The Leftovers

They gathered on a frigid Sunday morning, 23 January, at a weigh scale in Delta on the outskirts of Vancouver.

Dozens of British Columbia freight workers could be glimpsed through thick fog as temperatures hovered around 4 degrees Celsius.

Interstate long haul here is made challenging this time of year by the presence of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, which tower over the city to the east.

By the time the fog had cleared, the truckers had been joined on highway by scores of vehicles of varying shapes and sizes from Canada’s far western province, all bound for the nation’s capital.

More drivers would arrive, linking up at various points on the Trans-Canada, Lougheed and Yellowhead Highways.

The convoy, as it gathered momentum, found with it growing support.

A GoFundMe account soon had close to 90,000 separate donations.

By Friday, as the trucks approached Kingston, Ontario, the funds had, like the vehicles themselves, nearly doubled.

Eyewitness reports claimed the fleet extended 70 kilometres. Sidelined through medical mandates when an already critical driver shortage had exacerbated existing supply chain upheavals, the Canadian truckers, en route to parliament, were ready to make direct demands of the minority government.

The immediate withdrawal of all COVID vaccination requirements would be the first.

Two years into co-ordinated international efforts to impose a new system of rule on the populace was unlikely, however, to make it their last. The Canadian Freedom Convoy, as it was subsequently characterised, from its outset, had been difficult to gauge in size.

While never the sprawling, singular Carthaginian column, it was initially made out to be, the convoy, a loosely wedded series of truck chains involving everything from Class 8 big rigs to two tonne pick-ups, eventually on a chilly Saturday converged in Ottawa where the so-called separation of powers between the parliamentary, judicial and executive were no longer to be found.

Nor, for that matter, could Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had fled the capital, abdicating, at least in theory, his duty to engage with some 50,000 supply chain workers and farmers from all parts of the country and surrounding US borderlands.

Their grievances have been downplayed and comically misrepresented by most sections of the online corporate media swarm including those in Australia which have been utterly dispossessed of felicitous insight.

The violation of fundamental human rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is apparently no biggie.

The protestors were supposedly a fringe minority — a description Elon Musk, who had donated $42,000 to the campaign, thought more apt of government.

Indeed, a consensus on the demise of western democracy was, for better or worse, being undertaken by the truckers, who were opposing the growing encroachment of an absolutist biosecurity state two years into its assembly.

To judge by the support the Freedom Convoy had been attracting at overpasses and small towns all over Canada, where thousands of people braved freezing temperatures to cheer on the drivers with placards and flags, there was still an appetite, at least in regional areas, for freedom under a pluralistic federal constitutional monarchy.

Convoys materialised in other countries, too, as the Netherlands, Germany and Australia joined the movement.

Quebec soon dropped its planned segregationist tax. The Canadian Conservative Party leader was ousted.

All of this happened within a week.

In terms of geopolitics, truck drivers were fast demonstrating that they had more courage and resonance on a global scale than the alliance of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and legacy news media whose primary job, apparently, was to defame the truckers, a vital group, who they lived off of.

Truck drivers, as Walter Kirn put it, spend “their days, their weeks, their years, their decades in hard-working round-the-clock, honest and dignified obscurity. If they choose to speak up it means something.”

Freedom Convoy arriving in Emerson, Canada.

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