US Republican Congressperson Offers Asylum to Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protesters
Yvette Herrell, US House of Representatives Republican Party congressperson for the state of New Mexico, has put forth legislation to grant political asylum to participants in the “Freedom Convoy” which occupied Canada’s capital, Ottawa, for the past three weeks.
Local police, reinforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and police from the neighboring Canadian province of Quebec, began arresting protesters this weekend.
“I am introducing legislation that would temporarily grant asylum to innocent Canadian protesters who are being persecuted by their own government,” stated the Republic congressperson through her Twitter account. “We cannot be silent as our neighbors to the north are treated so badly.”
The “Freedom Convoy” is composed of dozens of truck drivers and their supporters calling for an end to Canada’s vaccine mandates, and has triggered copycat protests across Europe. The Republican congressperson’s action follows similar expressions of support for the convoy from other US Republican politicians.
“We want those great Canadian truckers to know we are with them all the way,” said disgraced former US President Donald Trump at a rally in Texas on January 29, to cheers from his supporters. Through a press release dated February 4, issued through his Trump Media & Technology Group, the former president subsequently referred to Canada’s prime minister, and his erstwhile ally, as a “far left lunatic who has destroyed Canada.”
On February 5, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis stated that he would work with Florida Attorney general Ashley Moody to investigate GoFundMe’s decision to block the “Freedom Convoy” from accessing over $9 million raised through the crowdfunding platform. The same day, Republican Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton announced that his state would begin investigating GoFundMe, and confirmed that “patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause using GoFundMe.”
Journalists reported that about 55% of the funds raised for the “Freedom Convoy” by an ensuing GiveSendGo online fundraising campaign, which reached $8.4 million, came from US donors. “I, for one, welcome our future American rulers,” Countersignal journalist Keean Bexte tweeted a few days later. The post received over 5,000 likes. Countersignal has derided Canadian Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole for not being a “true blue” Conservative.
Elon Musk, who made headlines for tweeting “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it,” after Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown by the military in October, 2019, also chimed in with his support: “Canadian truckers rule,” wrote Musk on January 27.
Anti-communist messaging was prevalent, both on the occupation grounds, and in the messaging of “Freedom Convoy” supporters online. In this narrative, the neoliberal Justin Trudeau was cast as an unlikely evil communist dictator, as Biden had been during Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. A careworn allegation was unearthed, whereby Justin Trudeau is claimed to be the illegitimate son of Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
“Joe Biden has proven himself to be a puppet of the Castrochavistas who control the Democrat Party,” stated a September 2020 Trump campaign press release, archived by The American Presidency Project.
Omar Navarro, a three-time Republican candidate for California’s 43rd Congressional District, echoed Trump’s statements, referring to Justin Trudeau on February 2 as “the real face of the far left all over the world.”
“My family came from Cuba and I can confirm Justin Trudeau is the son of Fidel Castro,” wrote Navarro on his Twitter account on February 7, as the topic was trending on Canadian social media networks. His post received over 1,800 likes. On Fox News, Tucker Carlson expressed his belief that Justin Trudeau was Fidel’s son “for sure.” The topic became so popular online that mainstream US media outlets, including Associated Press and New York Times, published fact-checking articles to dismiss the claims.
Perhaps to distance Trudeau from these unfounded accusations, and to further ingratiate his administration to US media outlets and politicians, Foreign Policy Canada this week issued a statement condemning Cuba’s government for arrests during the July 2021 protests on the Caribbean island. Canada “strongly advocates for freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly free from intimidation,” stated the government agency. The timing of the statement was particularly ironic as it was issued a day before protesters in the “Freedom Convoy” began to be detained.
Canada’s Communist Party issued a statement opposing the Trudeau administration’s invocation of the Emergency Measures Act to quell the “Freedom Convoy” protests.
Originally published by Orinoco Tribune on February 22, 2022.
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