irony of the fact that they can hang their hats and continue to confuse freedom with privilege.

There is, here, an argument for education. Particularly for a better education in civics. That many of the people there were claiming first amendment rights or Miranda rights would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. The education system, quite happy to prepare students for work as those low-paid cogs in the machine, has failed miserably to educate them in what actually are their rights and responsibilities.

To our detriment.

Dr. Stephen Marsh