Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Trucks and farming equipment gathered outside of Ottawa on Saturday. Source: Facebook
Vehicles once again took to the streets of Ottawa, this time in a “slow-roll” protest that saw crowds of people gathered outside the Dutch embassy in Ottawa. In this most recent turn, the “convoy” protest movement has aligned itself with a group of farmers in the Netherlands. Protesters waved both Canadian and Dutch flags as Canada’s “Freedom” movement attempted to tie itself closer to a European protest about incoming environmental regulations placed on the country’s agricultural regulations.
Marching from the Dutch embassy to the National War Memorial and then to Parliament Hill, reports place roughly 150 to 200 protesters in attendance. Part of a larger “Move As One” protest organized by Canadian Freedom Fighters, protests took place in and around multiple cities across the country.
In response, the Ottawa Police Service closed a number of highway exits in an attempt to stymie the flow of slow-moving vehicles that preceded the march.
After the Dutch government announced new legislation to curb nitrogen emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, a group of farmers reacted by forming blockades and using disruptive tactics not all that dissimilar to what was seen on the streets of Ottawa in January and February.
On Saturday, July 23, the demonstrators gathered in the suburb of Kanata, and began a “slow roll” line of vehicles headed downtown.
“We are seeing some farm equipment enter the city,” the Ottawa Police Service said on Saturday. “We want to remind everyone that in Ontario, you cannot drive farm equipment on a Highway like the 417 and 416 unless there is no other access to the farmland you are working on, and the land must adjoin to a 400-series Highway.”
Also spotted in attendance were individuals wearing the symbol of the Farfadaas, a biker-styled street protest organization that formed during the pandemic. Farfadaas is run by Steeve “l’Artiss” Charland, a former senior member of the Islamophobic La Meute.
Police maintained a “vehicle exclusion zone” around Parliament Hill. According to Ottawa by law enforcement, by 6:30 pm on Saturday, a total of 12 vehicles were towed and 103 parking tickets were issued to those involved in the action. The Ottawa Police Service said that one person had been arrested and charged with obstruction and mischief.
Support Actions Across Canada
Far from being the only Canadian city to see protesters align with the Dutch cause, similar protests took place in Regina, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and more across the country.
Notable at these events was the heavy presence of Dutch flags at the protest sites, flanked by signs of support.
At a meeting area outside Regina, former People’s Party of Canada candidate and live streamer Mark Friesen posted a video stating why he was supporting those in the Netherlands.
Screenshot taken from Mark Friesen’s own recording of an interview with CTV News during the protest outside of Regina over the weekend. Source: Facebook
“We’re just getting ready to do a slow roll to Regina. We want to create awareness in support of the Dutch farmers. Dutch farmers are being decimated with government policy,” Friesen said “It’s not even Dutch policy, it’s international policy coming from the UN sustainability agenda. So that policy is going to decimate Dutch farmers. That same policy is going to be applied here in Canada.”
He added later, “this isn’t just about the farmers,” but stated they were a big element of why he was attending, and that he would like to see the premiers start to take a larger stand against Ottawa’s policies.
Footage shows some of the Dutch protesters waving Canadian flags, as well as Canadians living or travelling abroad, participating in the marches and actions taking place in Europe. During the Ottawa blockades in Winter 2022, it is notable that the Netherlands and France both experienced street action by protesters focusing on objections to COVID-19 mandates and vaccinations. Many credited Canada as the inspiration for these protests – though the Dutch iteration did not reach the same level of participation or disruption the country is now facing.
Other convoy protests that followed the actions in Ottawa also include the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.