Police moved in to clear the occupation of Ottawa by the so-called "freedom" convoy last weekend, but what were the past three weeks like for residents living in the downtown area, and what do the far-right politics of the convoy's leadership mean for the future?
- In the latest episode of North Untapped, we spoke to Riley, an Ottawa resident, Maple contributor Cassandra Kislenko and Humber College professor Tyler Shipley about the so-called “freedom” occupation’s impact on the lives of working-class people in the capital, and the long-term implications of the occupation’s politics.
Riley, who lives just outside the “red zone,” explained: “I've gotten everything from yelling at me to take off my mask, sexual comments, spitting at me, to being shoved around on the sidewalk, and wherever you'd put implied threats of vehicular manslaughter on that spectrum.”
- Regarding the far-right politics of the occupation’s leaders, Shipley explained: “I think what's more likely as an outcome from all of this is that it will push the Canadian state further to the right in general over the coming years, and what we're likely to see is more polarization, more right-wing mobilization of this sort; this has been a recruitment drive for them.”
However, Shipley added: “I think we will also see a growth of the left … we're in a period of crisis and in truth, working-class people have been thrown into the fire in the last two years during this pandemic.”