As Convoy Escalates to Economic Terrorism, Internal Cracks Begin Forming

As the “Freedom Convoy” occupiers illegally seize the Ambassador Bridge, cracks are beginning to form internally.

The hostage situation in Canada seems to be getting worse. The foreign funded occupiers who are still funnelling cash seems to be fuelling their operations further. The police are continuing to not enforce the rule of law which is also emboldening them further.

With these forces at play, the mob decided earlier to expand their territory and seize the Ambassador Bridge – a major economic artery that is responsible for an estimated 25% of trade flowing between Canada and the US. While many had hoped that the privately run bridge would see a swift response, none seems to be forthcoming. The new escalation in the Convoys siege is intended to sabotage the economic stability of Canada, putting lives and livelihoods at further risk. As a result, the Convoy has escalated to the point of meeting the definition of economic terrorism.

Currently, authorities are either talking or simply not doing much of anything to curb this dramatic escalation. As a result, the Canadian government is proving more and more that they are simply unable to respond to a foreign terrorist operation.

Naturally, though, when a disruption that costs an estimated $400 million per day, business is going to take notice. The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement calling for the immediate reopening of the bridge:

The below listed business associations issued the following statement regarding the closing of the Ambassador Bridge today amid protesting blockades.

“Business associations on both sides of the border are calling for a swift and immediate clearing of the Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge blockade and a timely re-opening of the bridge. The group also urges the federal, provincial, state, and local governments to work collaboratively to deliver rapid solutions to the illegal blockages of traffic, which now include the Ambassador bridge and the crossing between Coutts, Alberta and Sweet Grass, Montana.

The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest trade crossing in North America and a vital enabler of our two economies. Given the importance of ensuring that the supply of food, medical products and industrial goods can continue, the disruption at the Ambassador Bridge is an attack on the well-being of our citizens and the businesses that employ them.

As our economies emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we cannot allow any group to undermine the cross-border trade that supports families on both sides of the border.

We stand ready to provide whatever assistance may be required to expedite a speedy re-opening of the Ambassador Bridge.”

Meanwhile, the Ambassador Bridge owner is also calling for the re-opening of the bridge. From iHeart Radio:

Full statement from Matt Moroun:

International commerce needs to resume. The Ambassador Bridge and the Moroun family sympathize with truck drivers and those caught up in this blockade. We recognize that truck drivers are essential workers that work hard to deliver necessities to all of us, and that the Canadian government has done a tremendous job with vaccine rates. The Ambassador Bridge has a solemn obligation to facilitate safe and efficient international trade and travel. We encourage the appropriate officials to take prompt action to alleviate the situation as quickly as possible in a manner that reflects mutual respect.

Dollar after dollar continues to be lost and businesses know that it is entirely the fault of the so-called “Freedom Convoy”. As such, as time goes on, more pressure will mount for action to resolve the issue. Currently, the US says that they are monitoring the situation and communicating with the Canadian government, but that pressure to finally deal with the occupiers will only continue to grow.

While the occupiers are currently putting on a brave face, Freezenet has become aware of the fact that cracks are beginning to form internally. Communications heard by Freezenet suggests that manpower is growing increasingly thin thanks to the expansion of their territory. Some occupiers were asking about where the “reinforcements” are only to be told that none are coming as of yet. One leader has openly called on their US counterparts to send more manpower. It’s unclear how many right wing extremists will show up physically, but given the huge volumes of cash flowing in from the US, it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise that American’s could show up to join the siege.

Morale is also apparently running low. Real truckers are apparently growing increasingly frustrated and are growing less tolerant of the occupiers, hurling insults at them as time goes on.

What’s more is that cohesion is becoming problematic. Throughout yesterday, one lane re-opened only to close hours later only to re-open again and close back up again. Internally, this sounds like it was the result of arguments over what the appropriate action should be throughout the day.

Another problem is the possibility that COVID-19 is beginning to spread throughout the occupiers ranks. Wastewater analysis suggests that COVID-19 saw an uptick when the convoy arrived. From the Ottawa Citizen:

After weeks of steady decline, Ottawa’s wastewater signal — considered the most accurate reading of how much COVID-19 is in the community — took a sharp turn upward last weekend as thousands of vaccine mandate protesters came to the city.

