The Communist Party’s hammer and sickle banner of blood was prominently displayed at a weekend counter-protest against the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation organized by a major federal employee union.
National Post columnist Rupa Subramanya tweeted an image of a crowd of counter protestors carrying the flag on Feb. 12, “Notice the communist hammer and sickle flag. For those who suffered under communism, including those who died in the gulags, this is a hateful flag,” she stated.”
“Who would march to keep the lockdowns? If you want to lock yourself down, feel free. But who would march to lock down their neighbors?” Levant asked.
“Look at their flags: PSAC, the government workers union. They never missed a pay cheque. In fact, they got a raise.”
The PSAC describes itself on its website as an entity whose members, “Work for federal government departments and agencies, Crown Corporations, universities, casinos, community services agencies, Aboriginal communities, airports, and the security sector among others.”
The notion that the Public Service Alliance of Canada organized the event, as espoused by Levant, appears to be correct. In a Facebook Events post, Horizon Ottawa, PSAC National Capital Region, and Free Transit Ottawa all organized a “Community Solidarity and March” set for Feb. 12 at 1:00 p.m. in Lansdowne Park.
“A coalition of local labour unions, community organizations and residents will be holding a rally this Saturday in solidarity with frontline workers and Ottawa residents affected by the occupation,” stated the post.
Organizers claimed, “We have serious concerns about how governments have handled the pandemic, but we say no to how the far right is mobilizing discontent.”
It then used victim narrative language to portray the Convoy in a light most suitable for their own rally “We shouldn’t be afraid to walk down the street in our own neighbourhoods. It’s time to build a real working class movement that can defend our communities and our rights.”
MP Peter Julian, the House of Commons leader for the NDP, one of Canada’s far left socialist parties on which Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government relies to survive no-confidence motions and pass legislation, posted a video of the counter protest, attributing the crowd to concerned citizens and praising the initiative as superior to the Freedom Convoy.
“I loved seeing the communist flags 😂,” stated the user.
Despite Canada’s establishment, one voice media having extensively covered an instance of an unknown individual carrying a Nazi flag at a Jan. 30 Freedom Convoy event, today’s showcase of the Communist Party’s banner appears to have gone entirely unreported.
In a same-day article titled Ottawa-Area Residents Rally To Urge Police To Take Action, End Truck Protest, Andrew Duffy of Postmedia conglomerate Ottawa Sun, a supposedly conservative media outlet, used his position to frame the counter protest as if it represented citizens, with a lead photo of a man carrying a sign that said “Free Dumb Protest.”
The article’s lede set the desired tone, “Ottawa’s silent, impatient majority took to the streets Saturday to urge police to put an end to the occupation of the city’s downtown, now into its third weekend of law-defying mirth and mayhem.”
In order to promote his outlet’s narrative, Duffy not only relied on quotations from attendees who called on the government to deploy the military to destroy the Freedom Convoy occupation, but he also directly referenced PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for the National Capital Region Alex Silas.
“This convoy does not represent workers or working-class values…Truckers are right now are delivering goods all over the country: They’re not in downtown Ottawa terrorizing our community,” said Silas in a rhetorical statement.
The use of the media to portray Freedom Convoy and its members as extreme and bigoted has proven to be a highly effective strategy to damage the convoys support.
A article posted by Vision Times says According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, the media’s coverage of the Nazi flag carrier was able to alienate 24 percent of a 1,000 respondent survey, who answered in the affirmative that “they’d consider joining the truck protest if a small fringe group had not raised Nazi flags and shown their intolerance and racism.”