“Why has the fascist Canadian Truck Convoy had such an easy ride?” asks John Clarke in Canada. He answers his own question:
The ability of a group of blatant fascists to pull off a major organizational undertaking that has been facilitated in various ways by parts of the political establishment and the agencies of the state, is an object lesson for us. I’d identify the following five factors that have helped to steer them to a lamentable level of success for far.
1. Not to belabour this point, because it’s been well discussed, but we must keep in mind that these vile characters are operating in a political vacuum that has left empty for them by the failure of working class organizations to take up a serious fighting response to the present societal crisis.
2. Support from mainstream conservatism. The Tories, with the Peoples’ Party snapping at their heels, know very well that the convoy is resonating with at least the right flank of their support base and it is to their advantage to offer the fascists a degree of legitimacy that increases both the fund raising and mobilizing capacities.
3. Their demands resonate in high places. A global consensus is emerging that stresses the ‘learning to live with the virus’ approach. Right leaning and more moderate governments are falling in line with a course that is based on the hope that the Omicron wave is peaking and that a strategy of vaccinating a majority of people in rich countries will be enough to keep death and suffering at levels that don’t utterly overwhelm health care systems while allowing the profits to flow. This is a dangerous way to proceed and it comes up against majority opinion that favours the preservation of public health protections. Loud voices raised in favour of reopening are useful in this context, even if they are coming from some very unpleasant throats.
4. The question of racism. There’s no doubt that a white protest crowd enjoys
considerable advantages when it comes to the degree to which its protest efforts will be accommodated. To explain the impunity with which the convoy has unleashed major disruption as nothing other than the flaunting of white privilege is wrong and omits other major factors that are at play. Still, the significance of pervasive racism has to be properly considered and fully acknowledged.
5. Finally, cops love fascists. CSIS and the RCMP paid little regard to clear and obvious indications that this action was in the making. The Ottawa cops love the ‘truckers’ to pieces. I read a comment by one participant in the convoy who pointed out the the police were just like them but in uniform. He wasn’t wrong and getting state enforcers to deal effectively with a far right threat is a ticklish matter, even when and if the political level has decided this should happen.
Those who think the convoy has made the gains it has because of brilliant political thinking and great organizational skill are dead wrong. Their demands are preposterous, they have no thought out exit strategy and this may still turn out badly for them. One of the things that makes them so dangerous, however, is the incredible level of indulgence shown towards them by the authorities and wide sections of the establishment.
John Clarke lives in Toronto and was a founding member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Also see his previous article on the subject: Report From Canada: Far Right Convoy Crosses Canada
Oaklandsocialist adds: The fascist convoy has been a boon to the fascists, assorted racists and science deniers here in the US. It has been supported by the likes of Donald Trump, Florida far right governor Ron DiSantis, QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Tucker Carlson. It is also ironic to hear Biden & Co. complain about Russian interference in the domestic affairs here and elsewhere. (The fact that it’s ironic doesn’t make it untrue, though!) According to Albertapolitics, “right wing US paw prints are all over the occupation.” Somebody from the “Freedom Convoy” had opened up a Gofundme account. Gofundme shut it down two weeks later because the money was being used to break the law. The Canadian National Observer explained: “The convoy campaign, organized by a previously obscure Canadian group, now ranks as the eighth-largest in GoFundMe’s 12-year history…. Any Canadian fundraiser will tell you this number is impossible to achieve organically within Canada. This group is not a registered charity, non-profit or even a trucking organization. Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly is on record saying there is significant influence and money pouring in from the United States…. As the CBC has reported on January 28, at least a third of the donor identities were anonymous or faked.”