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Canada's 'Freedom Convoy 2.0' protest scheduled to take place next month cancelled by the organiser

WION logo WION 02-01-2023 (Wion Web Team)
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The truckers' "Freedom Convoy 2.0" demonstration scheduled to take place in Ottawa next month, a year after the city was brought to a grinding halt has been called off. 

James Bauder, the founder of a group called Canada Unity which oversaw the organising of the protests last year said the repeat event was cancelled because he could not "guarantee public safety" and that going ahead with the protests could have invited severe sanctions. 

Bauder cited "several security breaches and personal character attacks" on himself as another reason for backing out of the event, according to an AFP report. 

In December, Bauder said he would bring a four-day event back to Ottawa on the first anniversary of the 2022 demonstration and that all the big rigs would make daily trips to Parliament Hill.

However, after the authorities suggested that they would take a 'zero-tolerance' approach toward such a protest, Bauder said he would take the convoy to Winnipeg instead. 

In a Facebook post, Bauder, however, hinted at staging a comeback in 2024 after a year of 'solid' planning. 

"If the plan goes well, in Feb 2024. (will take a solid year to plan properly) I will be in Toronto with Team Canada Unity attending as a guest at a Sacred Ceremony event that could be viewed as Biblical... (No peeking) First, let's get to the Truth."

WATCH | Canada's freedom convoy sparks inspiration in Europe: Protestors will drive to Brussels, Paris


What was Freedom Convoy?

The protest initially started as a rally against the vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers. However, soon, the truckers changed their tune and the rally became a demonstration against the Canadian government's overreach during the pandemic as protesters took an anti-vaccination stance. 

While the protests largely remained non-violent, Trudeau, not used to facing resistance in his backyard, invoked the Emergencies Act and became the first Canadian PM to do so. 

Testifying in front of an independent public commission in November last year, Trudeau defended the decision to use 'emergency powers'. 

"It wasn’t that they just wanted to be heard. They wanted to be obeyed. I am absolutely, absolutely serene and confident that I made the right choice in agreeing with the invocation," said Trudeau.

Read more: Trudeau defends the use of emergency powers to quash the 'Freedom Convoy' protests

During the testifying, one of the lawyers representing the convoy organisers asked Trudeau if he was 'afraid' of his own citizens. 

"When did you and your government start to become so afraid of your own citizens?"

To which Trudeau replied, “I am not and we are not."

Read more: Canada PM Justin Trudeau leaves home over security concerns as truckers protest against vaccine mandates

Several estimates have suggested that the Freedom convoy protests last year cost the Ottawa city exchequer more than $52 million. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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