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HomeOpinionCommentaryGuarimbas in Canada

Guarimbas in Canada

By Antonio García, Pierre LeBlanc, María Páez de Victor, Nino Pagliccia, and Jorge Sorger

The demonstrations in Canada since late January have in effect taken over its capital city, Ottawa, and one of the most important bridges for trade between the Province of Ontario, the industrial center of this country and the USA. Other Canadian cities and border crossings have also been occupied and blocked. It is a futile blockade that undermines Canada’s own economic fibre from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The undersigned have lived in Canada for decades; we are writing you – our compatriots and colleagues in justice – to give you a first-hand account of what has happened and the geopolitical gravity of the matter.

These have been guarimbas, with many of the same features that Venezuela suffered through in 2014 and 2017: with paramilitaries, foreign money and direction, intent on overthrowing the legitimate government, and pretending to speak for the majority.

Ours is not a defense of the Liberal government of Canada or the performance of its prime minister Justin Trudeau, who, as we know, has a particular foreign policy towards Venezuela. We are very critical of that policy. Our interest is to present events in Canada in context and to dispel any confusion of interpretation. Please know that what is happening here is an attempted coup d’état under false pretences to install a fundamentalist, extremist and racist right-wing meta-state oligarchy.

Here are the key points:

The majority of the demonstrators are not real truckers, nor do they represent the working class. They have not put forward any demands for the rights of the truckers. The truckers’ union, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, has completely dissociated itself from them and has stated bluntly that the protesters are not truckers and that most of their huge trucks blocking the streets and bridges are rented. Many drive half-ton vehicles, farm tractors and construction machinery, using them as offensive weapons designed to instil fear and induce submission. A trove of weapons and assault rifles has been discovered on the Alberta border and 13 would-be attackers have been arrested. It is feared that the “coup leaders” are hiding a cache of weapons in Ottawa as well.

This is a largely white demonstration. There is a clear presence of xenophobic, racist and anti-socialist elements. There are no labour, Indigenous, Afro-descendant, student, women’s or environmental organisations supporting them. The would-be insurgents carry flags, banners and slogans of the USA, the Southern Slave Confederacy and even the Nazis, as well as signs calling for the overthrow of the government.

They are supported by the most reactionary groups of the extreme right: evangelists who reject science and public health, political leaders of supremacist and right-wing movements such as Tamara Lich, Benjamin Dicheter, James Bauder and Patrick King. They represent Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant groups. Key leaders of the demonstrations are former members of the Canadian armed forces now acting as paramilitaries, Daniel Bulford, Tom Qwuiggin, Tom Marazzo among them, and provide the demonstrations with a very pronounced military-like tactics, precision and effectiveness.

Gringo consultants have been helping to run the events, roaming freely in the city. US politicians including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Green, among others, are supporting them. Big billionaires, as well Trump advisors, have contributed to the demonstrations. More than half of the known financial backers come from the US, including several from Trump’s circle.

They spread falsehoods about vaccines: that they are a scam, that they are fatal in order to depopulate the globe, or that their aim is to “wipe out the white race”, or to inject people with a microchip so that Bill Gates can dominate them. The so-called protesters are vicious and have messianic perceptions as saviours of the people while sometimes blindly acting out the fantasies of their billionaire intellectual bosses.

They manifest a visceral hatred of the government expressed in obscenities, including urinating and defecating on Canada’s sacred monument to the Unknown Soldier in front of parliament. This is tantamount to sacrilege for the Canadian people. They oppose not only this government, but the governmental authority itself. The prevailing ideology is clearly the libertarian ideology of extreme neo-liberalism, which opposes the welfare state; of the extreme right with cries of freedom! That is to say the singularly individual freedom, the selfish “I”, and not at all the common good.

Although they are in the minority, the protest is also fueled by social discontent with the Trudeau government, inflation, the cost of housing, and the handling of the pandemic itself. However, 60 percent of Canadians find these protests offensive and inappropriate; over 90 percent of the population is vaccinated; over 80 percent of real truckers agree with the demand to be vaccinated.

They are trying to overthrow the legitimate government of Canada. This is an attack on Canadian democracy. This has never been seen before in Canada.

