A protester told RT the demonstration was ‘one of the most positive things’ they had ever seen
RT America spoke to several protesters involved in the Ottawa truckers’ protest against Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, with some politicians likening the protest to an occupation that must be lifted.
RT America’s John Huddy addressed truckers at the protest scene as the protest entered its tenth day. While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed on Monday the protest posed a threat to democracy and stalled the economy, Huddy found the site more like a family winter carnival with bouncy castles, dancing, games and buffets than to a besieged area.
Trucker Mike Johnson, who has been parked outside Parliament since January 28, told Huddy: “We are here because individual adults should have authority over their lives…make their own decisions, what is best for their home, best for their body, best for their children.”
Protester Kevin Sargent, who claimed he was unable to work or study due to restrictions requiring vaccination against Covid-19, told RT the protest was “the first time in two years” he had “saw a real future for my children”, while fellow protester Jordon Teal stressed that the protest was “hard to ignore.”
You can hear them… We have everyone’s attention and the whole world is watching
Another protester, trucker Chad Fennel, said the protest was “one of the most positive experiences” of his life and claimed that even the police were apparently positive about the situation. However, his view of the event stands in stark contrast to Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, who at an emergency meeting on Saturday lamented the lack of resources and authority to “Dealing with a besieged city.” Speaking at the meeting, Ottawa City Council member Diane Deans went so far as to call the protest “a national uprising”. “We are on the eighth day of this occupation. Our city is under siege,” she said.
Ottawa police have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to shut down the protest, issuing more than 100 tickets to truckers, suspending licenses and seizing supplies such as fuel. Police have threatened to arrest anyone caught providing protesters “material support” on Sunday.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency last weekend following the protest, calling it a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.”
Speaking to RT, Ontario MPP (MPP) Randy Hillier disagreed with the government’s description of the protest as “dangerous,” arguing that such an impression was “a lie” and “an excuse” the authorities to repress the demonstration.
“It’s a very peaceful, friendly and energetic winter festival and carnival happening”, Hillier told RT. “And to deliberately distort and fabricate that this is violent or dangerous is utterly wrong.”
Hillier claimed the government’s negative portrayals of the protest were meant to cover up effective action “coup d’etat against our Constitution”. “It was “very hard for many Canadians to believe that our government would act in such a reprehensible and destructive manner,” he said.
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