In the midst of the current Rebecca Bromwich-driven dust-up regarding whether local Ottawa eatery Stella Luna should be forgiven for actively supporting the massively not-peaceful and illegal three-week occupation of downtown Ottawa last February, there is one point that I feel is going unaddressed.
In this case (and, it appears, many others), the after-the-fact excuse for that kind of appalling behaviour seems to be, "Well, we donated early on when it was just a fun protest and we wanted to support them and their cause, and we had no idea that it would turn into an actual siege with Nazis and racists and white nationalists and people carrying Confederate flags and 'Fuck Trudeau' banners and people openly calling for Liberals to be killed and ... blah blah blah. We had no idea!"
This. Is. Bullshit.
The ugliness of that three weeks in February did not start out pleasantly and slowly morph into what was pretty much a military action, replete with organizers demanding the resignation of the government and parading around with Nazi banners and the like. It was what it was right from the beginning; in fact, even before the first truck rolled into town.
There is no conceivable way that someone can sincerely claim that they had no idea what was coming. Daily news coverage made it unmistakably clear that what was converging on Ottawa was an army of angry insurrectionists, many of their vehicles festooned with anti-Trudeau vulgarity, and the occasional protester suggesting that the proper way to deal with the Prime Minister was with a bullet or two.
We knew what was coming. We all knew what was coming. So stop lying about it.
It's ludicrous for anyone to justify their treasonous support for the financially devastating occupation of downtown Ottawa for three weeks with the lame excuse that, gosh, they just didn't know, if only someone had told them. Everybody told them, and they didn't care, and they donated anyway.
More to the point, even if that occupying force had been lawful and peaceful and pleasant and filled with nothing more than hot tubs and bouncy castles, keep in mind that its public purpose was to demand that the government stop enforcing public health policy whose only purpose was to try to stop people from getting sick and dying of COVID-19.
So, no, Stella Luna (and others), you don't get a pass on your financial support of all that fascism. You knew what this was all about, and you handed over cash, anyway. Now you can live with the consequences.