Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 22

It Could Happen Here Weekly 22

Sat, 19 Feb 2022 05:01

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Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode so every episode of the week. It just happened. Is here, in one convenient and with somewhat less ADS package for you to listen to in a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. It's Oregon. You don't get to consent, and that's how you open up the podcast. That's right, baby. Look up one party. Consent laws for recording, for recording. This is it could happen here, a podcast about when you can legally record people without their consent. Hint always in the state of Oregon. I'm Robert Evans. We're talking about bad things. Good. Things. Things that are good and bad. All that stuff. Woo. Yay, you. What are we? You know what you know we should talk about? You know no one has talked about ever on the Internet lately. Josephine Robinette Rogan. Oh, I have never heard of him. What does he do? Well, he has a podcast. Have you heard of podcast, Garrison? I'm unfamiliar, but just I'll, I'll just go with it. Yeah, well, it's like the radio, but easier to spread. Disinformation. And also sexier for reasons that are hard to explain. Uh, and Joe Rogan gets on his podcast and he says a lot of stuff that people think is bad, and then everybody gets angry at him, and then he makes more money. And today we're going to talk about how maybe we could handle this problem differently. Maybe we could not do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Yeah. And upfront, obviously, we're talking about him. We're trying to talk less about specifically what he said and more about. Kind of the problem he represents and the ways in which the responses people have aren't having the results they desire. We're going to avoid using his name in the title of the episode or the description, because that doesn't feed into the algorithm kind of in the same way. But yeah, Garrison, you want to kick us off here? Yeah, I I've been watching the Rogan thing online and getting kind of frustrated because of the way the discourse is going, and it's just repeating the same loops that we see every few months and nothing really changes, and we're looking again, just gets more popular. So earlier this month, or like a middle of, I guess it was closer to like January. There was like a group of like 270 doctors and healthcare workers and scientists who were campaigning for Spotify to adopt A misinformation policy. This was prompted by a few episodes of the Joe Rogan Podcast that we've already actually talked about, about Doctor Robert Malone and someone else who said some stupid things about the pandemic. So, like, right when I when we talk about these episodes this last time, I tried to actually talk about what these doctors were doing and not focus on Rogan himself, but specifically what these doctors were doing and and their ideology. Because I didn't want to add to the whole Rogan side of the discourse. And, you know, for, for this, for this, like a letter that that these doctors sent to Spotify if they were not really advocating for Rogan to be removed from the platform or even for episodes to be removed just to have Spotify. Clarify their guidelines regarding medical misinformation because, you know, and it's important to note that Joe Rogan has a exclusivity contract with Spotify. He does not work for them, but Rogan gets paid a lot of money to get his podcast only published on Spotify's feed. So it's it's not, it's it's it's it's like a, it's a. It's a weird kind of setup and it can give a lot of like, Gray area for like does Spotify account that says publisher or not, you're like, well, not really, because they could. He could also just end that contract and post his podcast everywhere. I mean I think it would take there there's probably some sort of exclusive time limit on the exclusivity agreement, etcetera, because it it is, it is mixed because they did recently when it came out that he said the inward a whole bunch of times Spotify removed those episodes. So there's a degree to which they they have acted as a publisher, yeah. There's a lot of stuff to kind of talk about this on the so the letter went kind of viral, and it prompted this whole kind of thing in the middle of January. But like deleting your Spotify subscription. And then we had musicians, most most popularly, Neil Young, decides to remove all their music from the Spotify platform as like, a performative thing, being like, OK, if Spotify's going to host all this medical misinformation, we're going to remove this as protest now. Of course, Neil Young then just signed an exclusivity deal with Amazon. Yeah. Oh, great. Cool. We. Yes. Amazon the the bastion of moral purity. Yeah, and they're not. I mean, I think they are probably pay a better rate because Spotify is pretty much at the bottom to musicians, but I don't think it's good. I think Napster actually has the best rate, doesn't the best rate. You want to be actually moral, just just just use band camp. But I mean, I use Spotify because it's really easy and that's why Spotify works. It's because it's super. It is. It is. It is a well made product. That does not mean it's an ethical product, but it does. It does the thing that it's supposed to do quite well. So, so yeah, it basically we've had endless discourse since then about Joe Rogan, about Spotify as the platform. Talking about how bad Spotify is, which you said is bad at talking about how you know how bad Joe Rogan is. And you know, The thing is, Joe Rogan already had the most popular podcast. In the world pre his exclusivity deal with Spotify, and he's currently estimated to bring in 11 million listeners per episode of his podcast yeah for for some reference. Behind the ******** is one of the largest podcasts out there, and he's on average something like 10 times our traffic. Like, it's and it's not, it's not. It's not just the most popular podcast. He helped invent what podcasting is. He was one of the 1st, and like he had a foundational role in how the entire industry works. Since this letter and since these episodes, there's been a whole lot of discourse around if Spotify should remove Joe Rogan from the platform, if they should cancel his deal. You know, a lot of people calling on Spotify to do that, a lot of people calling on Spotify to remove certain episodes, and Spotify has not been keen to so like, but let's. And I know Joe Rogan himself did actually authorize the removal of a certain amount of episodes, which for reasons we'll talk about later, but what's all this discourse and outrage and articles and tweets actually doing to Spotify and Joe Rogan OK, in my opinion. Kind of. The end result is actually very similar to all of the free advertising that companies get whenever they make a woke statement that inferior. That infuriates the erection, Mary, right, you know, resulting in throwing your Calais out your window, flushing your Gillette blade down the toilet and burning your Nikes. And it's even widely speculated and kind of like a known fact that companies will use progressive statements and policies to drum up this outrage to give their company and product tons of free advertising and just to get the brand name itself inside consumers heads. And this is definitely happening. Was was broken on Spotify in terms of outrage being used as advertising. It may not be intentional, but that is what the result is. Yeah, and it's, I mean it, it's very. It's both sides like to make fun of the other for doing this, like folks on the left like to make fun of the right when they're when they're breaking their keurigs or whatever. But you know, it happens it it it's equally profitable for both sides. You just do the opposite. You know, you have someone come on and and talk about how they're a truth teller being cancelled and they get a bunch of attention, money and and it it works equally well both ways, pretty much. Yeah. So with Spotify and Rogan in the news every day for the past, like three weeks, the, the the end is that, like the fact that it's just that people are hearing these names in their head more often and they're probably subconsciously going to use Spotify more often because, you know, despite a few people that might cancel their subscriptions, the net effect will be more listeners who seem to Spotify because they're because the name is in my subconscious. It's it's it's in there, and all the effect it's going to have on Rogan is giving him way more publicity to attract new listeners. And and it's listeners who themselves are, like, attracted to unconventional ideas outside the mainstream. And his more passive listeners are going to, like, double down on him because there's going to be, like, the backfire effect. So they will, like, feel defensive and then become more of a fan of his because he's seen as a cultural outsider, even though he's not an outsider. He is the mainstream. He's the biggest podcaster in the world, but he's seen as a cultural outsider. So, you know, he like brings on guests who say things that they're not supposed to say, you know, so who's actually going to be convinced by all this outrage? Could not listen to Rogan via pointing out all the wrong things he said and all the slurs he's used. Like, is that really going to stop fans from listening to Joe Rogan? No, it's the same thing, really. Pointing out that Donald Trump illegally took classified documents. It's like, yeah, I mean, that's ****** ** and **** but like, he's never going to get charged with crimes and none of his supporters care. You're the only people who are angry about this, and it doesn't matter because the people you vote for aren't going to punish him. So, like, just yeah, you know, chill out a little bit. It's like. All of the outrage is simply inflating the importance of Joe Rogan on like an entire cultural level. It's that he's becoming, he's becoming more important to his fans, more important to his haters, and more important to himself and Spotify as an asset because he generates a lot of exclusive listeners and news coverage and buzz around the Spotify brand. And it's important to talk about like, so you have broadly speaking with within the the field of entertainment like digital entertainment in particular, you have like two ways. That you can grow your audience. One of them is organic growth, which is, you know, I listen to Garrison's podcast, I like it. I tell a friend about Garrison's podcast, they like it. They tell a friend about Gary that that's like organic. You know, it's very natural. That's purely the the kind of quality of the content reaching people. And then there is an organic growth which is that can be the result of like ad campaigns, can be the result of an algorithm. Often in in today we're talking about like, oh, Twitter or Facebook prioritizes. This kind of content, so like something article on Breitbart about black on white crime that would have been red 10,000 * 10 years ago gets read a million times because it spreads well on this platform for reasons that aren't organic. And with Joe Rogan, one of the reasons why, because we can talk about, like, deep platforming if you want to talk about like, Alex Jones, for example, or Milo Yiannopoulos. Good case. That deep platforming really reduced both of their reaches now. Milo pretty much wiped out as a person who mattered in terms of the discourse? Thank Christ. Alex Jones less so. It definitely hurt his business and it reduced his reach, but by the time Facebook and Twitter and whatnot started throttling him, he he had already inorganically increased his reach. Stuff that like he's able to, he had, he had a a large enough audience to say somewhat relevant and keep going. The thing about Joe Rogan is he did not get famous and popular inorganically. I'm sure there was some degree of that on like, social media, but most of his growth was organic before that. Like people like him, like whatever you think of him, he's a good broadcaster. That's that's the thing. Even though, like, you know, for all this research, I don't like him. He says horrible things. But you know, I was watching, I, I watched all of like Logan's, like I'm like Instagram. Videos he made like a few like 10 minute things talking about the outrage and it's it sucks because when you listen to him, he's like a really good talker. He's very good at what he does. Yeah, he's very good at like generating sympathy and generating like good like it's it sucks because yeah, I want to like this person, but I'm like listening to him talking about this issue like, oh wow, yeah, like you actually have a decent grasp on what's going on here and that's that's horrible. He is not. He part of he gets some of his money from playing like a dumb chill. Stoner dude, but he's not dumb. He's definitely Stoner. He's not a dumb man. He's very intelligent. He's very good at what he does. One of the things we don't kind of talk about enough when we talk about media that I I think is important to note is that. Being likeable in a professional sense is a skill, and it's a skill. Like any technical skill. It's like knowing how to, how to, how to farm or Weld. It is a thing that you build on over time. It is a thing that takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of education to get right. It is a thing that Joe Rogan has been doing for longer than a significant chunk of the people on this show, including Garrison, have been alive. It like, like, I've been like this. This has more or less been my job for like 13 or 14 years. And it is like a skill that you build. And the thing that he is really good at is making people want to listen to him. And so if you were to say, kick him out of Spotify tomorrow, it's it's entirely possible that his that that would increase the number of people who who listen. Absolutely. There's there's a case to be made that Spotify has limited his maximum audience by limiting him to Spotify as opposed to if he was just any app he wanted to be on, maybe it'd be 20 million, you know, listening to. Exactly, yes. Like even if did even a Spotify did drop him because of all these, you know, outrage, you know, and all the tweets and they're all of the petitions. Even if they did drop him, he would probably not only gain more listeners due to like the outrage **** and and free speech advocates, but also with his exclusivity ending help, his podcast will just be available on more platforms and more people who want to listen to him like really easily. So yeah, he's only going to grow if people get what they want and like that makes you think like this. This outrage isn't actually meant to get the Joe Rogan Joe Rogan problem taken care of. Like, it's this. This actually isn't about stopping misinformation. It's this. This isn't actually about having there being less fans of Joe Rogan. All of this outrage is about making you feel better because you feel like you're doing something right, like it bad thing is happening in the world, and it's easier to pretend like your actions are hurting it than it is to accept that. Like, maybe there's nothing I can do about this right now. Yeah, it would be. A really nice world. If the kerokan problem could be solved so easily by Spotify dropping his exclusivity deal, right, that would that would be great. But that's not the world we live in. And tricking yourself into thinking that is just kind of delusional and like, yeah, it makes you feel better. But like, that's not actually