Organizers of a so-called “Freedom Convoy” that paralyzed Ottawa for a month in February have announced a 2023 rally in Winnipeg.
Organizers announced plans to hold a “World Unity Convoy” in Winnipeg in a Facebook live video Dec. 25, from a page titled “Canada Unity.” They say the event will focus on “solutions for a better world for all Canadians,” inviting supporters to join them from February 17-21, 2023.
James Bauder, one of the organizers of the Ottawa 2022 convoy, said in the video that organizers chose Winnipeg because it’s in the center of the country.
Winnipeg’s Freedom Convoy protests saw heavy trucks and protesters occupy Broadway Avenue in front of the Legislature for nearly three weeks in February. The protests have been the subject of several noise complaints and reports of harassment.
Ottawa police chief swears there will be no repeat of last winter’s ‘freedom convoy’
Michael Kempa, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, says organizers said they were settling in for a set period of time — much like their recent announcement.
“We cannot be certain that this deadline will be met because it was not the last time,” he said.
Kempa says the group has used the pandemic as a way to advance this type of protest, which he says the group has been “triggering” for years.
“Given that we now see that most warrants no longer exist, we can be even more confident that this time around it has nothing to do with COVID-19, and it never really was the case. case in the first place,” he said.
In a statement to PKBNEWS, the Winnipeg Police Service said it was aware of online discussions about a group planning an event in Winnipeg in February, but had no further comment at this time.
A spokesperson for the provincial justice minister said in a statement that judicial authorities were gathering information about the event and that while Manitobans have the right to protest peacefully and lawfully, citizens also have the right to live free. significant disruptions and anyone who fails to comply with these rules would be referred to law enforcement.
Kempa says it’s important that Canadians keep their eyes on this movement because he says it hasn’t gone away since the convoys ended in February.
“Democracy, of course, requires vigilance, but it doesn’t require us to be nervous and overly panicked about what might happen to us,” he said.
PKBNEWS has contacted ‘Canada Unity’ but has not received a response at the time of writing.
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