The Battle of Billings Bridge Briefing Bingo

Okay, Possums. We’re here. We’re caffeinated. We’re ready. We’re bloody well tired of waiting around, watching fascists fasc, aren’t we?

Fascists don’t arrest fascists. Professional courtesy.

You goddam bet your sweet bippy we are. Riverside is ready to rumble. Byward Market is boiling. Kanata is cantankerous. Greely is grumbling. Sandy Hill is sulking. Tunney’s Pasture is anything but pastoral. Centretown has shifted to Radical Leftsville. Hintonburg, well, it’s done with hinting and has gone to flat-out ultimatums. The Glebe is…considering a strongly-worded letter to the editor. THAT is how bad things have gotten in Ottawa.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

After three solid weeks of inaction, cajoling (hey, they’ve Got Your Backs, doncha know), capitulation, and even collaboration, the various levels of government responsible for Ottawa have decided that perhaps, just perhaps, it might be time to do something.

And that thing? is not to collaborate with the insurrectionists’ demand that the Governor General dissolve Parliament and form a new government with them.

Much to their surprise.

No indeedy. And it wasn’t a sudden influx of troops that’s given the government all these stainless steel clackers in the legpit region, either.

It was us.

It was, to be more specific, the people of the counter-protest at the traffic bottleneck known as Billings Bridge, which is an actual physical bridge as well as a strangely depressing shopping mall. I think it’s the food court. But anyway.

Here’s where it got its start, as a Clash with the Fash that will ring throughout history.

Several of the convoyageurs have been wont to go out on a daily scenic drive of the neighborhoods around their encampment downtown, honking and begging for attention. They used to come by my place at 2 every day tooting their little horns (it was generally one or two actual trucks and a buncha pickups and minivans) until it finally dawned on them that nobody ever honked back. The saddest little parade it was. I was gonna put up a sign that said “Honk if you love Trudeau” but they never came back.

Anyhoodle, the people of Billings Bridge and environs weren’t about to put up with that, so emboldened by the unified action of the dog walkers (oh, those troublemakers! radical lefties of the personal-services industry if ever there were such) the people of Billings Bridge (and environs, don’t forget the environs, we don’t want them to feel marginalized) rose up as one, or rather as several hundred, and blockaded the convoy.

We go to our reporter on the ground. Well, we hope our reporter didn’t hit the ground. We hope they typed this from an ergonomic chair in a cozy home office.

citizen/counter protesters turned the tables on the occupiers and pinned a long line of them on riverside drive. cops attempted to get (us) to let them through on the promise that they wouldn’t allow them to go downtown. But trust in the local police is shredded and no one budged.

morning turned to afternoon on this frigid sunday as the crowd swelled. pizzas and a sound system were brought in and i as well as most of us around the city i’m sure experienced something that felt like catharsis – a small victory.

eventually after some negotiating, citizens were allowing one truck at a time to pass through (on the outskirts) provided they removed their flags from their truck first lol. you love to see it.

across the city pockets of citizens, fed up with the non -response from the cops and political leaders, took to key intersections and turned away the occupiers in numbers. my retweeting thumb is practically sore from signal boosting.

what fucking choice do we have here – they’re forcing the closure of grocery stores in the core, people can’t get food, they’ve attempted to burn down a building, some are losing count of the amount of times they’ve been harassed. we’re heading into the third week and the people of this town have had enough, many are sleep deprived. AHK.

don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder to be an ottawan.

if it warms closer to zero this week, you bet your ass I’ll be making my way to any nearby intersection that needs bodies to block out the fash.

if they’re still here.

onward and upward!

Taking Heed

Some visuals, for the visually inclined.

