Mike Rowe on Tuesday criticized Canadian government officials for their response to Freedom Convoy truckers amid a national protest over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
What's the background?
For weeks, thousands of demonstrators have camped in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, and blocked border crossings with the U.S. in protest of the mandate and other coronavirus restrictions placed on truckers crossing the border.
In response to what the Canadian government deemed an "unlawful assembly," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, a measure that grants authorities sweeping power to restrict travel, disperse crowds, arrest demonstrators, and freeze their bank accounts, among other actions considered necessary to stop assembly.
Over the weekend, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson even suggested selling off dozens of vehicles seized during the Freedom Convoy protests to cover the city's costs incurred during the demonstrations.
What are the details?
During an interview with BlazeTV host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Rowe pointed out how quickly the situation has changed now that some truckers find themselves on the bad end of state directives.
Truckers, once considered essential to the economy during the pandemic, have in short order become enemies of the state, the "Dirty Jobs" star suggested.
"You know what strikes me about all of this?" Rowe asked, adding, "And maybe this is somewhat of a silver lining [because] I kind of feel like we're about to close the loop."
"When this started, truckers were right on the leading edge of heroes. They were the very definition of essentiality," he said. "[But] in the course of two weeks, they literally went from hero to villain."
That's how fast things can change in today's chaotic socio-political climate.
Beck noted that protesters have yet to be convicted of crimes or even appear in court. Nevertheless, the government is floating an auctioning off of property.
The Canadian government responded quickly and harshly to continued protests in Ottawa over the weekend.
Police descended on the crowds, arresting at least 191 protesters and towing at least 76 vehicles since Friday.
In one scene caught on video, police are seen charging on horseback into a crowd of demonstrators and knocking down at least two people, including an elderly woman on a mobility scooter.
One trucker recounted to Fox News host Tucker Carlson the moment that police repeatedly struck him while he was on the ground, complying to orders.
"They drag me in, they lie me down on my belly, and I don’t — I don’t recall how many were on top of me ... I felt like I was beaten, but I took it like a man," the trucker recalled.
"They broke my body a little bit, but not my spirit," he added.