GUELPH POLITICAST #361 – The Convoy Was the End of the Beginning

Thursday marks one-year since the official end of the “Freedom Convoy”, a series of protests against COVID protection measures, vaccine mandates and lockdowns that paralyzed downtown Ottawa and border crossings at Windsor and Coutts for weeks. Yes, the Convoy flamed out, but the complex web of thoughts and ideas behind the Convoy are still out there.

The images from the Freedom Convoy, especially in the Ottawa Capital Region around Parliament Hill, are pretty indelible. You might think about the appearance of Nazi regalia or the party atmosphere with people in hot tubs, or people moving around jerry cans filled with diesel, or trucks and vehicles running all hours of the day. Still, the average Canadian had no idea how the Freedom Convoy came about, or how online radicalization turned into full blown civil disturbance I.R.L.

This week, we’re joined by a few of the people connecting those dots at the Canadian Institute for Far-Right Studies, an independent think tank dedicated to the critical study of the far-right in Canada. This panel includes Dr. Luc Cousineau, the co-director of research who studies gender and power; Dr. Amy Mack, the other co-director of research who focuses on how social media radicalizes people into entho-nationalism and white supremacy; and Kathleen Mah, a research fellow investigating critical public health and anti-mask groups.

This distinguished panel joins us to talk about their immediate academic reaction to the Convoy, and how they’ve been tracking the groups and leaders after the Convoy was broken up a year ago. They will also discuss how we can use education without being accused of indoctrination, and how real problems feed into far-right extremism without presenting any real solutions, And finally, they will talk about the responsibility that politicians have in spreading information whether they’re pro- or anti-Convoy.

So let’s talk about the future of the Convoy, even if there is no Convoy, on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about the Canadian Institute for Far-Right Studies at their website, or on Twitter. You can read the report from the Public Inquiry into the 2022 Public Order Emergency at their website, and we will be discussing it on this week’s Open Sources Guelph on Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple, StitcherGoogle, TuneIn and Spotify .

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Photo By Adrian Wyld of the Canadian Press.

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