helping because, like, yeah, we can obviously compare this to other, like, deep platforming campaigns with people for, like, Alex Jones. But, you know, Jones was way more niche and way more extreme around the time of his, like, deep platforming campaign. And his campaign wasn't about. Ending exclusivity deals. It was about getting him off of popular platforms altogether. And that's not happening with Joe Rogan because Joe Rogan isn't saying the things that are going to get him booted from platforms. He's smart. He knows what he can and cannot say. Yeah, he's not. He's not dumb enough to get banned from these platforms, right. And also, you know, he's a giant financial asset, so they wouldn't ban him anyway, but like he's he's what he's doing is bringing on people who are say horrible things to continue a cultural conversation, which gives him in the headlines and gives a platform. Spotify a whole bunch of room to cry free speech and get away with it. Yep, removing Alex Jones could be seen as like a monetary decision in and of itself, because it is actually removing liability. But this isn't really the case for Rogan. Yeah, and he's Umm, yeah, it's just not. I mean, one of the problems is that this kind of does fly in the face of a lot of. What people want to think, and I I don't want to be making the case that it's as black and white as it is. Because, for example, I'm not saying that it was bad for someone to go through the effort of finding and pointing out, hey, there's like 70 episodes where Joe Rogan drops the N word and getting those polled. I I don't think that I think that that was, broadly speaking, a productive thing. But keeping Joe Rogan at the forefront of the outrage cycle is doing nothing but printing money for the guy. And that's that's not an easy thing to deal with because it's like, do you want me to just like. Stay quiet in the face of injustice and it's like, no, that's not what I want you to do, but I I do want you to recognize that there are times in ways of speaking up that are just putting putting gasoline on an injustice fire. It's it's important to remember that deep platforming is just a tactic, and and single tactics aren't always effective in every situation. That's what makes them a tactic, right? Like, in order for a tactic to work, you need to understand the scenario that you're applying the tactic to and seeing if that tactic achieves the goal. And if it does, then great. But if it doesn't, you need to choose another tactic and stop doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a new result. And this is one of those situations where, like, when you bring up, hey, maybe nothing might be the best thing, at least for for most people specifically to do, like, the thing that gets brought up is like, well, do you not want me to or like, well, what do you suggest I do? Like, you know, you're saying I shouldn't do this, but you're not telling me what to do. And it's like, well, it's like if somebody gets shot in the leg and one person has a tourniquet. And the other person has a bunch of razor blades that they want to throw in their eyes, and it's like, well, what do you want me to do? All I have is these razor blades. This is the only other thing I can do than just stand by and do nothing. And it's like, well, in this case, doing nothing is the best thing to do, because it's it's not. That's not going to help the problem. Yeah. Boycotts of this scale kind of only tend to benefit brands and businesses, right. Like because like if if if the brand or business is or person is smaller and more niche, like say like Alex Jones or Richard Spencer, right, then yes, these tactics and about boycotts can really work to push things out of the cultural like market and also in some cases in terms of businesses like the literal market. But when you're dealing with things like target, Nike and Joe Rogan, that's not the case because those brands are way too big any, any, you know, any conservative boycott against target. Isn't going to have that effect. It'll probably make weird liberals be like, oh, I'm going to go to target now because the conservatives don't want me to. It's like it's it's. I don't. It's not. It's it's like it's the problem is like Joe Rogan himself isn't really the problem either. You know? A lot of the problem can be seen more as, like, content algorithms that boost and reward misinformation and disinformation and conspiracism. And that's more of, like an actual issue at hand here. Joe Rogan is just a vision. That's how he hears about a lot of these people. Yeah, they go viral. Somewhere else, and in a lot of cases, it's an inorganic thing that brings them in front of them. It's some ******* algorithm that and and that is a case where you can target and work on deep platforming. It can be more productive that that, that was that was that was what I was good. Again, it's like Joe Joe Rogan himself was just a visible outgrowth of the core problem. And the core problem is that these things getting on to his show in the 1st place. So yeah, we can't stop his show, but maybe we should do more work to prevent to like figure out ways to do, you know, start using these tactics to prevent algorithms from boosting. These things so that Joe Rogan sees them and then and then in invites them on. And yeah, that's a lot more work than just being angry at Spotify. And yeah, maybe it'll actually do something. And one thing that can do something is with spot, and it won't work if it's just Spotify. But I am one of those people who thinks that maybe it's not the worst thing if things like Spotify are seen as publishers, and thus when they spread misinformation that leads to disastrous health consequences, they can be held liable, right? That's not the worst possible change, although it is a problematic one. I don't want to like boil that down to a simple question, but I think that's an Ave that should be explored, because I don't see that there's a lot of difference in Spotify choosing to let something go to air or the New York Times printing misinformation. And in fact, Spotify is going to reach more people because nobody cares what the New York Times says anymore. Yeah, so and Spotify, the Spotify CEO did kind of address the ongoing controversy. Around the, you know, internal publishing stuff and how they view medical misinformation. They did adopt A clarified policy that prohibits content that promotes dangerous, false or dangerous deceptive medical information, which may cause offline harm or pose a direct threat to public health. And then the post also announced that the Spotify would add content advisories to any content related to COVID on the platform that seemingly Twitter and Instagram have. No, it's not. It's not. It's not, actually. But if you have the option, if you can. Again, if there is like an actual dollar consequence to companies that aired massive disinformation. Then you're not without sort of making Joe Rogan the focus, you can make it so that the people that he actually is accountable to, which is the people who make him give him the money that he gets, have a vested interest in tamping down on the worst excesses that he's responsible for. Like that might have an impact. I don't know. Like, part of the problem is that, and one thing we should acknowledge here when we're talking about, like, what would work better than what's being done? This is a pretty new problem. Versions of it. Have existed before, but without the Internet and without podcasts being what they are, this is a pretty new thing to be dealing with. And I'm not. I don't. I'm not saying like this is here's the obvious solution to this, but I think we are trying to point out like what folks are doing doesn't work, the tactics being applied are not effective and we should be exploring other opportunities to mitigate this harm that are not well. I guess it's time to delete another app and post about it on Twitter. Yeah. And I think, I think this is especially a thing with like, one of the other things that that's been popping up is Logan's, like, weapons grade transphobia. Yes. Oh yeah. Jesus. Yeah. And that's that's the first is is horrifying. Like, the racism is also, like, really bad. He's extremely sexist. But it's like, I think misogynist racist. He's. He sucks. Yeah. All of all of the things. Yeah. Because there's a lot of money and being that dude. Yeah. Well, and I think this is sort of. You know this. This is, you know this is an inherent problem for the left, because. It fighting it like. This, this, this kind of sort of like shock jockey information stuff works better like that. Range economy works better for the right. That does for the left. And I think in some ways that means, like, you have to fight them in other spaces you like, you know, you, you you can't just, like, keep throwing yourself. It's same thing with, like, so why, why, why you don't have just like one line where you just run into a bunch of cops over and over again in one spot? Right. Like, but but we we certainly try. Yeah. Yeah. It's like, seriously. Yeah. Some folks gave that one the old college. Don't call it. Yeah. It's like, you know, like in some in some sense, yeah. Like it's it's it's it's it's hard to be too hard on these on people who are doing this and it's like they they're doing the right thing, but it's like you have to. You, you, you you have to pick your battles. And you know, if if if you're taking a fight that's fair, like that's a that's a bad fight. That is a bad fight for you. You, you, you you need you need to be fighting them in different spheres. You need to be, you know, I mean, working, for example, on stuff like tech regulation, like you like working on, you know, unionizing these places, right, like fighting like. Purely finding them in information space, we will lose every time. The advantage that we have is that we also do other things and it's it's you know, we're going to keep. Losing hearing. If, you know, if we keep fighting them exactly the same way here, we're going to keep losing. So we have to, you know, like we, we, we, we, we have to fight in other places. And that's hard and it sucks because, you know, this is such an enormous part of just what reality is now is, you know, yelling at people online. But like. You have to stop doing that. And yeah, because that's not. The problem is that we've all gotten ******* caught for quite some time in this escalating culture war. And it's not, it's not a battleground that can be entirely ignored, because when you kind of seed ground to them, they create conspiracy theories about trans people attacking kids that lead to them murdering people in the streets. Or they spread conspiracy theories about masks that lead to the occupying Ottawa, so it can't the culture. Or battleground cannot be ignored. But at the end of the day, what we should rather than just like seeking new ways to engage with it. Because the more you engage with it, and it is sometimes necessary to engage with. But the more you engage with it, the stronger you make this whole thing and the heavier it lies on all of us like a cloud. And in the only real way to actually win in the long run is to find a way to get off of that, to get out of this. Like this ******* treadmill of ********. That has become everything all consuming. And it's it's in a lot of people's best interest for it to stay all consuming. And I I, there's a there's a lot that's going on here because it's not. I think sometimes when you criticize people for the actions they take in situations like this, they kind of interpret it as you saying, well like you're stupid and you ****** ** and you never should have like done this. And and the way I think of it is more like this is a we have found ourselves trapped in a really messy. Situation and no one has figured out how to get out. So it's not a situation of like, people are are dumb for having done something that's not effective. It's a situation of we are all trying to figure out what works in this new world. We have kind of somewhat accidentally, somewhat purposefully built for ourselves and it is important to have humility and be willing to accept it. Like, you know what, that's not working and we have to stop doing the thing that's not working rather than. You know, treat it as if it's sort of a moral failing that something we we we tried was not effective. The last thing is like really it's not just the non effectiveness, but also. The the idea that the fact that this outrage is just a constant is, is just a constant free banner ad for Spotify every, everywhere online is like also not great. So it's not, it's not even, not not even just not effective. But you're just giving a corporation tons of Free Press and maybe we can reframe the way we approach these things so that we don't do that. Because in the end, that's just kind of adding to promoting the misinformation. That's kind of, that's all that's kind of really doing and it's not. Not nearly as you know, impactful, as, you know just Rogan doing it himself. But it still is. It still is a contributing factor and and and it it it it does contribute to the backfire effect of people who listen to his podcast. Maybe people who like don't even, but they're still going to get defensive over him because they're seeing this attack on him. And even though he's even though he is a huge figure, he's seen as an outsider. So that that really does contribute to that backfire, backfire effect thing of getting people more and more invested in him as a content creator. Which. Yeah. Is really dumb, but and the thing we need to deal with it it's it's a version of the lesson people still didn't learn with Trump, which is that like. You can't. You can't beat these people by dunking on them. It doesn't matter that Joe Rogan said something dumb. It doesn't matter that Joe Rogan's inconsistent. It doesn't matter that like Joe Rogan has tells lies or whatever. That's not going to change anybody's mind about the dude because it's not about Joe Rogan. They don't support him because they love they they support him as much as anything. The people who are at least engaging primarily online about it, most of his fans are just don't think about any of this because they're not as online. For the rest of us, but the people who are kind of engaging with this and helping to fuel the culture war side of this thing, they don't care. They're this. This isn't about his inherent characteristics. This is about it's a chance to dunk on the enemy. So, like, you're not going to convince them of anything, ever. That's all I had to say on this. Yeah, I don't know yet, because, again, I really, I really resisted writing this episode for a long time because I didn't want to add to the Rogan discourse. But after a while, the Rogan discourse itself became worth talking about. Is how we talk is so because it is more of a meta angle, like, OK, that is actually worth talking about. But yeah, I am so tired of hearing, watching, and seeing the words. Joe Rogan. Yeah, I'm exhausted by it. They hate that. Like. It's a bigger story in the United States than the gigantic war that might break out in Eastern Europe. It's it's just just a very frustrating time, and the only way to win this particular game is not to play. So that's that's why we're doing this. We're not going to stick his name in the description or the episode title. Yeah, it is. You know, the, the, the, the the title. We were working with this under that we're not going to use so as to not feed into the algorithm was Joe Rogan