A viral trend has swept Canada, whereby various residents are taking to social media to identify themselves as foes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the leftist leader branded those critical of his government's health policies as "extremists." The notably diverse movement is associated with the hashtag #TrudeauMustGo.
When the hashtag became popular in 2019, some in the Canadian media suggested the growth was inorganic, inauthentic, and bot-driven. At the time, Twitter's head of site integrity reported that there was no evidence of "substantial" bot activity.
Notwithstanding evidence for there having been a great deal of organic interest online in the prime minister's resignation, when the hashtag took off again this year, old accusations were recycled by liberal pundits.
To overcome suspicion and as a means to reveal just how diverse Trudeau's cast of critics are, Canadians began posting video testimonies instead of posts just containing photos and text.
Since January 2022, the POC4FreedomConvoy account, which has over 62.5k followers, has documented black and minority support for the Freedom Convoy and related protests against both Trudeau's rhetoric and his government's policies. Trudeau, outed for having donned blackface on multiple occasions, has — along with state-subsidized media outfits — suggested that his critics were not just extremists but racists.
There have been myriad videos like this posted to the POC4FreedomConvoy Instagram account, to Twitter and elsewhere.
The posts tend to incorporate "According to Trudeau, I'm an extremist," as well as some biographic information indicating precisely who in that instance the Liberal leader has aligned himself against.
For instance, a 31-year-old motorcyclist named Matthew from British Columbia, fresh off a Bikers for Autism charity toy run, stated that he had "unacceptable views" and needed to be dealt with.
There are a host of similar video posts, and many more with static images.
Former Calgary Flame, Theo Fleury tweeted: "I'm a 54 year old father of four, ex professional athlete SC Champ and Olympic gold medalist who has worked in the field of trauma, metal health & addiction for the last 14 years ... #TrudeauMustGo thinks I'm an extremist who needs to be dealt with."
Pamela Barnum, a former undercover police officer and federal prosecutor, similarly noted that she, by Trudeau's own logic, doesn't believe in science and has a proclivity to "lash out with racist, misogynistic attacks."
How it started
An interview with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aired on the French-language program "La semaine des 4 Julie" on September 16, 2021, in which Trudeau stated that those who are "fiercely against vaccination ... are extremists." He claimed they "don't believe in science, they're often misogynists, also often racists," and then posed the question "Do we tolerate these people?"
Maxime Bernier, the head of the People's Party of Canada, recently re-shared the video on Sunday, as the #TrudeauMustGo viral campaign on social media continued to grow.
These comments were not isolated. In a press conference ten days earlier, Trudeau suggested that his critics were "anti-vaxxer mobs" spouting "racist, misogynistic attacks."
Trudeau maintained, without an apology to date, that those opposed to his government's secret mass surveillance of citizens, vaccine mandates, quarantine protocols, travel bans, unprecedented bank-account closures, property seizures, and other unprecedented measures constituted a "fringe element" unrepresentative of "the vast majority of Canadians."
Nearly a year after the prime minister denigrated those he presented as a small cadre of extremists, Canadians turned out in the cold en masse to wave on the Freedom Convoy — a miles-long column comprised of thousands of vehicles, which crossed the country to protest the Liberal government's policies in Ottawa.
Rather than engage with members of the Freedom Convoy in the nation's capital, Trudeau declared martial law and cracked down on the peaceful protests.
Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes compared Trudeau to the communist dictator Ceausescu, suggesting "He's exactly like a tyrant, like a dictator."
The Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic addressed Trudeau, saying "Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months. We watched how you trample women with horses, how you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can't even pay their children's education and medicine, that they can't pay utilities ..."
The German MEP Christine Anderson criticized the prime minister for trampling "on fundamental rights by persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists, just because they dared to stand up to his own perverted concept of democracy."
Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said that Trudeau's declaration of martial law to bring an end to the protests was "very, very dangerous," suggesting that overnight "Canada became Egypt ... ruled by emergency edict that allows prohibition of public assembly, travel, and the commandeering of private companies without your day in court."
From social media to the streets
Protesters chanting "Trudeau must go" flooded the streets of Toronto on September 17 as part of the so called World Wide Rally for Freedom, calling for an end to the use of the government's ArriveCan Digital ID travel app as well as the application of its vestigial mandates.