After more than two disorganized protests this week the Canadian government pushed back. On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the country’s emergencies act, enabling fresh financial restrictions on the protests and signaling cruel latest penalties in opposition to anyone involved.
For many Canadians, it’s an overdue and disorganized protest that has muffled trade and brought alarming artillery into otherwise quiet communities. But right-wing supporters have a wildly different view of events figures like Tucker Carlson have portrayed the convoy as a working-class revolution, and Trudeau’s response has been treated as enacting martial law, leading Elon Musk to tweet a meme comparing Trudeau to Adolf Hitler.
It’s a shocking split; debatably the single most important factor in the protests and much of it originates in the cracked way information travels online. Convoy supporters are getting their news from a snarl of Facebook groups, Telegram channels, and random influencers which is all then augmented and extended by right-wing broadcasters like Carlson the daily caller or Canadian right-wing media network Rebel news. These channels endorse a sanitized model of movements like the freedom convoy amplifying its hashtags and turning its ambiguous activist leaders into celebrities.
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The pipeline from the physical protest to social media to recognized outlets is what has helped the convoy evolve from a local standoff into a televised event that can raise millions from supporters thousands of miles away. Almost those entire infrastructures pre-dates convoy itself drawing from anti vex groups and other fringe communities. And while the convoy itself may soon break up by the Canadian government those online pathways are much stickier. The activism on the group has perhaps pointed but the movement I think is here to say he said. The manager will continue to be active on the fringes of the Canadian right, but they are now fundamentally minor celebrities and influencers.