the egregor? And that is really how I think about it. If you if you haven't listened to our episode on the the book about the Flat Earth book on behind the ******** that talks about Egregores an egregores. It's basically a God that is made-up by the kind of directed thoughts of a population of people. It's like it's adult deity that exists. Just thought form that, yeah. If people put energy into it, it almost gains its own. It's it's own like a independence from the people that that like birthed it. Even though it is just a thought form and it becomes if it was just an idea or a presence and now it basically is its own God that's self-sustaining and can impact the world. Yeah. Global Capital is an aggregator and and the more that people kind of feed into the discourse around Joe Rogan, the more he turns into one. Kind of outside of his own actions. He, he, he. This idea of him has an influence on everything around us. And boy, we don't need that, do we? Certainly did not just set, we just put that one down, right? Try something else. Throw a brick at your sheriff instead. This will go better for you. It, I mean. Sure, sure. Chris. Yeah. Chris, Chris said it, not me. Yeah, I mean, obviously in Minecraft. He he said. Bricks, it's fine. Yeah. Robert. Robert. Robert, Robert. It's not Minecraft anymore. It's a Roblox. The feds cracked in Minecraft. Yeah, you're right. It's going to take weeks for them to for them to their computers, to realize what Roblox is. They're they're they're they're. Chip was a story I think I saw on Twitter about, like, like, some. Yeah. So some some kids who actually, legitimately got arrested in Russia for, like, blowing up a building in Minecraft. So, like, like, literally so we live in health. Yeah. And instead, again, again, it's roadblocks where nothing bad happens, nothing bad happens. All right? Everybody get on Roblox. Don't talk about children and don't talk about Joe Rogan. Hundreds of truckers continue to roll east, and with more joining the movement with each passing city, feelings towards vaccine mandates have heightened. Alright, advocate civil war. If people don't want to stand up, we've got guns. We'll stand up and we'll bring them out. ******* a guys, let's get pumped for this. Let's go to. ******* Ottawa. I wanna see one of those truckers I wouldn't surprise no, no, no bar guys, obviously. But I would like to see our own January 6th event, see some of those truckers plow right through that 16 foot wall. Welcome to it could happen here, or in this case, it did happen here. Slash is still happening here, and the here in this case being Canada. In recent weeks, the idea of only a few 1000 people totally choking a major city, holding it hostage to bargain for political demands while overwhelming and getting a foot up on law enforcement. Taking over and shutting down a sizable portion of a popular metropolitan area and simultaneously blocking off supply lines, trade routes, and multiple international border crossings is exactly the kind of thing this podcast has been talking about for years as a potential anti government resistance tactic that could become more common as political tensions rise in North America specifically. A few weeks ago, when the so-called trucker convoy was still in the planning stages, I wasn't super eager to cover it on the pod. Actually, I I assume it would be a flop and just another dumb anti COVID protest in a long line of anti COVID protests happening in Canada. Flash forward to me at the end of January and it became apparent that I was sorely mistaken and this thing was shaping up to be a significant factor in Canada's political ecosystem going forward. In my haste to catch up to the moment, I recorded two episodes with the wonderful journalist Dan Cullen explaining the situation as it was at the prospective times of recording. But as the tensions in Ottawa and all across Canada arose and the situation gained more and more complexity by deciding that the convoy and subsequent blockades required a more researched and scripted deep dive. The more I dug into the situation, the more it seems to embody the exact thing I was warning about in my two previous scripted episodes about Canada and the far right titled Canadian Fascism May. The apologies for the title, but you can find those if you scroll through. It could happen here if you don't think they came out around like November Ish of 2021. What I wanted to get across in those episodes is that Canada is often seen as an escape from the more divisive, violent and fascist elements of US politics and culture. But just like climate change, capitalism or any other enveloping force, cough, cough, hyper objects, cough, cough, fascism and the slide towards it can never be truly escaped, right? There is no other, there is no away, and it's especially hard to see it when it's growing on the back of your own head. Primarily through Islamophobia, far right ethno nationalists tendencies have been bubbling under the surface of Canada for a long while. And since Trudeau has taken office in 2015, there has been a perfect politically allowed Boogeyman to blame every problem onto. That can include everything from Trudeau is taking away our oil and gas jobs, or Trudeau is bringing in Muslim terrorists to Canada, or Trudeau is starving your children through health mandates. Canadian right Wing protest has been steadily growing the past five years. There's been multiple flare ups of far right rhetoric with the Canadian yellow vests, the Western separatist wegz hit or Western exit movement, and the pseudo Fascist Peoples Party of Canada. The incorporation of pandemic conspiracies and anti vaccine sentiments into the already disaffected rural Canadian right wingers, starting in 2020 and continuing to the present has accelerated not only the conspiratorial far right rhetoric among conservative voters, but also what is seen as a valid political action in those peoples eyes. But before we get into how the convoys started, with anger concerning COVID-19 health mandates and misinformation concerning empty store shelves, we have to 1st go back in time to even before the COVID-19 virus was a blip on anyone's radar. In February 2019, the Canadian Yellow vests organized something called the United We Roll Convoy. The result was around 170 trucks driving cross country through the more liberal E to Ottawa. The result was around 170 trucks driving from the West Cross country to the more liberal east and eventually to Ottawa. The goal was to represent the concerns of disenfranchised oil and gas workers in the western provinces and their opposition to proposed environmental and new energy policies. Yellow Vests Canada was largely founded by individuals already associated with Canada's far right, which at the time was primarily united through anti Muslim racism and Islamophobia. Inspired by the French Yellow Vest movement, they copied their aesthetics and adopted new grievances and reactionary atoric. Then we get them a much larger audience. By the time United we roll arrived in Ottawa, the media started to catch on to the more problematic elements about their organization, neo-Nazi faith. Goldie spoke on a stage. Many members of hate groups responded in attendance, and with numbers so low it made their more extreme participants stick out. Instead of focusing the message on oil and gas, as they claim to represent Western alienation from a distant liberal Ottawa, some of its participants seemed more interested in protesting Ottawa's immigration policies than arguing for specific fixes for Alberta's oil patch. Plus, if you peeked inside any Canadian yellow vest Facebook group, you would be flooded with hundreds of examples of explicit anti Muslim racism and calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's arrest and execution, a theme that remains common among COVID conspiracy demonstrations today. But at the end of it, united we roll was widely considered a bust, with only a few 100 participants in Ottawa. And despite raising almost $150,000, the organizers failed to disclose how much of that money was actually spent on convoy expenses like gas and food. Afterwards, the yellow Vests Canada movement started to kind of die out, though some holdouts kept smelling demonstrations going for months, particularly in the conservative oil province of Alberta. But to us now, united we rule can be seen as a small test run for the current situation in 2022. In fact, it shares many of the same organizers and even the same promotional materials, except this time they have the added weight of many more people radicalized into conspiracism throughout the pandemic and much more funding. So with that in mind, let's dive into the components of the initial organizing effort. On January 14th, 2022 of GoFundMe account was set up for a so-called trucker convoy ahead of the January 15th adoption of the mandate requiring all cross-border transportation drivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine mandates in Canada have been in effect since October 30th for a ship cruise, railways and airline workers, but effective January 15th the federal government expanded the requirement to truck drivers returning from the States and those who remain unvaccinated. Will not be able to enter Canada without quarantine. One week later, a reciprocal policy went into effect in the United States for Canadian truckers crossing into their border, which means going forward you cannot really cross the border at all while remaining unvaccinated. At this point in mid January, a majority of Canadians still broadly supported health mandates aimed at limiting the spread of COVID. But a big part of the early propaganda push for the convoy was photos alleged to have been from current Canadian grocery stores, which they were not, with barren empty shelves. The idea was that COVID restrictions were already severely impacting the supply line and any additional mandates would begin to starve the population and effectively shut down international trade. Put a note in this idea, by the way, it will come up later. Ideas for another truck convoy like you and W roll have been tossed around for a while online. And with this new mandate on truckers and vaccines, a time presented itself to give the convoy idea another go. In the early convoy organizing, they were primarily 4 familiar far right faces who working together to set things U, none of whom are truck drivers. By the way, the originally listed organizers on the GO Fund Me page were Tamara Lynch and BJ Ditcher. Both have notable experience with far right organizing. Tamara Litch was born in my home province of Saskatchewan, but now hails from the town of Medicine Hat AB, where she served as an organizer for Yellow Vests Canada, a regional coordinator for the separatist Western exit, or Brexit movement in Alberta, and now the secretary for the Maverick Party, another far right extremist separatist movement and fringe political party. Lynch started attending and boosting yellow Vest events starting in 2018, and her social media posts from around the time show in one moment calling out. All hateful rhetoric from within the movement, while also posting Islamophobic articles of her own and conspiracies about the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada. A few days after the GO fund me was created, Benjamin BJ Ditcher, one time Conservative Party of Canada candidate, Peoples Party of Canada booster and cofounder of a Canadian Far Right Podcast network, appeared as a cool organizer on the GO Fund Me Page 2019. He claimed that Islamist entryism is rotting away our society like syphilis. Benjamin Ditcher was also one of the first people to give a speech at the first Proto Fascist People's Party of Canada conference in Quebec, saying that the Conservative Party of Canada is suffering from the stench of cultural relativism and political Islam and a whole bunch of stuff. You know. In that general vein, James Botter was another one of the four key organizers of the trucker convoy to Ottawa. Batter is an admitted conspiracy theorist who has endorsed Q Anon and called COVID the biggest political scam in history. He's also a former. Activist with the yellow vests Canada and United we roll brothers. Main project, however, is running the Canada Unity website, which is one of the original Nexus points for organizing and spreading word about to this convoy. The group contends that vaccine mandates and passports are illegal under Canada's constitution, the Nuremberg Code and a host of other international conventions. Boulder has long been a fringe figure, but his movements started picking up steam and support as announcements and continuations of restrictions aimed at curbing COVID-19 spread have continued. The supposed plight of the truckers proved to be a sympathetic cause on Facebook and attracted an array of fellow travelers. The last big major player is Patrick King, another former Yellow Vester, one time major figure in the Lexit movement, as well as United we roll. On January 18th, 2022, Pat King hosted a live stream for James Potter to promote the Canada Unity website and to announce it as the official page for the Freedom Trucker convoy, or as they called it, Operation Bear Hug. King is a conspiracy theorist and popular streamer that attracts the audience farther right than Canada's usual conservatives. Kings made headlines for drumming up fear and then following through with his supporters with violence at rallies put on by BLM and Antifa. Things also known for spreading what are basically neo-Nazi talking points, and I'm just going to quote from an article by the Canadian Anti Hate network here because they did a great job tracking his past extremism quote. In the past, King has gone on record about his feelings on the Anglo-Saxon replacement that plans to quote Flood Canada with refugees and subvert the education system, which is a thin rebranding of the great replacement theory touted by ethno nationalists. At other points the king has expressed to overtly racist and anti-Semitic statements. In the 2019 stream about the then upcoming federal election, King complained that he had to leave the movement due to their lack of success, saying quote the election won't matter unless you want to change your national language to Chinese or Mandarin or Hebrew. He then went on to compare Chinese names to the sound of change falling downstairs. He is publicly distorted facts about the Holocaust of form of Holocaust denial saying I do know that the Holocaust was reduced to one. 1.5 million and not the six million that it was said to be. He then invoked the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish people are secretly in control of world governance, media and finances, saying quote the questions that have been asked several times to the ADL and to the Jewish government and communities. We have Jewish world bankers who are dictating our government policies and controlling our politicians, UN quote. So yeah, considering King's history of saying blatantly fascist things, some organizers and convoy supporters tried to distance King from the Freedom convoy movement to not damage the initial fundraising effort. The controversy around King resulted in a statement being released onto the fundraising page saying King is not and has never been affiliated with our movement, nor has he been a part of our great team of volunteers. The update was afterwards deleted and then King claimed in a video that the statement was a public relations move because he was being attacked online for a while. King was still listed as the Northern Alberta Contact for the western portion of the convoy. So those are the four people that laid the organizing groundwork that spawned this entire thing and put it into motion. But what made this convoy different from United we Roll 1.0 is the almost two years of COVID isolation, which has given ample time for groups like the yellow vests and extreme far right groups to completely fold into the rapidly growing anti VAX and COVID conspiracy movement in Canada. And along with that, using people's seething hatred of Justin Trudeau to radicalize thousands of thousands of people online to getting them more. Comfortable with the idea of participating in political protest. It's really important to mention that the protests are not organized by Canadian trucking unions or really Canadian truckers. The largest trucking unions have come out against the protests, and they do not appear to reflect the values of most Canadians or most Canadian truckers. More than 80% of the Canadian public is vaccinated, including almost 90% of truckers, according to Canada's Minister of Transport. The Canadian Trucking Alliance issued a statement saying it does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roads, highways or bridges. The Canadian Trucking Alliance president said in the joint statement with the Ministers of Labor and Transport that the Government of Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance both agree that vaccination used in combination with preventative health measures is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for Canadians and to protect public health. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the mandate could impact around 12 to 16,000 Canadian commercial drivers, which is just about 10 to 15% of the industry's cross-border drivers. During the pandemic, repeated polls have shown that a majority of Canadians support public health measures to contain the pandemic. But the number of Canadians who would like to see restrictions and has risen in recent weeks. With omnicron cases on the decline, some provinces are starting to remove restrictions and requirements. The public sentiment appears to be moving in the direction of opening up communities. Throughout the last two weeks of January, the number of Canadians saying that they would like to see restrictions end has risen by 15 percentage points. To a majority of 54%, demonstrations have found a way to tap into pandemic fatigue among conservatives across the country after months of lockdown, more than 2/3 of Canadians have said they have very little in common with how the Ottawa protesters see things, but 32% say that they have a lot in common, according to a recent survey conducted by a Canadian research firm. Though the idea of vaccine mandates for Canadian truckers kind of prompted, what turned into this convoy very quickly became a general battle cry against pandemic restrictions as a whole and the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I'd like 2019 to united we roll. The freedom convoy against Health Mandates was able to successfully capitalize on western feelings of neglect and isolation from the ruling liberal elite in the east and in the capital of Ottawa. The right ingredients at the right time flung the trucker freedom convoy into the conservative zeitgeist. The original GoFundMe page, set up on January 14th to financially support convoy participants, was able to raise $10 million in just under three weeks as the truck convoy idea picked up Steam. The first expected wave of attendees were planned to arrive in Ottawa on Saturday, January 29th. Vehicles started rolling in a few days prior throughout Thursday and the Friday night before the big day on the 29th, and as Saturday the 29th came, the numbers of trucks and protest participants greatly exceeded the initial expected numbers that I and many other people had figured, while obviously falling short of the heavily mocked 50,000 truckers prediction made by some convoy supporters. While writing these episodes I talked with Paul, a citizen of Ottawa who's been living inside the occupied zone since the 29th of January and this is what he had to say about expectations leading up to the convoys of rival. There is at least a week of lead up where we it was about all we heard about. So from when they sort of declared their intention to come down to when they started rallying and BC and you know in the West and coming across. Umm. There was an anticipation that something was going to happen and you know, people around here because like where I'm sitting right now is less than a kilometer from Parliament Hill and directly in between two of the streets that they've blocked off sort of on the way into town. You know, we, we were nervous, but. We kind of were just sort of assuming it was going to be a one day affair. It was going to be small at first, but then you heard. I mean, nobody believed the the 50,000 trucks and the like that was. It I mean, to put in perspective, the numbers that they were claiming were on their way here are larger than the entire population of the city by like a couple 100,000 people. So that that didn't seem likely. But you know, when we were hearing that 30 to 40,000, when we heard about multiple convoys with you know, 100 to 200 trucks like that was when it was like, OK, this isn't going to be great. So. People started arriving on what, Friday? Saturday? The first group started rolling to town on Thursday night. They were they were small in numbers. They didn't really start blocking anything off because there just weren't enough of them. So but you could hear the horns starting on Thursday night. And I think a lot of some of them were going into hotels. They were smaller groups too, mostly from sort of local groups. And then around 10 or 11 in the morning on Friday, we started hearing reports at a Kingston, which is about an hour ish away, an hour and a half that there was a group moving out of there. So around 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon Friday, the first group started to arrive and started to congregate downtown. And one of the things about Ottawa is it's a lot like a lot of big downtowns. It's a lot of one way streets. So the moment you get the trucks starting to get into the intersections or near intersections, you're blocking off all passage in certain directions. So they started blocking off the northbound really quickly just because that's how they were coming in. And there's only like 3 gas stations downtown as well, which is kind of plays a big factor in the rest of the day took. So they all pass by, especially the passenger cars that were running low. Spirit through that way and yeah, by about 2:00 or 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Everything South of Somerset, which is about a kilometer and 1/2 from Parliament, was pretty much jammed at that point as Saturday nights came. Much of the group, supporters and truckers alike, spent that time partying late into the night as heavily backed up, traffic continued to effectively shut down roads and large areas of the city around parliament throughout the weekend. Businesses in the surrounding areas that did not close ahead of the protest were swarmed by customers, many refusing to wear masks. A local homeless shelter and soup kitchen was harassed by convoy participants, who were turned away from restaurants after refusing to wear a mask. A large number of the convoy attendees surrounded the shelter, demanding to be fed by the facility staff. According to these shelters President, convoy participants assaulted a client of the shelter and hurled racial slurs at a security guard who attempted to intervene. Workers and volunteers at the shelter noted that parked vehicles blocked the shelter, making it difficult for ambulances to reach the facility and for staff to assist community members. In need. A home in the downtown area was pelted with rocks and snow, as well as vandalized with human feces, all for showing a pride flag in their window. The operations commander for the Ottawa Paramedic Service said that an ambulance was pelted with rocks and paramedics checking the damage were called racial slurs by convoy participants. Ottawa paramedics have since requested police escorts, citing safety concerns. More public backlash was prompted after reports surfaced of a monument dedicated to commemorating Terry Fox being covered in protest signs and being staged to hold a an upside down Canadian flag. No arrests remained Saturday night related to the convoy, but as the convoy stuck around even past the weekend. There was this growing feeling of downtown residents that they've been abandoned by the city and law enforcement with the whole situation and response to the situation making them afraid to leave their homes. I asked Paul what his experience on the first weekend of the occupation was and the general feeling in the area of downtown Ottawa and you're living like right in the middle of this. How much is this affected, like your day-to-day life and all? Like your neighbors and stuff like what? What? What are you able to do and not do at this point? Well, it's the weekend was was especially bad and we're all kind of bracing for what this weekend's going to be because that's when you had just, you know, there were between somewhere between 10 and 15 to 18,000 people is the estimates have heard all crowding downtown in the streets. So at that point, I mean, that was when the police were telling people not to wear a mask out because, you know, you're kind of putting yourself at risk, or at least because they'll be targeted for violence. Yeah. So, I mean, I was like basically any time I've left the house. So we have a mask mandate still in effect in Ottawa. So you have to wear them indoors pretty much everywhere. So I have to wear in my building, I have to wear at the convenience store if I'm gonna go by, say, pack of cigarettes, I'm not gonna take it off. It's a 30 second walk and so that. The harassment around that started on Friday and then it just became anyone who was going about that didn't look like they were part of it. Started getting hassled other people I know who live in the area, especially women, we've been targeted a great deal, and anyone who's part of you know, the LGBTQ community has been. It's it's not really just it's just not safe to be out on the streets, and it's not really safe to show that you don't support what they're doing at points. Since the convoys started arriving in Ottawa, the extreme elements of the protests have been pretty miserable. Among the thousands of attendees were recognizable members of white nationalist hate groups, NEO Nazi and Confederate flags were seen flying to a non, logos were emblazoned on trucks, and signs and stickers were pasted on telephone poles around the occupied area bearing Trudeau's face reading wanted for crimes against humanity. The official line from original convoy organizers, minus Pat King, of course, however, has tried to remain focused. In a Facebook live broadcast, James Botter of Canada Unity instructed his supporters to stop talking about the vaccine and instead stick to messages of freedom. The goal of adopting a more restricted and relatable protest cause is to hopefully drum up more widespread support and validity. And it initially worked in some ways and not in others. Numerous members of the Conservative Party have come out to meet protesters. Especially throughout the first few days, now former Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole met with convoy participants, albeit away from the main protest site. Both People's Party of Canada leader Maxine Bernier and Ontario member of Provincial Parliament and leader of the de facto Ontario arm of the PPC Randy Healer, who has made many recent anti-Semitic comments, both gave speeches on Saturday the 29th in front of the Parliament building. People like Elon Musk and Donald Trump have both endorsed the convoy, and Fox News has been endlessly broadcasting glowing updates of the convoy since its arrival in Ottawa, according to the convoy participants and organizers. They are vowing to camp out in front of the parliament until their demands of dropping all COVID-19 health measures are met. While stated grievances can be broader and more vast on the ground, the current memorandum of Understanding posted on the Canada Unity website, which collected over 30,000 signatures, served as a sort of bargaining pitch between the convoy and the Canadian government. The Memorandum of Understanding, or the M OU, calls on Canada's appointed Senators and Canada's Governor General, the representative of Queen Elizabeth, the 2nd in Canada's constitutional monarchy, to abolish all COVID-19 related restrictions and to allow all unvaccinated workers whose employment was terminated because of vaccine mandates to get their jobs back. James Potter, the guy who runs Canada Unity, insisted to his followers that the M OU would force the government's hand and possibly even trigger fresh elections. If enough people signed, another candidate, unity organizer went further, saying it would require the Senate to go after the Prime Minister for corruption and Fascism, which of course there's no legal basis for any of these claims around the M OU. But you know, that doesn't really matter in the end because people still believe it, so it's going to have an impact on what they do. The more controversial Pat King laid out an alternative, however, a more direct plan of action to the occupiers in a January Facebook live stream. King said that. What we want to focus on is our politicians, their houses, their locations. If political pressure doesn't work, blocking major supply chains will be later on. So more more on that idea later. After the first weekend of protests, kind of turned occupations go fund me released a reported $1,000,000 of the total 10 million raised for the convoy. As the end of the weekend approached, many convoy participants who rolled into the nation's capital began heading home, and the highways on Sunday night saw no shortage of vehicles heading away from Ottawa with their protest signs and flags still in tow. But plenty of people stuck around to continue the fight. Thousands and thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles, including a fleet of semi trucks, commercial vehicles, RV campers and regular cars were more than enough to keep the roads and a large portion of Ottawa around parliament effectively shut down. I can't help but draw comparisons to the fear mongering narrative of bus fulls of Antifa. You know, protesters coming from out of town into places they don't live, terrorizing locals, shutting down cities, you know? The other comparison is to like the chop where the Chaz in Seattle was taking over a large portion of the city and how that was so vilified. Except, you know, this is so much bigger and impactful than anything so-called Antifa or the Black Lives Matter protests have ever done, especially in Canada. In terms of actually impacting the functionality of a city and restricting the local, national and international capitalist trade. The Freedom Convoy has done everything and more. It's proponents warned that. Antifa was going to do to Canada. Obviously. Part of the reason the convoy protest was able to get to this point is not just because of its large size, but also the initial hands off approach by police that allowed the convoy