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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
Good evening, Possums. We’re a little late with today’s briefing, because as you and I and everyone in this general hemisphere of the Earth knows, our day couldn’t start until the verdict came down in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd.
Here’s hoping they put him in with the general prison population. That should go well for him.
It’s fun watching people like Tim “Blue Lives Matter And Also I Wear A Beanie Because I’m Bald” Pool realize their ship is sinking, and start swimming.
So, it’s a good day to be on Planet Earth.
Better for some of us than for others; like this person, who has a plan, and an awesome and inspirational one at that. This is how you motivate people! This! This is true leadership!
A man who does not have a plan, let alone one of awesomeness or inspirationalitivity, is Doug Ford, Officially Still Premier Of The Province Of Ontario.
He had a plan. Not sure where he got it. Probably cobbled it together from Roger Stone and Steve Bannon’s old cocktail napkin doodles, which would explain its coherence. He announced it last Friday, and it was promptly thrown back in his face by that cadre of Antifa agitators, the Ontario Provincial Police.
Well, possums, it’s been roughly 2.5 months since ol’ raincoaster here was in receipt of any of these much-lauded Covid-19 supports. She got what has been referred to as “The Letter” although she got it by email which is a damn good thing because if it were up to the Post Office who knows when, but there, I’ve said too much. Like that this week they emailed me a job opening that closed on January 15, yes, before it was posted. The Letter informs the (un)lucky Canadian that the Tax Person (we don’t say Tax Man anymore) requires them, the Canadian, to prove that they had a net income of $5,000 or more in 2019 and that it ceased as a result of the pandemic. And that, until they do, they get nothing.
At least on Tuesday they announced they won’t be clawing back the money given to people whose net income was less than $5000, but whose gross income was above that benchmark.
So, there’s that.
Now, there’s a workaround that should be effective, but I’ve got to do another call with them on Monday, which will be a solid month after the last time they requested documents from me, and we’ll see what happens then.
So, anyhoodle, money has been scarce around the ol’ raincoaster burrow since the end of November, as CRA requests documents, then requests 4 weeks to review those documents, then requests more documents and another 4 weeks theretoreview, and so on, all to determine whether or not my income from pet-sitting did or did not evaporate during the pandemic.
Spoiler alert: it did.
But in between hunting for a job and whining on social media about having no money, I still find time in my busy schedule to engage in the favourite pastime of the destitute: making fantasy shopping lists.
Now, back in the day when I had a steady income I could flip through glossy magazines and put, say, some whimsical 17th Century Chinoiserie chairs on the list, but these days, when I can’t even afford the catalogues and the library is closed and Connoisseur magazine folded, even my dreams have contracted.
Presented here, on the general principle that pain shared is…well, just great material for a good goth lyric, if nothing else…my fantasy shopping list of All The Things I Would Have Bought By Now From Local Companies (fuck Amazon!) If I Still Had The CRB To Which I Am Entitled Because Duh, Pet-Sitting In A Pandemic, I Mean Come On.
On New Year’s Eve I braved the (slightly) below freezing temperatures and the dreaded OC Transpo bus system (ew, masses on mass transit, all of them breathing moistly) to hit the mall and get a bottle of bubbly for midnight. I knew it would be bad, but I did not know exactly how bad it would be.
Friends, it was bad.
Now, it was only bad because it was possible in the first place, and it was only possible in the first place because Ottawa, world capital of freezing rain, adores strip malls. Maze malls. Any form of mall except the kind where the pathway from one store to the next is enclosed from the weather. In any other year this is a true inconvenience and stupidity, but in Covidian Times it is the only thing that allows many retailers in Ottawa to remain open, as all enclosed malls are closed during the Lockdown.
So, friends, I was saying it was bad. It was perhaps 100 people in the lineup for the liquor store bad, that’s how bad it was.
Now, I’ve cut back on my alcohol intake to the point where my liver thinks it’s a virgin, but I do love my cava, and had even considered splashing out on some Macieira and blood oranges to make a very Iberian cross between a French 125 and a sidecar. But, kittens, I have my limits and a 100-person lineup is well past it.
Instead, I deked into Loblaws, which also sells wine. It was sold out of pretty much everything with bubbles except Mountain Dew and beer, so I grabbed a bottle of red, some instant oatmeal, and a bottle of rhodiola supplements, and was in and out in ten minutes.
As I was passing the liquor store I noticed that the lineup had shrunk to perhaps a dozen stragglers, so I got into it thinking “what the hell, did everyone just give up at the same time?” but then I realized I HAD wine, didn’t need more, and could probably catch the next bus home if I hustled, so I began hustling bus-ward.
At which point a genial man with a shopping cart asked, “What are you looking for? I have everything.”
I looked into the cart. He did, indeed, have everything. It seems I had just met the reason the lineup had vanished: this man had gone into the store, bought every bit of bubbly and booze he could afford, and wheeled the cart down the lineup asking people what they wanted.
An honest to god bootlegger, people. An honest to god bootlegger.
If I’d had my Vry Srs Jrnlist hat on (it’s a newsboy cap, of course) I’d have asked him what his markup was, but I was hustling bus-ward so we exchanged just a few words before I was out of earshot.
Earshot. I saw a horse pedigree once for a hunter and while I forget the sire’s name, the dam’s name was “Earshot” and I realized that someone had waited that horse’s whole life for it to give birth so she could say the foal was “out of Earshot”. Nothing I like better than a long-running joke. Respect, horse-namer. Respect.
So, that’s how I met the smartest man in Ottawa, and I hope he made an absolute killing. The security dude was standing right there, but he couldn’t have cared less. He was no revenuer.