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Comment: Many were missing from the Saturday protest

A commentary by an opponent of the truck protest.
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters in downtown Victoria on Saturday. DARRON STONE, TIMES COLONIST. Feb. 12, 2022

They were screaming “Freedom,” but their real agenda was crushing democracy.

On Saturday I stood with a dozen souls daring to exercise our right to free speech in the face of hostility and threats from the anti-vax vigilantes.

I was carrying a small sign reading “Jail the trucking terrorists.”

The message wasn’t popular. But terrorism is exactly their weapon. Truck noise bludgeons and intimidates people, and the truckers who are ravaging Canadian cities understand that fellow citizens are suffering. Like any smug torturer, they prolong the agony in long displays of masochistic glee.

More than a few big guys on Saturday issued me a mandate to clear out. Some clapped their hands loudly behind my ears. In the sunlight I could see the spittle fly from the ranters circling me.

After an hour we decided that safety required a retreat. The bellicose advocates of “freedom” had gutted ours.

Oh, and police protection for dissenters beset by a hostile mob? Nowhere to be seen.

But they weren’t the only elements of a civil society notable by their absence.

Where was the New Democratic Party, whose leader the freedom posse are promising to depose, in blatant contempt for democratic elections?

Where were the city’s mayor and councillors, whose efforts to make Victoria a livable, green enclave of sanity in a disintegrating world has been publicly defiled for three straight weekends?

Where was the Green Party, and environmentalists in general, who might wish to venture a word of criticism about the flagrant spewing of fossil fuel by logging trucks and other rank polluters descending on the city from hundreds of kilometres distant?

Where were the unions, whose members working in hospitals have been harassed for performing their essential, life-saving services?

Where were the provincial public servants, whose most prominent member, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, is also on the herd’s hit-list?

Where were the residents of the long corridor from Uptown Mall to James Bay, whose lives have been disrupted by blaring horns, roaring engines and Harley-Davidson hogs?

Where were the democrats when they took over our city?