For over two months now, we’ve witnessed weekly protests advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza, accompanied by antisemitic rhetoric on our streets. If you’ve been in a Western country, chances are you’ve seen one.
While the right to protest and freedom of expression are vital for democracy, the situation takes a different turn when it involves blocking streets, railways, and other critical infrastructure.
We’ve all observed the federal government’s response to the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa during 2022. The government intervened in the lives of Canadians, coercing them into taking a medical experimental shot many were hesitant about. “No shot, no job, no travel” became the mantra, affecting citizens’ ability to work, pay bills and restricting their daily lives.
“there was a ceasefire before October 7th? SORRY, but that’s bullshit.”
Montreal anti-Israel protester said to me during the march this past weekend.
— Alexandra Lavoie (@ThevoiceAlexa) December 19, 2023
Quebec went a step further, imposing a curfew and limiting citizens’ access to large supermarkets. In response, fed-up Canadians gathered by the thousands in front of Parliament Hill, demanding an end to what they perceived as madness and tyranny.
The government not only invoked the Emergencies Act but also detained individuals for days to months, froze bank accounts of those contributing to the cause, and had its actions justified by the Public Order Emergency Commission.
During that lengthy period when people were protesting the government’s decision, Justin Trudeau, followed by the mainstream, referred to the protesters using derogatory terms to further polarize the population and compel them to choose sides.
Recently, Anti-Israel protesters blocked Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway causing a traffic jam.
— Alexandra Lavoie (@ThevoiceAlexa) November 24, 2023
Now, anti-Israel protesters, demonstrating against a conflict unrelated to Canada, are disrupting and blocking highways, railways, disturbing Christmas events for children and causing chaos in businesses and legislatures. While some have received tickets, there has been no strong condemnation from politicians or calls to end the disruptions and the calls for genocide against Jews.
In one instance, a group of anti-Israel activists blocked CN trains. They obstructed the railway for over two hours, bringing various objects on the train rail to prevent the goods transportation across Canada.
— Alexandra Lavoie (@ThevoiceAlexa) December 1, 2023
Multiple arrests were made that day, and we sent an inquiry to the Montreal police to know about the number of arrests, the number of charges and/or tickets, and what was the charges against them.
The Montreal police responded saying they were on scene only to assist with the CN police jurisdiction. They redirected me to the CN department, who, in turn, refused to comment on the matter.
We asked them the same questions, and if they will press legal charges against the people involved in the blockage as they did in Edmonton against the group “Queers for Palestine” who blocked the railway.
No further comments have been made.
Anti-Israel protesters are now BLOCKING a CN railway track in Winnipeg calling on a ceasefire while Hamas holds 230+ hostage: “Gaza, Gaza we will rise!”https://t.co/MK7PbgngsO pic.twitter.com/idTaapLcpo
— Alexandra Lavoie (@ThevoiceAlexa) November 20, 2023
Now, depending on your geographic position in Canada, the consequences following your actions will not be the same. But why? The silence surrounding the release of information raises questions about whether it’s an attempt to mitigate the repercussions of this story or if they simply didn’t proceed to give them any punishment.
Mainstream media didn’t called these protesters names, politicians didn’t condemn these blockades and harassment.
There’s a huge double standard in Canada when it comes to the right to protest. It appears that one’s rights are more extensive if they align with the approved political narrative.