Updated: Feb 2
Co-opting the identity of “truckers,” far-right activists converged on Ottawa beginning on January 29 in an effort to establish mob rule. Gathering under the pretense of pandemic public health measure protests, protest organizers’ ties to right-wing extremism and white supremacist causes and organizations tell the real story. The Confederate flag was joined by anti-trans messages and open mockery of Indigenous traditions. Less than a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, protesters waved Swastikas. This bigoted gathering also forced a planned live commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the Québec mosque shooting to move online. These horrific symbols of racism, antisemitism and transphobia were also joined by messages borrowed from the attempted coup in the U.S. on January 6, 2021, including evidence of the involvement of a banned terrorist organization connected with that coup attempt.
It is not lost on those of us who work for justice that these protesters were treated with deference by law enforcement compared to the treatment of the Wet’suwet’en protecting their unceded territory or Black organizers protesting police violence. The protest in Ottawa is a reminder that all those targeted by white supremacy are allies. As a Jewish organization, we align ourselves with others who oppose racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia and transphobia. That the events in Ottawa have been perpetrated by people who traveled from cities and towns all across the country shows that this is not an isolated event. We call on all levels of government to explicitly condemn the growing threat of right wing extremism and violence in Ottawa and across Canada.
United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) – Canada, 1 February 2022