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Response to NJCher (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 19, 2022, 09:56 PM

7. Here are the conclusions:



The occupation of Ottawa was a “wake-up call,” Mendicino says. The city’s police force deals with an enormous number of protests every year, Bell said, but “this one was different.”

And the attempt to link debate over legitimate public health measures with conspiracy theories — about vaccines, about the World Economic Forum, about a dire threat to Canadian sovereignty — have sparked concern about what could come next.

“The people who organized that protest, and there were several factions there, there’s no doubt [they] came to overthrow the government,” Jody Thomas, national security adviser to the prime minister, said earlier in March.

“This is a problem that is not going away.”

Mendicino says the chaotic month proved that “the tools and laws we have on our books aren’t effective enough” at dealing with this type of movement. He hinted that his government was considering making some permanent legal changes to supply police with some of these powers, although he didn’t specify what that would look like.

Some of those who enabled this occupation won’t be part of whatever that new movement looks like. King and Lich were both arrested and charged with criminal offences; King’s attempts to be released on bail are ongoing, while Lich’s bail terms prohibit her from participating in demonstrations. Dichter has re-emerged in the world of bitcoin, leveraging his experience sourcing donations that are beyond government’s grasp. Quiggin continues his podcast, turning his attention in recent weeks to the conflict in Ukraine. Once he recovered his RV from a city impound lot, Bauder headed west; by early March, he had reached Victoria, where a rump of the Ottawa occupiers set their sights on the B.C. government, occupying the legislature grounds in the provincial capital.

The movement has now outgrown the former organizers. Sympathetic social media channels continue to expand. Groups like Diagolon are recruiting new members. The conspiracy theorists that propelled this movement proliferate online. Some demonstrators no doubt returned from Ottawa satisfied, believing that they had made their point. But others came back armed with dangerous lessons. As one put it on a recent livestream: “Violence in some way, shape, or form is the only way these people are going to respond.”


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