Since early December, protesters, clad in high-visibility vests, have gathered and demonstrated in towns and cities across Canada.
The Yellow Vests Canada movement has attracted considerable attention since it began.
While the protests so far have been peaceful and orderly, there is also a disturbing level of anger.
The stated platform includes opposition to overtaxation including the carbon tax, a call for Canadian sovereignty, immigration reform, free speech, free media, energy self-sufficiency and a reform of Canada’s political system.
“We want this government and future Canadian governments to do their job, serve and look after the Canadian people, all of them. Not treat us as tax paying, wage slaves, who they can milk to the grave,” a statement on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook page reads.
The platform resonates with many and the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook page has more than 106,000 members. The number is growing.
These are not just followers, monitoring the page. Rather, they are engaged enough to participate in the group’s dialogue. One must be a member in order to post and reply to comments to the page.
The Facebook page was one of the first places I visited when I started hearing about Yellow Vests Canada. The conversations on the page present a reflection of the attitudes of the membership.
Posts showed a seething hatred of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals.
“The Prime Minister is guilty of domestic terrorism,” one of the commentators stated.
”Canada is under attack from its own government,” another said.
“Can you believe we are fighting with our own country in order to protect our own country?”
The About section on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook page speaks about “the Treason of our country’s politicians…”
While I have seen anger about federal government decisions in the past, I cannot recall a time when the rage reached this level.
This tone of the dialogue is not about reforming government or replacing an unwanted Prime Minister. Rather, this is the language of revolution.
Canada operates as a democracy and if the voters are dissatisfied with the government, it is possible to elect a new party with a new vision.
The next federal election is scheduled for this fall, around nine months from now.
“We can’t wait for the next election,” one of the Yellow Vests Canada members posted. Other comments had a similar tone.
The revolutionary tone is continuing as the outrage against Trudeau continues to grow.
Last week, Facebook removed comments from the page after some members spoke of killing Trudeau.
Such statements are disturbing, no matter how much someone dislikes the Prime Minister.
This is no longer about a dissatisfaction with the present government, but rather a rejection of the entire democratic process.
Yellow Vests Canada organizers have spoken of their commitment to peaceful protest and to their credit, their rallies so far have been subdued.
But the movement is growing and I expect the rallies will increase in size.
Could violence erupt?
The comments removed by Facebook last week are not the first time I have heard or read comments urging the death of our Prime Minister, and they will not be the last.
There is a level of outrage against Trudeau and the federal Liberals, and I see hateful comments more frequently than in the past.
If a significant number of voters are dissatisfied with the current government, the election in October is the opportunity to bring about change.
This is the way democracy operates in Canada.
Advocating the death of the Prime Minister is not an acceptable way to bring about changes.
John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.