“It was really coming down, but Friday and Saturday it stopped going down and started creeping up. On Sunday, it went up quite a bit,” said uOttawa engineering professor Rob Delatolla who is part of a team that developed the process of detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater.

Internal communications suggest that organizers are trying to figure out how to deal with the appearance of the virus from within. The problem is, given the nature of how the virus is spread, it is currently far too late to even consider containing it. Given the wild parties earlier on with people giving each other hugs, being in tightly packed spaces without a mask in sight, chances are, numerous occupiers are now infected. Symptoms are only just now starting to appear and it is more than possible that, if the virus has been running rampant all this time, the number of people experiencing symptoms is only going to rise as well.

Chances are, though, the occupiers will try and hide the deadly disease as much as possible. Given how so much of their messaging revolves around the lack of any need for masks or mandates, the idea that COVID-19 is getting a grip on the occupiers would further destroy their messaging (if there was any credibility to their messaging in the first place that is).

Witnesses to the protest say that Ivermectin, a fake COVID-19 cure that does nothing to treat or prevent the virus, is being sold on the streets of Ottawa under the premise of it being a preventative measure. Other witnesses have reported that the mood among the occupiers is growing increasingly less festive in the last day or so.

Some occupiers expressed surprise that causing this much mayhem in Ottawa isn’t winning over the hearts and minds of citizens living in the area. While the apparent ceasing of blowing horns late at night has helped ease some of the tensions between Canadian citizens and the occupiers, tensions are still described as at a boiling point.

Another report is suggesting that the occupiers are now using children as human shields in an effort to further frustrate any potential law enforcement operation. From CTV:

Ottawa police say about a quarter of vehicles parked in downtown Ottawa as part of the trucker protests have children living in them, and authorities are worried for their safety.

Deputy Chief Steve Bell told reporters Tuesday that 25 per cent of the more than 400 trucks occupying the downtown core have children living inside.

“It’s something that greatly concerns us,” he said. “From the risk of carbon monoxide and fumes, the noise levels … we’re concerned about cold, we’re concerned about access to sanitation, the ability to shower.”

Bell said it’s something police need to address, and they’re having discussions with the Children’s Aid Society about what steps to take.

“We’re not at the stage of looking to do any sort of enforcement activity around that,” Bell added. “We’ll rely on the Children’s Aid Society to give us guidance around that.

Health is rumoured to be deteriorating in the area. With two weeks of the constant burning of fuel on the city streets, air quality seems to be affecting people’s health. Occupiers are apparently enlisting their own health “experts” to try and deal with these affects as well.

While the situation on the streets and internal communications seems to be getting worse these days, the situation online is taking quite a negative turn for them as well. GiveSendGo, a major source for American’s funnelling cash into Canada after GoFundMe shut down their page, suffered a major data leak. It exposed the photographs, names, and other personal details of people who donated through that method. From TechCrunch:

TechCrunch was tipped off to the data lapse after a person working in the security space found an exposed Amazon-hosted S3 bucket containing over 50 gigabytes of files, including passports and driver licenses that were collected during the donation process.

The researcher said they found the web address for the exposed bucket by viewing the source code of the Freedom Convoy’s webpage on GiveSendGo.

S3 buckets are used for storing files, documents or even entire websites in Amazon’s cloud but are set to private by default, and require a multi-step process before a bucket’s contents can be made public for anyone to access.

The exposed bucket had over a thousand photos and scans of passports and driver licenses uploaded since February 4, when the Freedom Convoy’s page was first set up on GiveSendGo. The filenames suggest that the identity documents were uploaded during the payments process, which some financial institutions require before they can process a person’s payment or donation.

It is unclear if anyone else managed to access this trove of information, but we do know that the information was available for anyone who was smart enough to snap it up early before the security vulnerability was patched. Still, if there is law enforcement that will eventually work on an investigation into this illegal occupation, the data leak could be a trove of evidence of people’s involvement.

Between large businesses demanding action, the COVID-19 concerns, the other health concerns, the thinning of manpower, the lowering of morale, and the online data leak, the capturing of a major bridge may be the only thing going right for the occupiers currently. While it may be cold comfort to Canadian citizens that cracks are only just forming on the inside of the occupiers movement (given that they are still being held hostage), there are signs that their momentum may actually be slowing down for the time being.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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