participants the opportunity to get a strong foothold within the city. The difference in initial law enforcement reaction to the protest convoy made-up of largely, you know, conservative middle class white Canadians compared to other protests like, you know, the Black Lives Matter protests or say the RCMP's typical response to First Nations protests and blockades defending their land. The comparisons cannot be overanalyzed. You know, the latter 2 forms of protest I mentioned actually do challenge societal power structures that prop up White Canada, while as this convoy protest does not and instead plays into those very power structures. That dynamic played a major role in how the police handled or didn't handle the first few days of the protest, in which during those early days, the convoy attendees were free to build infrastructure that resulted in the protest escalating into a full scale occupation. The Monday after the first initial weekend, the city's mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency. But at that point Ottawa police thought it was already too late for the protest to be ended by sheer force without vastly increasing the likelihood of severe damage and life threatening outcomes to the convoy participants, police officers and regular citizens of Ottawa. On February 2nd, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sully explicitly said that there may not be a police solution to ending the convoy and occupation. There are similar demonstrations taking place in many other parts of this country, indeed many other parts around this continent in the world. What happens here affects there. What happens there affects here? We have seen in the last 24 hours attempts by other police and other jurisdictions to do just what you have suggested. They were not effective and they created additional safety issues, potential life threatening safety issues. I have great compassion for those that have been significantly affected, if not traumatized and we know criminally victimized. We'll do everything we can to hold those who've done that to account. We'll continue arresting and charging people as we have been. But any action. Taken without understanding the totality of the context, the totality of the risk. Would be irresponsible. You're trying to be responsible, lawful, ethical, and measured. My last comment my wrapped up, I'll share again now. The longer this goes on, the more I'm convinced there may not be a police solution to this demonstration. There are police chiefs commissioners across this country that are dealing with demonstrations that are starting underway and significantly advanced. This is a national issue, not an Ottawa issue. From the start, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been playing down the notion of a military response to the ongoing Ottawa protest. During the first week, he said that sending in troops is not in the cards right now. On February 2nd, the Ottawa Police chief said that all options are on the table, including eventually calling in the military. But one must be very, very cautious about deploying troops in Canadian soil in such cases. Trudeau said that a news conference in early February that it's not something that. No one should enter into lightly. With police basically leaving the Ottawa residents who live near and within the convoy occupation to fend for themselves, I was curious what sorts of things the local community might be doing to live around this massive conspiracy filled group of reactionary out of town campers. What sort of things have the has the community been doing to kind of? Help survive this. This, like, is there been like mutual aid projects in the neighborhood to help support other neighbors? You know, that sort of thing there have. It's actually been kind of wonderful the way the community has been coming together, especially after two years of pandemic where we've all been kind of like Ottawa and Ontario have been one of the more restricted jurisdictions in North America. I mean, I say this as a restaurant manager, like, in my opinion, rightly so, like it's about keeping people safe. We've done a fairly good job of that, by and large. But The thing is that, uh, you know, our community hasn't felt a lot like a community in a while. And this week, I mean, one of the few positives has been. Both individuals and organizations. So I mean, rose and some of the other organizations that were mentioned on Friday have done a great job. There's also been some really, really great organic organizing coming out of some activists as well as just people in the community. So there's a few discord servers set up right now. So there's been a huge issue with people with disabilities and the elderly getting groceries because deliveries aren't possible downtown. So it started on Twitter, but there's been an organization set up to help people get those groceries, whether it's a cost. Two or just a physical delivery issue, we're ensure people are ensuring that that's happening. As of today, there's going to be a safe walks program. There's well, there's two, there's one on discord where it's people offering to, you know, make sure that you can get through the space safe. Today though, in a positive and more passive sense, we kind of started taking the streets back. So we had about four or five groups of people ranging from 10 to 50 just just walking the streets and not, not confronting anybody, not getting into any direct. Engagement, just going out to show that we can still walk on our streets and letting our, you know our, our, our neighbors know that we can actually be together and, you know, stand up just to be together, which is a something that I think a lot of people have lost over the last week. And I mean like the fact that that's even a big step is showing. How tired the situation is. The fact that just getting to that point, we're walking around in a group where you feel safe is like a big thing, that, yeah, that's like a really interesting and horrible indicator of what the mood has been like there for people like living in this area. That is. Yeah, that is a big part of it. And it's something that was actually talked about a lot today, which was how refreshing it was to be able to do it, but also that it shouldn't feel radical to take a safe walk in your community, but it's somehow did. Yeah. And it speaks a lot to this feelings. The lack of safety or the loss of you know, is safety in this Community and. Has been pretty immense. I should mention that another community LED efforts to deal with the occupation is the RAM Ranch resistance, a loosely organized counter movement to the trucker convoy that started with people joining the convoys online communications channels and blasting the ********** country Song RAM Ranch. The song is by a Canadian artist and features some flawless lyrics like 18 naked Cowboys wanting to be ****** Cowboys in the showers at Ram Ranch on their knees. Wanting to suck cowboy ***** Ram ranch really rocks. The result is not only making the convoy folks uncomfortable because gay, but also it is hijacking and making their online communications channels kind of useless for any non cowboy **** ******* political organizing efforts. Disruptive resistance to the convoys online communications is not just limited to the RAM Ranch song, however. Other vulgar songs have also been introduced into the chats as well. I'm going to just kind of give you a brief look at what it's like inside these chats, right? Yeah, I'm going to, I'm going to, I'm going to role play it. The Ram Ranch guys are finally gone. It's about freaking time I've had to shut that stuff off, one person is heard saying in a clip from a chat, immediately followed by a robotic voice saying welcome to the Come Zone only. Come inside anime girls, quivering **** double jointed ***** fresh balls. Since then, the movement has taken on as something of a life of its own. The RAM Ranch Resistance hashtag has been used as a way for people to share information regarding the convoy and welcome to the RAM Ranch. Signs had been popping up at convoy counter protests around the country. Another RAM rancher created the website, linking to downtown organizations that have been impacted by the trucker convoy as well as charities aiding indigenous peoples. As the convoy settled in, it appeared that the demonstrators and the government had reached a sort of stalemate. Currently, there are more than 400 trucks parked downtown, and auto police say that they can't move them because the tow operators with city contracts are refusing to help. Making matters only more difficult, police say that families with children are sleeping in approximately 1/4 of those trucks. To get an idea of what some Ottawa residents who live within the occupied zone see in terms of a potential end insight, I posed Paul this question. How do you even see the situation resolving at this point? Like do do you think they're like the truckers and the people who are in the city are going to are going to back down and leave eventually or like or or do you think there have to be forced out like what is do you see kind of an end to this at this point? Well, it's at this point probably one of the hardest things to admit is that I don't. The hardest core that are here are committed and they have a significant amount of funding behind them. And The thing is that, you know, with an occupation protest, they if you don't nip it in the bud, it's snowballs and gathers momentum for a while. And I mean eventually they either Peter out or they have to be removed. And this one is still ***********. We've seen some more extreme elements come into the city this week. Yesterday, romana. Hello? Uh, the Q Anon Queen of Canada arrived in birth. Yeah. Brent, the Canadian flag on Parliament Hill, which whatever you think about the Canadian flag and its symbol as a symbol of oppression, you know, that's not a great look for them. But the other side of it is, is that this is a woman with 70,000 followers who, you know, has called for the mass execution of her enemies and, you know, is currently parked in her Winnebago 2 1/2 blocks from my house right now. So and with a bunch of her followers down with her. And so they're committed. They know they don't know that. I did occupy a lot of years ago, and the question that people asked us, and sometimes it was the police, was what gets you out of the park. And in a weird way, there's a parallel here, which is that the hardest answer with Occupy was always kind of like everything is kind of ******. So how do we fix everything? That's the discussion we should be having. So in this case, to these people, in their worldview, everything is kind of ****** and. There's no answer that you can give those kind of people in negotiations the police right now. Are not looking at removal as a serious option, I don't think. Or if they are, they haven't figured out how to get to that place yet. And one of the weird things about Ottawa is, is that technically, in various spaces, because the way it's designated, there is a whole mishmash of jurisdictions between the various police agencies. So like, again, with Occupy that we picked the park, like the park that was occupied was partially picked because it was on like this weird jurisdictional black hole where it was. To figure out who the cops were at, who should police it were. So and they've ended up in the same park where they now have like 55 cylinders of propane. Sitting about 500 yards from the Department of National Defense. So it's a. It's tricky to figure out how you how you get get out of that, because all it's going to take is one of them with something in their cab and it's done. Yep, Yep. Well. Do you have any hope for anything? Do you have any like indicators for how it can turn out well? I mean in terms of the occupation, I mean, we'll see how it goes. Maybe there can become some kind of modus Vivendi between them and the rest of the city. I don't know how that happens, but maybe there can be but. I don't know it's. The only silver lining I see right now is, you know, the walk that I was on earlier today and the chats that I was having with other people in the Community and the discord server and everywhere else like. This is a really strong community that cares a great deal about itself and sometimes needed to be needs to be reminded of that. And I think this is an opportunity for that to happen. Then I think that that's the positive that can come out is that we will take care of ourselves and we'll take care of each other. And that's, you know what? What more can you ask for, I guess out of this? Reports of assaults perpetrated by members of the convoy protest have been steadily ruling in the past few weeks, not to mention the seemingly constant presence of honking in the downtown area that's been affecting residents. Every day, and even into the night, I will offer you this short sample to help complete the picture of what it's like both indoors and outdoors in downtown Ottawa. So apologies about that. Yeah, that was pretty bad and as annoying and frustrating as it may be before I close out part one, I'm going to play some audio from one of the truckers or, you know, just convoy participants as he addresses fellow conveyors on why it's good and in fact. Evolutionary, to honk horns late into the night. I think it gives you some valuable insight into how these people frame their actions in their own heads. And you know, it'll give you an opportunity to hear some of these convoy people directly. So here we go. It was quiet when I got here, but now they're starting to beat. They're starting to make some noise. Now. I get it. I saw some comments saying that you want to go from 9 to 5 and you want to turn your horns off and you want to, you know, be respectful and play the optics war and you don't. You've done all the math, man. I get it. I we've done everything. Every piece of garbage has been picked up. Statistically, there is no crime. And when I mean statistically, if you have some drunk guy acted, you know, silly on one St quickly gets, you know, talk to and then the Patriots. Taking back to his car, maybe there was some incident of mischief. I've heard reports of Antifa throwing rocks and trucks, tag and stuff. They're the ones committing the crime. But other than that, this has been the most well behaved revolution on Earth. And now the big complaint is, can you get them to only blow their horns between 9:00 and five? I'm sorry, what has compliant got you guys so far? What is just little by little? I'll just do this. Yeah, just just don't beep your horns between 9:00 and 5:00. That's all we're going to ask. Then wear 2 masks. And just go right back to square one. How about you put your blame right where it belongs, right in the eye of Sauron? And that's who we handle this with. And every mandate. We're not allowed to exist in society. I'm not allowed to go to a movie. I'm not allowed to go to a restaurant. I'm not allowed to leave the country. You can't even leave. You can't travel on planes. You can't do anything that Trudeau can get his fingers on to discriminate against us in society. Meanwhile, he'll blame us for side effects of his Guinea pigs. It's an insane world, and you've complied long enough. Guys, and the madness in the horn stop. But I am in no place to go tell these guys. Oh, excuse me. Can you turn your horn off? Can you get used to complying again? We want freedom. We're not asking for anything unreasonable, and we're doing it on your