Awww, Karen’s freedumbs have been interfered with. No more Confederate flags! No more Nazi symbols. Just allow me to note that both the Confederates and the Nazis lost. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Here’s the blow-by-blow from the eminently follow-worthy @CanadianOsprey:

And his thoughts collected by ThreadappReader:

Been reviewing my pics of “Battle of Billings Bridge” today. Struck by images of entitled insurrectionist couples in Lincoln’s, SUVs and pickups who just had most shocking & humiliating day of their lives. 1/
They started day with their freedumb, racist and anti-democratic symbols and play-acting camo thinking that they’d invade DT Ottawa once again for the 🎊 Sunday Party 🎉 on Wellington. 2/
When they were first delayed by #HerosofRiverside they naturally assumed that @OttawaPolice would once again facilitate their journey. 3/
Citizens of Ottawa were having none of it; refused to back down; rolled their eyes when police said “you need to trust us … we’re trying to protect you”. 4/
Result was those entitled asshats spent a very long day being educated on democracy, community, science, public health, anti-social behaviour and importance of protecting the most vulnerable all while sitting stone-faced in their cabs under a beautiful blue winter sky. 5/
In midst of a basic civics lesson which should never have to be given to adults they were also subjected to endless shaming, vilification, mockery and taunting. 6/
Eventually after they’d taken down all their offensive gear (incl Maple Leaf flags which these terrorists have appropriated) and given up their gas cans they were allowed to slowly retreat. A few were left with mementoes. 7/ Image
All plates and occupants were captured on pictures and videos including those who tried for a while to hide behind their hands or shawls. 8/
I’ve decided not to post photos of these pathetic souls hoping that a few of them will have been so shaken by today’s events that they’ll go home to question the many wrong decisions that led them to Billings Bridge. 9/
I am however under zero illusions. Today was an exhilarating event that reinvigorated this Centretowner. But it was a minor skirmish in what will end up being a long battle for future of a democratic nation based on an imperfect constitution and rule of law.

Mark Davidson (CanadianOsprey) on Twitter via Threadapp Reader

Now that we know what went down yesterday among The Actual People, we can mention that their Public Servants met and that’s resulted in today’s result, whatever that will be.

Although it will be the Emergency Measures Act.

Anyhoodle, here’s our video from CPAC, with 1484 watching, about ten times as many as usually tune in right on time (since he’s ALWAYS late) although after it finished fewer than 6,000 people had seen it, much lower than I expected:

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks and responds to questions from reporters. The federal government is invoking the federal Emergencies Act in an effort to address ongoing convoy protests that have affected border crossings and cities across the country. The prime minister is joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as well as ministers David Lametti (justice) Marco Mendicino (public safety) and Bill Blair (emergency preparedness).

And our Bingo cards:

Let’s do this.

Mark Grey Suit, Mask, On Location, and CBC cadence squares. OH MY GOD black shoes with the suit, thank the lord above and all the cordwainers. I loathe brown shoes with a blue or grey suit. It’s unacceptably “Fancy a hike between backgammon and cocktails, Old Sport?”

Trudeau discusses the opening of the Ambassador Bridge, and gives shoutout to the RCMP. He says there are clear limits to law enforcement’s ability to enforce the law as things stand.

He’s invoked the Emergencies Act, as predicted. Police will be given more tools to deal with blockades, occupations, and elsewhere. The government will designate essential locations and services.

We cannot and will not enable the illegal activities to continue.

They’re also going after the money. And they’ll enable the RCMP to enforce provincial and municipal laws, ie Ottawa police is just a lame duck.

Trudeau says he’s not calling in the military, limiting people’s freedom of speech or peaceful assembly or their right to protest legally. Trudeau says “the act is to be used sparingly and as a last resort.” and this would be that resort. And he stresses repeatedly that this will be congruent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mark your Strenuous Nod square from Freeland, as usual. And also Reiterates The Border Remains Closed. Mark “finds a new way to give Canadians money” for the new money for downtown Ottawa.

There’s Covid Fatigue in spades.

Mark the Ukraine square and the impied Shades Russia square. I really don’t have any squares for “Basically goes toe to toe with Russia alongside half the UN”.

And now over to Freeland. I detest this simultaneous translation. Guess my French has gotten better. Both Freeland and Trudeau frame the occupation and blockades as anti-economy. The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge impacts roughly $390,000,000 in daily trade. She calls the blockades out as anti-worker, anti-Canada, anti-economic security.

On a lighter note, mark your “Pearls” square, of course.

