Podcast: antivax is fascist II

In Episode 103 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg, still suffering from possible COVID-19 symptoms, again notes how the radical right, including neo-Nazi elements, is in the vanguard of anti-vax and anti-mask protests, from Germany to Romania to England to Brooklyn. A virtual industry churns out relentless online disinformation that is easily refuted by anyone who makes the effort to break out of the confirmation-bias bubble. Contrary to the conspiranoid propaganda, COVID-19 deaths are actually being underestimated. The juvenile Nazi-baiting of the anti-vax machine is another example of the propaganda device of fascist pseudo-anti-fascism. Meanwhile, Tuskegee experiment survivors are encouraging vaccinations, and the Peoples Vaccine Alliance protests the actual crimes of Big Pharma—failing to make the vaccine available to Africa and the much of the Global South, in what has been decried as "vaccine apartheid." Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Production by Chris Rywalt

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Anti-vax is fascist: more evidence

Residents of cities and towns in several states across the country found anti-Semitic flyers outside their homes Jan. 23, stating: "Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish." The identical flyers identified key policy-makers related to the pandemic response as "JEWISH" (in red capital letters). The flyers were left in Denver, Miami, San Francisco and other cities. (CNN, NBC)

Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ vehicle for far right

The "Freedom Convoy" of Canadian truckers and their supporters has arrived in Ottawa for a mass rally against the vaccine mandate. AntiHate.ca writes that "if you look at its organizers and promoters, you’ll find Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, and incitements to violence." Prominent among these is Plaid Army vlogger Derek Harrison, who stated of the convoy: I would like to see our own January 6th event. See some of those truckers plow right through that 16ft wall." BBC News reports from an Ottawa paralyzed with trucks: "Police have started investigations after several incidents, including the appearance of swastika flags and footage of a woman dancing on the tomb of the unknown soldier." Social media posts show protesters brandishing Confederate and Nazi flags and banners with slogans such as "Don't Tread on Me" and "Trump Won." (More at Al Jazeera, Vancouver StraightJurist)

'Freedom Convoy' right-wing political agenda

The “Freedom Convoy” has now spent nearly a week occupying the streets surrounding Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The convoy now stands as a symbol for right-wing activists who seek an end to all COVID-related mandates. It had also amplified calls from some conservative Canadian politicians to move the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) further to the right.

The CPC appears to be listening. The center-right Erin O’Toole was ousted as party leader in a secret ballot Feb. 2 by a vote of 73 to 45; MAGA hat-wearing MP Candice Bergen was named interim leader of the CPC. Some of the front-runners for the position have endorsed the Convoy, while others have railed against their actions. The split among the MPs shows how divisive the protest has become for the now officially leaderless CPC. (Jurist)

What, no fascism here!

Pat King, who is listed as North Alberta contact on the website of convoy organizer Canada Unity and has been a prominent champion of the protests online, has called COVID a "man-made bioweapon" and claimed that international financiers seek to "depopulate the Anglo-Saxon race." He has said of lockdowns, "The only way that this is going to be solved is with bullets." (NYT, Global News)

Trudeau invokes Emergency Powers Act

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the rare step of declaring a national public order emergency Feb. 14 in a push to end protests that have paralyzed the center of the Canadian capital for more than two weeks and reverberated across the country. Invocation of the Emergencies Act allows the authorities to move aggressively to restore public order, including banning public assembly and restricting travel to and from specific areas. 

The Ambassador Bridge in Ontario, the most important commercial crossing between Canada and the US, reopened Feb. 13 after police intervened against protesters who had closed for a week. Protesters continue to close border crossings in Alberta and Manitoba. (NYT, The Suburban, Quebec)

Weapons seized in RCMP raid of trucker protest

Mounties in Alberta raided a trucker protest near the blockade of the Coutts border corssing, arresting more than dozen, and seizing several long guns, hand guns, ammunition and body armor. (Global News, Toronto Star) There is meanwhile much paranoia about the apparent theft of a gun-company truck in Ontario with a load of thousands of firearms. Freedom Convoy leaders are speculating the heist was actually instrumented by the authorities so the arms could be "planted" among protesters. (CTVDaily Mail)

Anti-vax is fascist: more evidence

Authorities are investigating the distribution of antisemitic and racist flyers in Colleyville, Texas, where a gunman took worshippers hostage at a synagogue last month. Colleyville is one of dozens of cities across the US that have reported similar distribution of flyers in recent weeks. One flyer claimed that "every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish," while another read, "Black lives murder white children." (NPR)

Canada appeals decision on Emergencies Act authority

The Canadian government announced Feb. 23 it wil file an appeal of a Federal Court judgement that found it acted illegally when responding to Freedom Convoy protests in 2022. That judgement held that the government’s invocation of the federal Emergencies Act in response to the protests exceeded its authority and violated some protesters’ constitutional rights. (Jurist)