behalf. The least you can do is turn off your television and stop letting their horrible objections to this revolution and their horrible false flags and whatever else they bring. I'm sorry about the noise complaints now. Are you sorry about banishing me from society? And treating me like I'm some sort of leper because I want to keep my immune system intact. Sorry, guys, the horns are staying. Stuff it up your ***. Anyone that has a problem with loud noises, we have a problem being banished from society. Apologies for that, but now I hope you have a better understanding of the type of conspiratorial thinking among the people in this convoy, and the importance this whole thing means to them. So with this that wraps up my part one of my deep dive into the Canadian freedom convoy. In the next episode we'll get into the border blockades both in Alberta and the Ambassador Bridge which is preventing some international trade. We'll get into some of the smaller protests and attempted occupations in other cities across Canada and how the situation is evolving in Ottawa and what types of long term political ramifications this protest and any attempt to suppress it will have so with that. See you on the other side. Welcome to it could happen here and the second part of my little mini series going into the occupation and blockade protests all across Canada that's been happening the past three weeks. For Part 2, we'll be starting off with a change of scenery instead of the loud cramped streets of downtown Ottawa and the Castle Lake Parliament. Building will be taking a detour to the snow covered prairies and oil fields of rural Alberta. As the convoy officially arrived in Ottawa on January 29th, smaller protests against health mandates were also happening across the entire country. One of these many protests was happening in the small city of Lethbridge in southern Alberta. But unlike the majority of other non Ottawa protests, the one based around Lethbridge didn't turn out to be a simple weekend affair with hundreds of vehicles, including some semi trucks, RV's and farm tractors all gathered together. It was decided to take part in a little mini convoy of their own, but instead of going to a capital building, they rolled towards the international border crossing used by truckers in the area. I was able to interview Jen, a Lethbridge local, who also happens to work near the area of the Alberta border blockade where they kind of gathered in Lethbridge here and took off about 4:30 in the morning. And so they made it down to the village of Coots, which is essentially right on the border. It's the last stop before you hit the border at Coots Alberta, sweetgrass, Montana, and they blocked off the highway completely, heading both northbound and southbound. And they've been camped out since. So it's my understanding that at that point in time throughout, you know, day 1/2 and three of their protest, there was no getting in or out out of the village of Kootz, which is it is a small village, about 250 residents, and it was so bad that not even emergency services could get through. Again blocking both lanes of the highway in either direction in the ditches. And just weren't letting up. And so are are they even driving anywhere or is it, are they just like camped there, just camped out there parked? And of course you know, there's people that will drive down to the border and participate for a couple hours and you know, turn around and go home kind of thing. But there is that core group, the majority of which are actually farmers bringing down like their tractors and of course there is some semi truck drivers who are all a part of it and just. Not allowing anyone to get through on either side. So, you know, holding up a lot of, a lot of our supplies, a lot of our food and and things like that. At first local police and RCMP just weeded out the blockade, I guess hoping to see if the people would just get tired of camping out in the cold and then, you know, go home. But after a few days, that possibility seemed less and less likely than when the RCMP. Did start to get more actively involved with kind of managing the blockade, albeit, you know, with a very gentle hand. In extremely stark contrast to how RCMP handles blockades, you know, defending indigenous land. But at that point it was already kind of too late and the pacified police action only spread the protests efforts on day four of the blockade at the border. The RCMP had kind of moved in a little bit and tried to break it up. So some of the the protesters had kind of broken off and decided to blockade some other areas. So there was a blockade that happened on Hwy 3 just outside of the town of Fort MacLeod on the way to the town of Brocket, which would be on the blood reserve here in Alberta. They blockaded the highway and wouldn't let anyone through. And then they set up another blockade on Hwy 23, which of course would be the the next NS route given that Hwy 3 was now blocked off the Highway 3 going to Hwy 2, so they blocked off Hwy 23. At there's a traffic circle or a roundabout, kind of in the middle of nowhere in the highway at the village of Nobleford, sorry, town of Nobleford. And they set up a blockade at the roundabout as well. Wouldn't let anyone come in. north-south, East, West, didn't matter. So that was Tuesday, Tuesday. So that they were building off like highways to 423 and three. Yeah, so effective. Effectively shutting down any kind of like travel for like food and supplies for like. All four directions, pretty much exactly, yeah. Like there was a lot of chatter on social media. They have a local Facebook group for road conditions, and there was a lot of chatter. You know, where do we go? How do we get around this? What, back? Rd? Should I take secondary highways? That sort of thing. And thankfully, you know, there was still, I suppose, some ways to get around it. The RCMP were kind of setting up detours and things like that, but those main routes were blockaded on Tuesday. Which would have been, I guess. What day is that? February 1st the Static Highway blockades preventing traffic in all four directions were mostly a one day affair. The next Wednesday morning, more effort was put back into the main blockade at the border near Coots, with some folks still participating in the rolling blockades of sorts, you know, on the surrounding highways. So instead of just blocking the roads by staying parked, people in vehicles kept a slow loop of traffic moving through the highway system to clog up. Travel and then like the contingent at closer to the border has been more consistent, you would say, yeah, definitely the the contingent at the border on Hwy. 4 at, like I said at Coutts, Alberta, they've been set up all the way through since the 29th. There has been days where the tensions are definitely very high, where those protesters are saying we will not leave until or we won't even come to the negotiating table until these restrictions. Are gone. We like, we won't even attempt. And so the RCMP have been kind of in negotiations with them over the last few days. There's been a couple of times where they thought they had resolution to open up lanes of travel to get some of these trucks with goods through. And of course there's been people stuck in their cars as well for quite a few days without food. At that point, the protesters originally had come to an agreement with the RCMP to let people through. And then turned around and decided, well, we don't really want to. So that was kind of ongoing from, I'm going to suggest the the 30th up until about the 2nd. On the second, the RCMP had set up a roadblock at the town of Milk River to, I guess, dissuade the the locals from coming out and adding to the congestion and adding to the problems. And at one point there was a group of people and videos are on tick tock, they're on Facebook, they're on Twitter, where people are blasting through the barricades, going through the ditch, going through media and just. Bypassing it completely to get down to the the convoy protest as I record this, the border crossing port of entry near the town of Kootz has been largely impassable for over 2 weeks. It's a major trade hub where millions of dollars worth of agricultural products like meat and feed trade hands each day. The first day had hundreds of vehicles participating in blocking access to the trade route along Hwy 4, but after a week of blockading the Alberta, Montana border crossing, around 80 big rigs continued to remain along the highway for a majority of the time. Since the 29th of January, vehicle access has been either completely stopped to and from the border, or at least. Substantially slowed down. The occasional day where vehicles are being let through on one lane of traffic has an estimated 7 hours of stall time in order to get through just that tiny area of Rd. The blockade of that international port of entry at Cootes and the only 24/7 commercial land crossing in Alberta is a direct threat to the economic well-being of growers, producers, manufacturers and many other businesses that rely on the movement of both raw materials and finished goods. In and out along the Canamex corridor. Lemington has warned that manufacturing plants in the region will be forced to either reduce or cancel production as their supplies run out and they're unable to get their goods to international markets. This is something farmers and food producers are dealing with as well, as agricultural exports are one of the region's main economic drivers. In 2020, the Lethbridge metropolitan area exported nearly $1.8 billion worth of goods, around 80% of which went to the United States, a vast majority of these exports. Went through this coots border crossing. That means for the city of Lethbridge alone, they're facing a roughly $3 million a day impact on the economic damage, based on the road and rail travel that must move through that port of entry. The impact is, of course, four or five times larger than if you consider the movement of other Alberta goods in and out of that same NS corridor. It's only more ironic and frustrating considering that the idea of shutting down international capitalist trade, you know, costing millions of dollars in losses each and every day is exactly the sort of thing that these same conservatives would complain that BLM or Antifa would do. You know, like in terms of anti capitalist action, this is actually more successful in causing damage to capital than really anything I've seen the Canadian left do in recent memory now. Obviously police response to a left wing protest, you know, doing similar tactics. We're probably greatly differ, you know, plus the fact that these people participating in these blockades are the same types of people that talk about their desire to run down protesters in trucks, you know, whenever there's marching in the street or an indigenous Rd blockade to a new oil pipeline. Nevertheless, on top of the police inability, whether by choice or imagination, to handle the situation and considering both the conspiracy fueled political issues around masks, vaccines and health mandates and the growing economic problems, the blockade. Is causing it's not super surprising that the Conservative government of Alberta began the process of removing health mandates as the protests striked on, and unfortunately it seems like the province is. Listening and they're taking it seriously. I I know last night our premier had gone on Facebook live and had announced that come Monday, the caucus will vote as to whether or not to scrap it. Which would mean that, like I said, now there's no longer that requirement to access some of these, these services from private businesses. And then ultimately that would lead us back into our. Letter RIP model that we had last summer. The Monday vote came in the next day, February 8th. Alberta Premier and premieres are like the, you know, equivalent of governors for the states. But Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that the provinces so-called COVID-19 vaccine passport program would end immediately, explaining that the restriction program had served its purpose but is no longer needed since Alberta has passed the peak of American infections about three weeks ago. Capacity limits were also next Tuesday night. For venues with capacity limits under 500, including libraries and places of worship and effect of this past Sunday, February 13th, the province will also no longer require masking for children and youth in schools and for any Albertans aged 12 and under in any setting. There is a second phase for Alberta's COVID restriction removal plan. On March 1st, the province is set to remove any remaining restrictions, including the indoor mask mandate, work from home requirements, any remaining capacity limits, and limits on social gatherings and screenings for youth activities. Jason Kenney did deny that the move has anything to do with the protests from those, you know, demanding the repeal of vaccine mandates of all types across the country, including the blockade that the government had condemned as illegal at the border crossing, saying. Quote none of that has anything to do with a few trucks participating at the Coots border crossing, who added that keeping previous rules in place would invite widespread noncompliance for no purpose. Saying, why keep this going on for a few days when we know that in many areas we're already having non compliance problems? So yeah, of course the demonstrations have continued despite Alberta dropping multiple health measures and agreeing to a demand made by a lot of the anti mandate protesters, which implies that this protest is about much more than simple COVID health measures, right? It points to the movement being more about taking political power and forcing everyone to comply with their own conspiratorial and alienated understanding of the world. As someone who's like living in Alberta, which is, you know, one of the more. Conservative provinces of Canada. How much do you see this kind of this kind of, you know, spontaneous revolt and resistance to be actually tied to the health mandates and how much do you see it? It's more like a revolt around like Trudeau and Canada's like and Canada's like veneer of liberalism like, like, like how like how much do you did you see? It's more like a urban rural divide thing that's now just getting pushed into the spotlight because of COVID. Or do you think it really is way more about COVID itself? I think that the pandemic has definitely had a role to play in sparking a lot of this this furor and this this disconnect. But the the seeds have been sown for many years, through many successive provincial governments and and much rhetoric, that the West has always been ignored by the east, by our political institutions in the East, namely Ottawa, our federal government, the seat of our federal government. Uh, in favor of, you know, Ontario and Quebec and what they want. So Albertans have always. Seeing themselves with a bit of a martyr complex where we are the economic powerhouse of the country, but we are the ugly stepchild and we are ignored in favor of the wonderful children in the east. And so that, that disconnect and that divide has always been there and the pandemic has been the catalyst. And of course, you know, whenever there is a federal Liberal Party that's in in power, the Conservatives. Feel the Conservatives in Alberta and in the West, they feel even more disenfranchised. They feel that this, this government