Canadians were horrified when video footage of driving a car through pedestrians began to circulate over the Internet in Winnipeg’s protests. I couldn’t help but remember the scene where one person was killed and dozens were injured when James Alex Fields was involved in a crowded protest in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Thankfully, the Winnipeg attack injured four people, but none were killed.
David Alexander Zegalak is currently being charged with criminal charges and detained. We may not know his motive for driving his jeep through a crowd of peaceful protesters in Winnipeg on the night of February 4th. That dangerous event is a sign of Canada’s increasingly tense atmosphere as anti-mandate protests continue to grow across the country while legacy media and political leaders continue to abuse demonstrators. As pressure continues to rise, more unstable people may be encouraged to take extreme actions.
We know that Zegarac is not a representative of those who oppose the truck convoy protests. Responsible people do not label large, identifiable groups based on the behavior of individuals at remote locations. If we now have responsible leadership in Canada. Instead, the protesters are hateful because some offensive flags have appeared in the crowd, despite all the signs that the Truckers for Freedom convoy was very peaceful and respectful. I tried to portray it as probably violent.
A common denominator for those who commit hate crimes is that they do not consider victims to be human. They are convinced of some personal advantage over what they are targeting, and they often think that their illness behavior makes the world a better place. Most of these kinds of people limit their sneaky ideology to spitting hatred on the Internet, or to do trivial vandalism and graffiti at midnight. Unfortunately, some of these people can be completely free if provoked and stimulated. Then they can be dangerous.
It is undeniable that Tracker’s protests for freedom are experiencing a swell of support from Canadians. They may not represent the majority of Canadians, but obviously they represent millions. It should make them a clear group of some sort, and even if they do not agree, at least efforts should be made by our political leaders and legacy media to respect them. Instead, we only see efforts to insult them and insult them.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out and labeled the protesters as racists, misogynists, and extremists, he consciously and dangerously picked out the group and downplayed it. .. Instead of calming, respecting and keeping the situation calm, Trudeau poured gasoline into the fire as he witnessed a series of unprecedented and unified protests across the country. Then he started hiding.
History reiterates how irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric from political leadership drives people at the extreme ends of the idealistic spectrum into dangerous behaviour, right or left. I have shown it. Fortunately, Trudeau’s words did not seem to have influenced many extreme behaviors.
At least not yet.
Fringe within the Truckers for Freedom convoy can be inspiring to the extreme if the ongoing campaign of slander against them continues. Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in all major cities in Canada. There were no riots, burns or assaults. However, as these demonstrations continue, frustrated and unstable individuals may feel forced to become extreme. How many demonizations do we expect when they take? Of course, any of their actions will result from the majority of demonstrators leading to even more confusion.
It is incredible that so many people participated in so many protests in such a peaceful way. Wouldn’t it be great if you could go through this entire chapter of Canadian history without major violence or death?
It is clear that the protesters will not give up immediately. Trudeau doesn’t have to come out and meet them, but he needs to listen and treat them with respect. Leaders do not ridicule or divide their people during times of crisis. They work to inspire, unite and exacerbate dangerous situations. Let’s hope Trudeau understands this before things get ugly.
The dangerous incident in Winnipeg was a warning shot. It should serve as an awakening call to our political and media leaders that the tone of our discourse needs to be turned into one of respect and potential compromises.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.