Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Public Employee Union-led Counter Protest Against Freedom Convoy Flies Hammer and Sickle Flag

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 13, 2022
A Freedom Convoy counter protest organized by a major federal employee labor union and supported by establishment media and elected politicians flew the communist hammer and sickle flag of blood.
The hammer and sickle flag, a symbol of communism and the Communist Party, flies during a counter protest against the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation organized by the Public Services Alliance of Canada union and other labor unions on Feb. 12. (Image: Twitter screenshot)

A weekend counter protest against the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation organized by a major union of federal employees openly showcased the Communist Party’s hammer and sickle flag of blood. 

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.”

“There are also flags of unions including the main federal public service union,” she added. 

The same day, Rebel News founder and frontman Ezra Levant, a former Sun News columnist, posted a 1 minute and 42 second video of the counter protesters while being organized by a man with a megaphone, revealing the open affiliation with major labor unions. 

“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 utilized victim narrative verbiage to frame the Convoy in a light most suitable for the rally’s purposes, “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.”

House of Commons leader for the NDP, one of Canada’s socialist parties that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government relies on to survive no-confidence motions and pass legislation, MP Peter Julian, posted a video of the counter protest attributing the crowd to concerned citizens, lauding the initiative as superior to the Freedom Convoy.

“#Ottawa steps up with a far bigger counter protest than the far-right is able to muster. Without their massive trucks, and buildings, the #Omicronvoy is a rather smallish protest by city standards. Residents have had enough. #TruckersGoHome,” he stated.

A number of posts by the Ottawa Communists twitter account, which declares itself the megaphone of the Ottawa Rosa Luxemburg Club of  the Communist Party of Canada, tagged PSAC, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Horizon Ottawa in tweets declaring Freedom Convoy and its supporters a fascist movement..

In a second tweet by one anon user, two additional captures of the recognizable hammer and sickle and another blood red flag featuring the icon and additional lettering was posted the same day. 

“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.

However, 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 in a same-day article coined Ottawa-Area Residents Rally To Urge Police To Take Action, End Truck Protest featuring 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.”

Duffy not only relied on quotes from individuals attending the event who called on the government to deploy the military to crush the Freedom Convoy occupation in order to support his outlet’s narrative, but directly quoted 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 utilization of the media to frame Freedom Convoy and its participants as extreme and bigoted has proven a highly effective tactic to fracture the occupation’s support.

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.”