Left-wing political pundits are demanding drastic measures be taken against Freedom Convoy truckers protesting vaccine mandates in Canada, including slashing tires and forcefully removing drivers, citing that the chaos is obstructing the country’s supply chain to America.
‘The convoy protest, applauded by right wing media as a “freedom protest,” is an economic and security issue now,’ CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem said Thursday in a post to social media, as demonstrators in Ontario continued to protest mandates put in place by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month by blocking streets in the country’s capital for the fourteenth straight day.
The protesters have since halted traffic at the province’s Ambassador Bridge, a crucial crossing that connects the country to the US, disrupting the flow products between the two nations and threatening to shut down production at several American auto plants.
The left-leaning journalist offered an extreme solution to the current predicament.
‘The Ambassador Bridge link constitutes 28 percent of annual trade movement between US and Canada,’ Kayyem, once the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Affairs for Barack Obama, explained in a post published on Twitter.
‘Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks,’ she then declared.
CNN journalist and former Obama aide Juliette Kayyem offered an extreme solution to a blockade formed by protesting truckers at a crucial border US-Canada crossing. ‘Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks,’ the journalist said Thursday
Protesters have halted traffic at the Ambassador Bridge, a crucial crossing that connects the country’s Ontario province to the US, disrupting the flow products between the two nations and threatening to shut down production at several American auto plants
After receiving criticism for her comments, Kayyem doubled down on the tweet later that day.
‘Trust me, I will not run out of ways to make this hurt: cancel their insurance; suspend their drivers’ licenses; prohibit any future regulatory certification for truckers, etc. Have we learned nothing? These things fester when there are no consequences,’ Kayyem tweeted.
Well-known journalist Matthew Yglesias seemed to echo the former bureaucrat’s stance in a post published less than an hour later, with the Vox founder calling for US officials to send in American troops to clear the crossing.
‘The convoy protest, applauded by right wing media as a “freedom protest,” is an economic and security issue now,’ Kayyem said Thursday
‘Send the Marines to Detroit and clear the bridge,’ Yglesias, an avid politics writer and current Bloomberg columnist, asserted, posting screenshots of reports warning of the dire implications that the barricade – which has persisted for five days – will likely have on the US economy.
The calls for action by the American progressives come as Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a 42-hour state of emergency, threatening vehicle seizures, fines of C$100,000 ($79,000), jail time of up to a year, and suspension of commercial licenses to punish protesters who do not comply with orders to disperse.
After receiving criticism for her comments, Kayyem doubled down on the tweet later that day
Lefty journalist Matthew Yglesias seemed to echo the former bureaucrat’s stance in a post published less than an hour later, calling for US officials to send in troops to clear the crossing
‘This is a pivotal moment for our nation. The eyes of the world upon us right now, and what they are seeing is not who we are, this is not what Canada is about,’ said Ford at a briefing. ‘As a province, as a nation, we must collectively draw a line.’
‘We cannot have people occupying cities, holding them hostage, holding millions and millions of people hostage,’ he said. ‘To the occupiers: please, go home.’
The bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit, Michigan, is North America’s busiest international land border and usually carries more than $327 million of goods per day on over 8,000 trucks, accounting for 27 percent of the approximately $400 billion in annual trade between Canada and the US.
‘We are at an economic crisis in this moment because of this illegal blockade,’ Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, told CNN.
Ontario has since brought in more draconian rules to crack down on Freedom Convoy truckers – including vehicle seizures and fines – just days after honking was banned and after the US told Canada to use federal powers to end the blockade (pictured, the Ambassador Bridge blockade)
The liberal politician subsequently conceded that the truckers have a right to protest Canada’s vaccine mandate, but added that it should not come at the price of international commerce. She then called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to take urgent action to resolve the situation.
‘Protesters have a right to protest their government – they do not have a right to illegally block these international borders where we have so much commerce,’ she said.
‘So they have a right to protest they do not have a right to illegally block this this border crossing. And the Canadian government has to do whatever it takes to safely and swiftly resolve this.’
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed the ‘Freedom Convoy’ for its ‘illegal blockade’ of the Ambassador Bridge linking the United States and Canada, telling CNN the protesting truckers were causing an economic crisis in her state
The empty Ambassador Bridge is pictured on Thursday, looking toward Canada. Typically, 8,000 trucks cross the bridge every day
In Ottawa, the Canadian capital where the bulk of the displays have been held, a protester bangs gas cans together while yelling ‘Freedom’ on Thursday. Truckers are using their vehicles to block roads surrounding Parliament Hill in protest of COVID-19 mandates
Three crossings are now blockaded, with the Ambassador Bridge being the most key for trade
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens has similarly stepped up calls for the use of force to end the blockades, telling CNN that if ‘the protesters don’t leave, there will have to be a path forward.’
‘If that means physically removing them, that means physically removing them, and we’re prepared to do that,’ he said.
Similar blockades have also been formed in recent weeks in both Alberta and Manitoba.
Ford, the Conservative Ontario Premier who has called the protests an ‘occupation’, has reportedly authorized hefty fines, vehicle seizures, and the suspension of commercial licenses as tools to crack down on the protests.
Ford also moved to cut off funding for the protests by successfully asking a court to freeze $8.6 million in donations to the convoy through crowd-funding site GiveSendGo. The Christian fundraising site, based in the US, said in a statement that the Canadian court had no jurisdiction in the matter.
Canadian officials previously got GoFundMe to cut off funding after protest organizers used the site to raise about 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.8 million).
An aerial photo made with a drone shows the closed Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River that links the US and Canada between Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
The protest is causing traffic backups in Michigan and harming commerce
GoFundMe determined that the fundraising effort violated the site’s terms of service due to unlawful activity.
With pressure mounting, protesters in Windsor said Friday they were reopening a single lane on the Ambassador Bridge entering Canada as a purported show of good faith.
Biden and Trudeau are scheduled to speak directly on Friday during a virtual meeting with other NATO leaders on the situation in Ukraine, but it was unclear whether they also planned to discuss the ongoing US-Canada border blockade.
Biden and Trudeau are seen together in 2016. Biden’s administration is urging Trudeau’s government to use its federal powers to end the Freedom Convoy demonstrations blockading key border crossings
The White House on Thursday said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with their Canadian counterparts and urged them to help resolve the standoff. Details of the discussions were not immediately available.