Oooh, they’re broadening money laundering laws so they cover crowdfunding and cryptocurrency explicitly, thanks specifically to the occupation’s actions. All crowdfunders MUST register with FINTRAC and report large donations to FINTRAC. And they must cooperate with law enforcement. Canadian financial institutions can temporarily cease providing services where they think the accounts are being used to support illegal occupations. And they’re being asked to report to the RCMP or CSIS any accounts they suspect; they can freeze or suspend them without a court order.

And the government can seize your car, truck, trailer, or minivan. “It’s all about following the money. Consider yourselves warned. If your truck is used in these blockades, your corporate accounts will be frozen.”

Freeland says we are facing a threat to our economy, our peace, and our democratic system of government. And she’s not wrong. That was its intended purpose.

On a completely frivolous note, Freeland and Trudeau couldn’t be more different as members of the corps de Parliament, ie People Who Stand In The Background. Freeland cannot stand still, and Trudeau hasn’t moved once.

Unless I miss my guess, Canada essentially now has the strongest money laundering laws in North America and maybe in the G7.

Now we’re on to Questions: first from CBC about the premiers who say they don’t want the Emergency Measures Act invoked in their provinces. Trudeau says he appreciates their thoughts but these measures are geographically specific, targeted. Not blanket powers. “Tools that can be used where and when necessary.”

That CBC question sets him up perfectly for “We’re all exhausted, in this together, keeping Canadians safe (3x)” BOOM! Trudeau says these illegal blockades are hurting Canada. They’re hurting Canadians. And mark Every Step Of The Way.

I don’t have a square for Avoids Shading Premiers, do I? Because he’s trying very hard to do that. Maybe he’s hoping they just die soon. That would be my approach.

He repeatedly stresses the powers of the Act are time-limited and geo-specific. He repeatedly stresses the powers of the Act are time-limited and geo-specific. Framing this as “tools we’ve provided to police services across the country” rather than government powers.

Good followup question: what took you so long, basically. Trudeau says it’s not something to take lightly. mark From The Very Beginning. And if I had a square for Shades Ottawa Muni Government and Police, you’d mark it. Mark From the Very Beginning again, that’s four times I think.

POINTED question about “what makes you think the Ottawa Police can get their shit together now” and I may be paraphrasing. The response from Bill Blair is basically “Well, we’ve connected them with real adult supervision now” and I may be paraphrasing that too.

Mark Keeping Canadians Safe for the fifth time, and THAT IS A BINGO, SPORTS FANS!

Mark Drinks water and Sign Language Interpreters swapped out squares. And Gesticulates.

Pointed questoin about the Muni gov of Ottawa making a deal to put MORE truckers on Wellington Street…aren’t they working against you?

Mark Pushes Hair Back, Flashes Wedding ring as well. Trudeau is excellent at featuring his cabinet, bringing the right people forward to answer questions.

Trudeau is pushing back against the question of Did he use the “wrong tone” addressing the insurrectionists. He reiterates there’s no tolerance for illegal occupiers.

Tonda MacCharles with a great question about “if the cops aren’t using the powers they have, why do you need to give them more powers?” subtext being he’s actually bringing in adult supervision, but he won’t say that. Followup is about the impact on Canada’s reputation, and Trudeau gives you another patented “let’s be there for one another” Who We Are speech. He’s so good at those.

I was away from the chair so I missed the question from Le Devoir but I noticed Trudeau’s broad smile of relief when he handed it off to David Lametti. OOOOOHH LAMETTI JUST DROPPED A BOMBSHELL that the Emergency Act was drafted by Mulroney’s Conservatives. BOOM!

Trudeau has spent 80% of this briefing reiterating how limited this sweeping federal act is. Geospecific, time limited, and only where needed. He’s essentially asking for faith. He specifically points out the differences between the PEI potato protest on Wellington Street and the illegal occupation.

Aha! Trudeau says this Act allows the government to compel tow truck companies who have contracts in place, to do the jobs they’re contracted for. That’s a palpable threat, folks. Palpate it! Doesn’t it feel sweeeeeeet?

Heckin’ fuckyeah!

Yusssss.

And that’s a wrap.

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