This article will talk about a protest which occurred in Canada. Protest means expressing your disagreements, disapproval, or opposition. It could be either a peaceful or a violent one. This protest was regarding the withdrawal of covid restrictions which was eventually named ‘Freedom Convoy Protest’.
Initially, the covid guidelines were made to be followed by everyone, but foreseeing that a problem could occur in the supply chain between Canada and USA the Canadian government removed the restriction for the truck operators such as being fully vaccinated or providing RTPCR tests to cross borders between the countries.
Upon observing no changes in supply chain problems and also an increase in the price of goods in the grocery store, the restrictions were re-imposed which led to the start of a protest by the truck operators to remove these stupid restrictions as at least 80% of the Canadian population were vaccinated. The general public noticing the protest by truck operators also wanted to remove the same restrictions, this caused the ‘Trucker’s Protest’ to be elevated into ‘Freedom Convoy Protest’.
A ‘go fund me’ fundraiser raised more than $8 million as support but it faced controversies which resulted in that ‘go fund me’ page being seized. The Canadians were denied their funds raised through this ‘go fund me’ page. The public also stated that they were a democratic country and they had the right to freedom to protest peacefully and they wanted the restrictions to be removed similar to other Nordic European countries. The Canadian protest inspired other countries such as New Zealand, France, Belgium, and the USA to start their own Freedom Convoy protests. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then declared an Emergency act in Canada. These protests were of peaceful nature but the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister warned the public under the emergency act and stated that if they continued with the protest and supported it, their bank accounts would be frozen or suspended ‘without any court orders’.
These restrictions were imposed even though the majority of the population wanted them to be removed as the hospitals were not overcrowded and there were only 5,000 cases recorded as of the 14th of February’22, and these restrictions did not make any logical sense for them to remain operating.
In my opinion, these restrictions are illogical based on the fact that there were very less covid cases as compared to the large population. The restrictions could have been eased and the threat of a bank account being frozen is an undemocratic statement for a country that is democratic in nature. The government is being too pessimistic by imposing such restrictions as Sweden did not impose such harsh restrictions on people even at the peak of Covid-19 and at present other countries are also making the restrictions less rigid for the people.
This protest occurred in Canada due to unreasonable restrictions imposed on the people and their freedom and such reaction by the people was observed and also inspired other countries to fight unreasonable restrictions. The actions taken by the Canadian government regarding freezing or suspending bank accounts are undemocratic. This shows that people should not follow rules blindly and sometimes public morality prevails over constitutional morality for the right reasons.
This article is written by Shreya Kabra of IFIM Law School.