doesn't hear them. They don't listen to them. They don't, you know, follow the whims of. You know the the dyed in the wool conservatives. And so that rhetoric has built and built and built over the years and it's all tied into other things as well. It's tied into the economic policies and the policies of the liberal government with in regards to climate change and carbon tax and how how that's been hitting Albertans. You know they. Our province is very heavily dependent upon the oil and gas sector and it always has been for the last, I'm going to suggest 56 years. And so when they see things like an autumn where they're talking about climate change and they're talking about, you know, green energy, it makes these conservatives angry because this has been our bread and butter for years. This is what's fed our families. They don't recognize that, you know, this is this is the path forward. All they hear is we don't want you, we don't want your jobs, we don't want your products. And they're angry. And this has been the catalyst now where? They're just fed up. They're fed up with, with not being heard. Unfortunately, all that's built up anger and resentment towards the government and its leadership is ending up being taken out against just any symbol of liberalism, not really the government directly. You know, within this worldview, homophobic attacks can be then thought up as this weird form of punching up because gayness is associated with liberalism. So it's seen as almost this system of power, even though it's. That's obviously backwards. It's this kind of weird backwards thing where you can view like attacking progressive things as an attack on the system. So that means, like being racist or being homophobic. Is this rebellion against, you know, the system itself, even though it just ties into all those same systemic issues. Just the other day in Edmonton, there was a a business owner, a hair salon owner, who's been very outspoken about this freedom. Envoy and about how she doesn't agree with their messaging and and their their ideas. And she was actually hunted down on social media, hunted down in person. They found her, someone found her, her business, went to her business and confronted her and assaulted her at her business, all because she does not support the convoy and apparently this individual did, you know, we definitely, we definitely see here that the feeling is, is that if you are a liberal in Alberta. This is not the place for you. You know if you. If you believe in, you know, equal rights for everyone, this is not the place for you. If you believe in the rights of marginalized and minority communities, this is not the place for you. And we, I've seen that, you know, in taking part in various protests. I suppose that could be branded as liberal protests like the Black Lives Matter protests and the protests and and. Rallies that were held in support of the indigenous communities uh last summer upon, you know, the the news that kind of shook the world regarding graves at residential schools. And, you know, you see it with the indigenous communities that protest pipelines on their traditional lands and they block, you know, railways and these same people that are screaming for jail time and for violence and and police intervention on these various protests. Are the same people that are taking part in this convoy. Protesters at the Kootz border crossing will now be charged or fined, according to the province and the RCMP. RCMP Deputy chief Curtis Zablocki said in a news conference during the start of the second week of the Alberta border blockade that police are actively working to diffuse the situation at the most important border crossing in Alberta, but are trying to do so peacefully, saying make no mistake, there are criminal activities taking place at these protest sites that violates both Criminal Code. And provincial laws, we've seen activities that are both dangerous and reckless and are having a very negative effect on Albertans who live in the area. He then pointed to, you know, dwindling numbers involving the blockade from a high of around 250 vehicles to begin with to around 50 vehicles last Tuesday afternoon as a success of their efforts to this point. But, you know, this isn't convinced everyone, since the blockade is still happening. So acting Justice minister and solicitor General Sonya Savage called the blockade intolerable and said that those taking part in the demonstration can be charged under several different federal and provincial laws, including the Federal Criminal Code, the Provincial Traffic Safety Act, and the new Critical Infrastructure Defense Act, which was enacted right in the middle of 2020 during the International George Floyd Uprising and the setting. Rail blockades in Canada now I'm going to go into mini tangent here just because of how terrible this bill is. The bill gives law enforcement and the judicial system extra power to dish out significant monetary fines and extra jail time for actions deemed to interfere with so-called essential infrastructure, quote UN quote. The stated goal of the bill is harsher penalties and charges for quote damage or interference caused by blockades, protests or similar activities which can cause significant public safety. Social, economic and environmental consequences. The Act builds on existing trespassing laws to create offenses for trespassing, on, destroying, damaging, and obstructing the use or operation of any essential infrastructure, also under the banner of essential infrastructure that includes public and private property. By the way, the bill was obviously aimed at left wing protest and specifically ecodefense and environmental protest and or sabotage as the first two things defined as essential infrastructure in the bill. Are quote pipelines and related infrastructure and oil and gas production and refinery sites. So yeah, there's also been pressure from government officials to include forfeiture of property in the Commission of crime through the Civil Forfeiture Act. RCMP deputy chief Zablocki said the charges will be coming for those taking part in the protest and could be as simple as the way they are illegally parked on the highway. He did note that the RCMP has attempted to hire a local towing companies to move the trucks and other equipment. Off the road, but have been unable to do so, with the companies citing concerns over damage to their business long term or just safety issues in general. This has also been a huge factor in attempts to deal with the Ottawa occupation. Zablocki said that there are concerns over safety and violence in response to the more aggressive approaches to breaking up the blockade. So far, the main action law enforcement has taken to dissuade people from blocking the border is just giving out tickets and fines for illegal parking. Premier Jason Kenney. That he is supportive of RCMP handling this as they see fit through the means that they already have and has been supportive of using the, you know, pretty horribly authoritarian critical infrastructure Defense Act. Saying quote, last year we passed the defense of Critical Infrastructure Act which gives police enormous powers and various defines the penalties including the power of imprisonment. We have made it clear to the RCMP, who is our provincial policing service that they can and should use all of these powers. They're dealing with a very fluid situation and I have respect for their judgment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the ongoing blockades and protests across the country, this past Friday, encouraging demonstrators to leave while also passing the buck on any blame, saying quote I want to remind everybody that politicians don't direct police departments to enforce the law. Instead, Trudeau made vague threats around revoking licenses and criminal records for those continuing to protest saying everything is on the table because this unlawful blockade has to end and will end. The blockade at the Coots border crossing is not the only convoy aligned protest in Alberta. There have been many demonstrations in basically every major city in Calgary. The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says that frontline healthcare workers, patients and people living around the Sheldon Camier Health Center have dealt with protests for weeks, but things have only gotten worse since the truck convoy hit the news. The vice president of the Alberta Union for Provincial Employees said that protesters have blocked the ambulance Bay, they've harassed workers and patients as they come to and from the center. They've banged on the windows of the facility and upset people inside, and they have blocked the roads around the center. Moving on to the province of British Columbia as the second weekend of protest was set to descend on Vancouver the weekend of February 5th. In preparation. Fearing attacks would be carried out against healthcare workers like they have in the past, Vancouver's two health authorities issued internal memos telling health workers to hide indoors as the convoy passed through the city and to quote, refrain from wearing scrubs and or your ID badge outside the hospital during the demonstration. If you do encounter any protesters, please do not engage with them or respond to their questions. And please do not ask protesters to put on a face mask. Similarly, ahead of a protest in Toronto, the Toronto Police sent letters to hospitals advising their workers to not wear any clothing or markings that identified them as working in healthcare, fearing attacks by protesters. As the second wave of the convoy arrived during the second weekend of the occupation in Ottawa, some of the on the ground organizational structure started to morph and evolve. The police estimated around this time that 5000 people were still protesting in Ottawa and around. 1000 vehicles were clogging the streets during the second week of protests. In an effort to improve optics. Considering the four original organizers explicit connections to the far right, a new lead organizational public relations and bargaining team was assembled for the group calling themselves the Freedom convoy. The new pseudo leadership team consists of Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was on the Prime Minister's security detail. He quit last year after refusing to get the vaccine and is now the convoys head of security, Tom Quiggin, a former military intelligence officer who also worked with the RCMP and was considered one of the country's top counterterrorism experts, and Tom Marrazzo, an ex military officer who according to his LinkedIn profile. Served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 25 years and now works as a freelance software developer. And just side note in terms of, you know, police and former military participating in the protests, there was an organization full of retired police that endorsed the convoy a few weeks ago and said that they have people on the ground there and just got announced as as I'm recording this, that's two members of Canada's military counterterrorism unit is under investigation for allegedly taking part in the. Ottawa convoy protests. So yeah, that's fun. The occupation has been getting more and more organized on the ground the past two weeks and has been able to keep one step ahead of any action taken against police against the occupation. Even just what the convoy participants have physically built is impressive. In less than a week after the convoy arrived, you started to see wooden structures being built around the roads and a growing stockpile of propane and diesel fuel. There is an impressive amount of tents and wooden structures used for kitchens that local organizers have set up, and a whole supply chain has sprung up across the city to keep these people fed, working and protesting. I'm now going to quote a good article in the CBC by Judy Tren quote. The group is set up not only near the Parliament in Ottawa, but they have also built touring encampment areas where they carry out logistical and supply work. Recent reporting has painted a picture that these areas are far more organized than widely thought. The group is also trying out new tactics, such as attempting to clog up traffic at the Ottawa airport. Other tactics like swatting, have been reported as well. Ottawa police say they're aware of a concerted effort to flood our 911 and non-emergency police reporting lines. Tweeting that this endangers lives, that is completely unacceptable. Determined to not be outdone by their fellow protesters in the West after the 2nd wave arrived, the members of the Ottawa convoy organized a way for the convoy occupation to stay, but also put up a border crossing blockade of their own. Starting Sunday, February 6th, scores of truckers blocked the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor ON to Detroit, MI, disrupting the flow of auto parts and other products. Between the two countries. While this protest has been conducted more by pickup trucks than big rigs, it has been holding up the lanes. The bridge is the busiest US Canada border crossing and a key cog in both the US and Canadian economies as it carries around 25% of trade between the two countries. The effects of the blockade there were felt rapidly. The bridge regularly carries around $360 million a day in two way cargoes, but traffic is limited by its 1929. Physical footprint. There's just two lanes each way with no shoulders and antiquated customs boots, with the northern side just emptying out into these city streets. The bumper to bumper demonstration forced auto plants on both sides of the border to shut down or scale back production. The halting of trade has bottlenecked automaker Ford's ability to get parts from the US to its Canadian plants in Windsor and Oakville forward to shut down the doors of its Windsor plant and reduced the work schedule in Oakville. Ford said in a statement the interruption on the Detroit Windsor Bridge hurts customers, auto workers, suppliers, communities and companies on both sides of the border. We hope the situation is resolved quickly because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the US and Canada. Automaker Toyota said that it's three plants in Ontario closed for the rest of the week because of parts shortages, and production has also been curtailed in Georgetown, KY more on the US side of things. GM's Jeep and Honda all had hours cut and assembly lines shut down at their factories across Michigan and Ohio. