This weekend, a convoy of protesters, including truckers and those opposed to mandatory vaccine passports, reached Ottawa after days of a cross-country tour from British Columbia to the capital. Parts of Canada’s Jewish community agree with the protesters—however, their goodwill hit pause after scenes emerged of a swastika flag, among other racist emblems, waving from within the convoy.
The main spokesperson for the truckers is Benjamin Dichter, a Jewish activist from Toronto. When asked specifically about the swastika, he brushed the question off: “People troll, do stupid things, whatever. Who cares?”
Dichter couldn’t be interviewed in time for this episode of The CJN Daily podcast—we hope to speak with him this week. Instead, today we’ll hear from Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman, who is sympathetic to the convoy’s cause but livid about the displays of antisemitism, as well as Andrea Freedman, president of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa.
What we talked about:
- Watch the trucker convoy’s live stream on YouTube
- Watch the clip of the spokesperson’s press conference on YouTube
- Swastikas and other symbols of hate displayed at Ottawa protest aren’t just offensive—they’re dangerous, says Andrea Freedman, CEO of Ottawa’s Jewish Federation
- Learn more about the veteran Marvin Gord who walked miles for Baycrest at benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network; find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.