For two weeks, the 18-wheelers, the semis, the tractors and the pick-up trucks streamed through the snow and ice into the center of Ottawa, the Canadian capital.
They came from across the country. Vaxxed, unvaxxed, white, black, Chinese, Sikh, Indian, alone or with their wives and kids.
They huddled around campfires. They set up pop-up kitchens and tents with block captains doling out coffee and blankets.
They honked (and honked and honked). They blasted ‘We Are the World.’ And everywhere you looked, someone was waving the Maple Leaf.
It dipped to 4 degrees. The mayor declared a state of emergency. And they didn’t budge.
The truckers were scared of running out of gas—freezing to death in their little truck beds in the middle of the night. The city threatened to arrest anyone who brought it to them.
In response, hundreds of Ottawans did just that. The truckers stayed put.
They are a city inside a city whose inhabitants—there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000—were outraged with a country that seemed to have forgotten they existed.
This past Sunday, as if to confirm that suspicion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has yet to meet with Freedom Convoy leaders, took a personal day.
On Monday, during an emergency debate at the House of Commons, he called them ‘a few people shouting and waving swastikas.’
I live in downtown Ottawa, within view of Parliament Hill, and have spent the past 10 days or so bundled up and walking around the protests.