The cities of Quebec, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax and others learned key lessons from the failures of Ottawa and blocked the rioters’ access to their city centres. The sinister organisers had a plan in hand and volunteers ready to clog almost every city centre and bridge to the US, effectively setting up a country-wide siege.

Unfortunately, the Canadian authorities, the Prime Minister and his cabinet, the Conservative Party, the (Conservative) Premier of Ontario, the Mayor and the Chief of Police of Ottawa, have all failed their citizens. We have witnessed the following:

1) Administrative disarray: gross unpreparedness on the part of federal, provincial and municipal authorities who took no action, blamed each other while jockeying for jurisdiction and political advantage. This has particularly outraged the citizens of Ottawa who were harassed and often assaulted, and whose lives are put at risk.

2) Inequality: Police forces treated these white rioters who violated countless laws and regulations with impunity with kid gloves. The occupiers did not even have the permits required for any legal demonstration. In much smaller and less impactful demonstrations, the police have acted violently and swiftly against indigenous people, people of colour and progressives. The Conservative Party, which fancies itself the party of “law and order”, has at first actively supported this illegal occupation. If the Liberals have looked bad politically, the Conservatives have looked far worse.

3) Infiltration: Worryingly, there is growing evidence that police officers and members and former members of the Canadian military special forces have been directly working on, if not directing, this “assault on the nation”. One of their main spokesmen is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They may have experience in “sabotaging democracies” in other countries and in colour revolutions. At least six active military personnel have spoken out publicly in favour of this protest. Two members of the assault team of the Canadian military’s elite anti-terrorist unit are under investigation for allegedly participating in protests in Ottawa, and are allegedly linked to so-called “white supremacists” within the Canadian military.”

There is an important difference between the guarimbas in Venezuela and those in Canada today. Opposition demonstrators in Venezuela committed unprecedented acts of cruel violence that cost the lives of nearly 200 people, many injuries and extensive destruction of public property. Canadians have not committed such acts. Weapons have been seized from them, but they have not yet been used.

What is the real purpose of these demonstrations? Vaccines? Public health restrictions that were about to be relaxed? And why so much gringo intervention?  Because this was all a rehearsal – preparation for the far-right groups that will organise to overthrow the US government when Donald Trump loses the next election.

Trump has no chance of winning because he has lost the votes of the political “centre”. That is, although his loyal core is strong, he won the presidency because many citizens in the centre of the political spectrum voted for him. Trump knows he will lose a clean election; he already knows that the assault on the Capitol was not well organised. The US far right that follows him has launched an attack on Ottawa to rehearse its upcoming tactics using the smaller Canadian far-right.

Already far-right groups in the world are imitating the Canadian model. We are facing a global fascist aggression and we must not underestimate it and be prepared.

We Bolivarians cannot in any way support fascist rioters in Canada, nor in any other country.

Sources:

Twitter Feed, Arsenal of Arms and Assault Equipment Seized in Alberta, ; 14, Feb 2022.

CBC,  How organizers with police and military expertise may be helping Ottawa convoy protest dig in”, 10 Feb. 2022

Henry  A. Giroux, “Convoy Movement Isn’t a Struggle Over Freedom, It’s an Attempt to Kill Democracy”,

Brooklyn Neustaeter, “Doug Ford declares state of emergency in Ontario over blockade, courts grants Ambassador Bridge injunction”, CTV News, 11 Feb. 2022

Justin Ling, “5G and QAnon: how conspiracy theorists steered Canada’s anti-vaccine trucker ptrotest”, The Guardian, UK, 8 Feb. 2022

James Mezies, “Never about truckers-media dupped”, Trucknews.com, 30 Jan. 2022,

Matt Gurney, The Line, 9 Feb. 2022 – Dispatch from the Ottawa Front: Sloly is telling you all he’s in trouble. Who’s listening? (substack.com)

David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, 13 Feb, 2022

Elizabeth Thompson, Roberto Rocha, Albert Leung, CBC, 14 Feb. 2022

Judy Trinh, CBC, 9 Feb. 2022

Alexander Panetta, ‘How a former trump oficial wound up at Ottaqwa’s convoy protest”, CBC, 10 Feb. 2022

Ottawa Citizen

Global News

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