A trucker sitting high up in his cab behind the wheel of a 10,000 pound vehicle was no match for four residents of Ottawa who have had enough of anti-vax protesters trashing their city and terrorizing their neighbors.
A photo of four people standing in the middle of a downtown Ottawa street to block a big truck is making the rounds on social media. The CBC caught up with three of the people who stood up to the protester, who described themselves as “ladies of a certain age.”
Marika Morris saw the picture of herself and her neighbors Lise Lebeau and Andrea Colbert circulating on social media, where she came forward with her story on Facebook.
That is me and my neighbours blocking the path of a convoy truck that slowly ambled its way down our street, honking, blocking all traffic, while a line of cars behind it also honked. They have been circling around residential downtown Ottawa streets all day, for the past three days. There are also some people yelling and now I hear a vuvuzela. Some of the trucks coming down the street sound like a locomotive, and it is very disruptive. We wanted to show them we do not support what they are doing.
I’m the one who made a thumbs down sign everytime the truck honked. Some unknown person took this picture and posted it to Reddit. He or she said “Three older ladies just blocked a small convoy led by a dump truck. They were fantastic and are my new heroes”
The people in the truck and a protester on foot recorded us on their cellphones, so I don’t know if that has been circulating. We also got yelled at by another bystander.
Truck horns blared in the background as the three women told CBC that the anti-vaccine mandate protesters clearly don’t care if their fellow Canadians who live in Ottawa feel safe or free:
“The driver got very mad and he was honking,” explained Lebeau, who said their impromptu blockade lasted only a few minutes before the women allowed the trucks to drive past.
“They got more belligerent, really aggressive, and were yelling at us,” said Colbert.
Morris said the vehicles blocked every entry and exit for emergency vehicles.
“I know they don’t care whether we live or die, but I certainly do care whether my neighbours live or die — so I wasn’t going to stand there for too long.”
Morris said she typically sees people walking dogs all hours of the day — but the street has been barren for days. She knows of at least one child who’s afraid to step outside, and says the vehicles are preventing some elderly residents from getting their prescription medications or grocery deliveries.
Morris said she was “choking on the way to the pharmacy” on vehicle exhaust fumes as they idled nearby. Lebeau, who has difficulty breathing, said she had to rely on her puffer more in the past few days.
The women also allege some people have defecated in the neighbourhood yards.
“They say they’re doing this for freedom? Well we don’t feel free, that’s for sure,” said Morris.
These women aren’t only brave for standing up to a bully, they’re brave for coming forward and identifying themselves. The person who took the photograph asked not to be named by the CBC for fear of reprisals.
I can see why these ladies took matters into their own hands, as police have been incredibly hesitant to protect the people of Ottawa. So far only two arrests have been made in connection with the protest, according to Ottawa Citizen, one was arrested for with carrying a gun to a public meeting and another for mischief under $5,000. Protesters even continue to block off an international border crossing between Coutts, Alberta and Sweetgrass, Montana. Officials denounced the blockage as “unlawful” but the blockage remains even after a protester tried to ram a RCMP officer as they broke through barricades in Coutts (though Mounties are making a second attempt to break up the blockade on Wednesday.) Compare the RCMP’s treatment of First Nation protesters just a few months ago who blocked an access road on their land to a pipeline who were cleared out after just four days with multiple arrests made.
Police say while they do have numerous investigations ongoing in connection to the protest, they are focusing on de-escalation while spending $800,000 a day to keep the peace. But when old ladies need to stand up to bullies in the streets for their fellow citizens, one has to wonder if that all that money is being put to good use.