Note: The pull of Right vs Left Politics is still so strong, at least here in the USA, that I feel the need to state at the outset that my motivation here is not to score any points for the Right. This painting – Don Quixote de la Left – is a picture of the Woke Left. A few months ago I painted a similarly unflattering and honest portrait of the Christian Right. The intent of these paintings is to serve as open windows presenting clear views of dissenting perspectives. Critically portraying both wings of the ruling class, makes it evident, I hope, that these works are not part of the Right/Left trap.
Early this year, lines of heavy trucks rumbled across Canada’s frozen north and converged on Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers. The protest swelled in number, expanding in scope to a protest against the Medical Police State in general.
The Ottawa Freedom Convoy was sufficiently monumental that even the mainstream “news” was eventually forced to acknowledge its existence whereupon they began slandering it. This coverage did not last long: the current thing changed, the Ukraine War was brought to the front of the world stage, and most everything else was shoved off the stage.
I’m revisiting the Freedom Convoy. I wish to spark additional conversation about it. So I created this artwork. I intend it as a tribute befitting the valorous deeds of the . . . counter protesters and Canadian police; I’ll immortalize their symbiotic relationship. Like the knights of old, the counter protesters and police sallied forth to subdue the rabble of unruly peasants, putting them back in their proper place firmly under the thumb of the authorities.
The slander against the Freedom Convoy was not particularly sophisticated; it amounted to ignoring that the protest was obviously a protest against the Medical Police State, and instead making up stories about it being a vaguely racist/fascist/Nazi event where the racist/fascist/Nazis inadvertently brought anti-vax signs and forgot the racist/fascist/Nazi signs that they were supposed to bring.
The logic goes like this:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is definitely a racist/fascist/Nazi.
If they look like, act like, and sound like, people protesting the Medical Police State, then they must really be racist/fascist/Nazis disguised as freedom advocates.
Any evidence that supported the racist/fascist/Nazi narrative was widely trumpeted, and any evidence that contradicted this narrative was discounted – if it was acknowledged at all.
For example: The Nazi flag guy at the Ottawa Trucker Protest, whoever he was, fits the Establishment Narrative, so he represents the Freedom Convoy. However, Sikhs at the Freedom Convoy, some of whom brought the Sikh flag, were an inconvenient reality that directly contradicted the Establishment Narrative. So according to those who wish to see the Freedom Convoy in a negative light, the Sikh protesters do not represent the Freedom Convoy. Apparently the Sikh protesters do not represent anything at all; they are just “a Token.”
1 Nazi Flag Guy = Emblematic of the Freedom Convoy.
100 Sikhs = Token/Not Emblematic of the Freedom Convoy.
How does Candice Sero, an Indigenous woman at the protest who was trampled by the RCMP, fit the narrative? . . . Well let’s just pretend that didn’t happen; ignore her, ignore tens of thousands of other protesters, ignore why they were there, and what they were about, and let’s get back to focusing on that Nazi Flag Guy.
As a counter protester helpfully explained:
“I tried really hard to de-emphasize issues of vaccination/COVID restrictions that were being used, in my mind, as cynical ‘wedge’ issues, and to emphasize opposing the convoy as a political vehicle of the far-right,”
This determination to see the Freedom Convoy as a racist/fascist/Nazi event, reality be damned, reminded me of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha. I built my painting around that famous knight, because tilting at windmills was the principal activity of the Counter Protesters and Police who suppressed the Freedom Convoy. I present – Don Quixote . . . de la Left!
Jordan Henderson is an artist from Washington State in the USA. He works in oil on canvas and charcoal on paper. A portfolio of his work can be viewed at either of his websites: Original Paintings – Fine Art Prints