“Vile, violent, and hateful”: Leaders denounce Nazi, Confederate flags at Ottawa protest (PHOTOS)
Don’t call it a “trucker’s protest” at this point.
The so-called “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa this weekend has attracted demonstrators flying Nazi and Confederate flags.
In photos shared to social media, many were calling out the use of symbols of hate in a peaceful protest.
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“While we are concerned with the small group of agitators displaying the swastika, we are mortified that other protesters allowed it to continue,” said CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa in a release Andrea Freedman.
“Good people remaining silent is a necessary precursor to evil taking root.”
More from Ottawa.
This movement has nothing to do with truckers.
I don’t know a single trucker that would support this. 👇#cdnpoli #FreedomConvoy2022 pic.twitter.com/SzU4nsEhtp
— Mark Gerretsen 🇨🇦 (@MarkGerretsen) January 29, 2022
“The only way to get these toxic ideologies to crawl back under the rock they slipped out from is for all Canadians to roundly and unambiguously reject and condemn these symbols of hatred,” said Freedman.
“The pernicious nature of antisemitism is that it morphs and becomes a convenient hook for all manner of grievance, real or imagined.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the reports of racist displays “vile, violent, and hateful.”
The display of racism and anti-Semitism we witnessed by the flying of Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas is vile, violent and hateful.
MPs who attended and failed to confront it should look into a mirror and ask themselves what kind of Canada they’re building for our children.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) January 30, 2022
While Ottawa Police have yet to give an official estimate of crowd sizes, a few thousand protesters have brought gridlock and incessant honking to the city.
With an estimated 90% of Canadian truckers reportedly vaccinated and protesters being disavowed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, many of the protesters in Ottawa have no connection to the trucking industry.
My friend who works on Elgin just sent me this photo. Yes, that is a confederate flag. In case you had any doubts about the intentions of this racist convoy. Stay safe, friends. #ottcity #SomersetWard pic.twitter.com/xfZ38wbl6t
— ArielTroster (she/her) (@ArielTroster) January 28, 2022
It takes a lot to get me angry. Stealing food from the homeless, dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, desecrating Terry Fox’s memory, flying Nazi and Confederate flags in my province and at the nation’s capital… Yeah, I’m angry and I know you are too.#onpoli #cdnpoli
— Steven Del Duca (@StevenDelDuca) January 30, 2022
So far, protesters have reportedly harassed people at a soup kitchen, defaced monuments, and been emboldened to display symbols of hatred.
The protest is expected to last through the weekend, with police expecting some protesters to remain in the city the following week.