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmore urged Canadian authorities to quickly resolve the standoff, saying it's hitting paychecks and production lines and that is unacceptable. The federal Public Safety minister has said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reinforcements are being sent to Windsor, Ottawa and to kouts, Alberta, where the other border blockade is happening. With political and economic pressure mounting, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens announced that the city would seek a court injunction to end the occupation, saying that the economic harm is just not sustainable and it must come to an end. On Thursday, February 10th, the Biden administration urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government. On Thursday to use its federal powers to end the truck blockade at the other side of the Detroit border, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products have been held back for days as 50 to 60 vehicles and around 100 anti mandate protesters camp out on the main road that leads on and off the bridge. And yes, it is ironic that the same people who are trying to sell Canadians fake stories about failing supply lines and empty shelves are now causing those supply lines to fail and causing those shelves to go empty. The irony is not lost on me, but it may be lost on the convoy participants. Throughout writing these episodes, I was fortunate enough to get to talk to multiple people who have been on the ground in downtown Ottawa. One such of these peoples is Peter Smith, an investigative journalist for the Canadian Anti Hate network. We recorded our conversation and I'm going to include some audio clips throughout the rest of the episode. We started off by discussing what made this protest movement pop off in this specific time and place. I do think it was maybe capitalizing on a moment, but also a fair amount of luck. You know, since 2019, the same organizers have attempted to put together other convoys. You know, generally never rising to the amount of attention that they had in 2019. You know, this convoy was also planned long before they specifically started focusing on truckers. And then it was it was a galvanizing issue. It resonated with people who were frustrated with the Trudeau government. And just their their handling of of health measures as well as. Just became a like a vehicle for expressing their general dissatisfaction with their own provinces. Like most of our health mandates are provincial, like the the Alberta government is handing down what's happening in Alberta. So it's, it's not just. It's not just a a federal issue, but coming down here and occupying the streets of Ottawa and then now we're seeing occupying most of our major cities. You know, ones like Winnipeg get significantly less attention, but are incredibly disruptive locally. And in some cases, more kind of incendiary than the one that we have out here. Where, you know, participants and organizers are desperately trying to clamp down on on any individuals who's engaging in harassment or. Or is more common, blaming it on liberal plants. Yeah, it just it became this kind of expression of all of the frustration and very quickly drew attention even from people who've been dismissive of it very early on because of some of the organizers. Once it really started to galvante galvanized attention and, of course, money. If people couldn't, couldn't stay away. I mean to the point that we even have mainstream conservative politicians now getting on board with it, including the man who's very likely to be the future leader of the Conservative Party here. I mean we're in a very unique moment. You know our our far right and kind of conspiracy culture in Canada has also been getting better at organizing over the course of the pandemic. Once to get like all major cities have and many small towns continue to have anti mandate, anti lockdown protests. We usually refer to them as the COVID conspiracy movement just because of how and heavily, heavily informed it is by conspiratorial thinking. So it's it's like you had a large amount of people kind of spending the past two years in like a on the ground boot camp. Of how to organize within these cities and how to get people's attention. And of course, like like a lot of the far right here, it it fragmented. There was a lot of infighting. And then you know once there became a central point that was was galvanizing a lot of attention, it started receiving international attention. You know, there's been some questions about the source of of some of the money, but certainly the initial totals. Seemed to be organically Canadian. It just became too big to fall apart essentially, at least at this point. There has been some spots of infighting, but mostly. You know the most polarizing figures are. Either just keeping their head down, or in some cases even choosing to stay away from the main events so as not to be a distraction. There's a lot. One of the lines I see a lot is like this is the moment. This is for all the marbles. So there's a huge amount of importance being placed on that. What actually happens? Like whether they're able to. Paint what we've like the actual rolling back of Band-aids that we were already starting to see before the convoy began as some type of victory for them. Or if this leads to further disillusionment. You know, we don't really know at this point, but I think this moment is going to be a propaganda tool. Kind of a. The point of. I think it's going to be a propaganda tool and a. Like a point of motivation for a long time. From your like both on the ground stuff and just from monitoring stuff online, what do you think like the actual? Actionable intention was once they arrived in Ottawa. Like, do you think they had a clear plan of what to do or was it more like, let's go here and then we'll figure things out? Well, initially there there was a minimum. Initially there was a memorandum of understanding which laid out kind of the the points of what the initial organizers were hoping to accomplish, something they called the Operation Bear Hug. Which includes having the Governor General and our Senate, both of whom are unelected. Dissolve parliament. And reform the government immediately after we had a federal election. Umm. Since then, the message has evolved like they're trying to stay. Very. Very like on script, with this just being about freedom, this just being about mandates. You know, initially there was a lot of attempts to even get people to to stop mentioning the vaccine, though those seem to kind of. Fallen by the wayside, especially when you start looking at the speakers. It is interesting to kind of wonder what the actual goal is there. They've started meeting with public officials. You know, there is some type of negotiation going on. Umm. Ostensibly, the goal is just to have these border restrictions lifted on people on truckers who are unvaccinated returning from the US. You know, the obvious thing is to point out that the US still has a very similar policy, and reversing it here would have no impact on their ability to to avoid this quarantine. But it seems like the goals are fairly murky, and that's almost deliberate, because then they can declare victory. Kind of when it suits them. Ambiguity around rotest goals, demands, and purpose itself can be a useful tactic. The Crimethink Zine article titled Why We Don't Make Demands makes such a case. Now, I don't have time to summarize it here, but I recommend you give the article a look if you're interested in this train of thought as an intentional tactic. But on the flip side, you know vague and directionless protest without much of a focus on a specific goal can also cause protests to Peter out without having any lasting impact on the world. A discussion worth having is how the individual people that make up the Conway participants have been convinced to take part in an occupation protest and how what is considered valid political action has broadened in their own heads. If they are the ones doing the action. Of course, because from their point of view, since they are doing it, the cause must be valid and therefore the action is justified. In 2020 we had the the wet suit in rail blockades that was put on by. Various members of our First Nations and then people who supported them, you know, the same politicians that are meeting. With the truckers embracing them saying that. Our current Prime Minister is demonizing them by kind of casting them as undesirables. We're, you know, we're actively calling people sitting on train tracks as terrorists who are disrupting our economy. Obviously in the context of the pandemic pandemic, that's very different because there has been kind of mass disruption to to our economy. But this kind of picking and choosing of of suiting the narrative to court far right voters seems to be popular. You know how conservatives typically aren't seen as the protesting type, right? Conservatives are supposed to be the type of people who drive by the protest and yell, get a job. They're not the ones who are out in the streets picketing. But first of all. That's not really true. Historically, in just the past 100 years there's always been conservative protests for, you know, regressive and reactionary goals. Also, conservatives have been much better at organizing off the street for their political policies, specifically around like abortion or Christian dominionism, anti queer legislation or recent stuff around anti CRT and just the mainstream racism denial that's been propagated through media. But even if there is historical precedent for conservative protest, bridging the gap of what is seen as valid political action in the minds of these convoy attendees did still take place over just the past few years. Just the past two years specifically. There's been so much conservative protests around COVID a whole bunch of the people at the Ottawa protest probably five years ago would have never seen themselves going to protest in the Canadian capital, right? Like if you told them a few years ago that in 2022? You're going to drive all these kilometers to the parliament to camp out in the cold for weeks, to protest against the government and its rules for helping not spread the deadliest pandemic in a century. They would have probably laughed you out of the room. So what is the logical progression of conservative people who generally, you know, look down on any type of protest, especially Occupy style protests, to the point where they are driving all the way to the capital to camp outside the building, to honk horns day and night. A lot of that political change the past few years. Correlates to the pandemic, to the social isolation and the great opportunity for the fast spread of conspiratorial politics that it offered over the course of the pandemic. There's been this huge blending of rhetoric online, and especially in Canada. This kind of villain ization of the other side increasingly less and less criticism against the current government is less based on its policy and more based on its figurehead and the image of Trudeau as a globalist, politics as opposition. To whatever Trudeau and the Liberals are doing, the result of that is just a whole bunch of escalation, because you have to keep always being antagonistic and always being contrarian, no matter what the opposition actually does. The thing is, a lot of the people who used to just be kind of more general conservatives as they get radicalized online and get caught up with far right extremist elements, most of them still view themselves as like the norm. They don't think they've politically changed the past five years, but if you look at their rhetoric and actions, they definitely have kind of substantially. But they still view themselves the same way they would when they were voting for Stephen Harper. Unless you're a self-described extremist, you typically view everything that you do and say as normal and reasonable. Like you, you are the actual normal. Everyone else is shifted either way relative to you. During our talk I asked investigative journalist Peter Smith on his opinions about what sorts of political and social factors have allowed the occupation and blockades to have enough numbers to last and continue on so long. Kind of having spent a lot of time on the ground at the Ottawa convoy, just talking to people as like a as a normal guy without my press hat on. It does seem like. One, there's a lot of owner operators there. Like when it comes to the trucks themselves, these people are the business owners. Or like very close, like they're kind of independent contractors, exactly. I think there was a survey, a report that came out showing a survey that done that, like roughly half of the people there. Were unemployed. OK. So like the financial promise? Of all the money raised, may have been a big draw. Like not to say that these people don't legitimately believe the reasons. No, absolutely. But it created an incentive. But then having roughly half of them, you know, still having jobs, you know, it comes down to a little bit more than just money. Like it's about actual belief, actual ideology. But it is interesting for a large amount of people who are extremely worried about supply lines, about people having enough food initially to kind of creating this self fulfilling prophecy where. Where that seems to be the main tactic is just to grind as much to a halt as they can, using as much as many people as they can muster, and then just the kind of general. Hands off approach that law enforcement is taking with them. Has allowed them to to organize better, to evolve their tactics, to be more effective. Like I certainly don't think a policing solution is, is what's going to solve this. And you know, there's a lot of calls for that, which is I think just going to result in a lot of people getting hurt in the street. Umm. But but yeah, like. It is interesting that how it kind of it came from the West mostly and then landed in Ottawa and then kind of spread out from there once people realized it was effective once people realized. You know, there was there was safety in these numbers, it's it's drawn. It's drawn so many people to it. It's it's honestly, it's it has been shocking, like truly how quickly it is spread and how effective it has been. It's not January 6 in the sense that like, people are running around Parliament to like trying to find, you know, every liberal politician, but in the sense that it's a large amount of people motivated by conspiracy. Yeah, that's where I view the parallel. And because they and honestly the the actual sincerity of it poses more of a political threat than the animosity of January. Works in terms of like, long term, like actual social change and using this type of, like occupation as a tactic. The more sincere you are, the more of an actual political threat you can be in the long term. Because, yeah, if they if they storm Parliament, then it'll get shut down in a day and then they'll be demonized and then then the problem is over, at least at least in the short term, right. But if you actually, like, do this sincerely and actually get people to buckle under pressure, then that's like actual successful politics. That is, you actually doing politics objectively well, and that's more interesting to point out. The problem isn't protesting like protesting as a concept isn't the issue. The problem isn't even blockades. Like, no the problem stop blockades either. You know, all these things are just tactics, and tactics are value neutral usually. You know, until you get to the genocide, when it's usually. That's a kind of, kind of a kind of a downer generally. But in general, I kind of view protest tactics as more value neutral. It's about kind of. What the underlying cultural motivation is and what they want the results to be. And even still, you know some of the some of the points they have are not completely invalid. But once it gets caught up in a cultural war kind of mindset, it's like you have to oppose it just because they're on the other side. So I kind of want to talk about like the reasons why they are actually kind of bad like like for like on like a very sincere way, but then also kind of point out. Some things that are like, yeah, maybe the these are things we should consider and it shouldn't take this type of occupation to have us reconsider some of these rules and regulations. Yeah, like, completely like. I I think there's no issue with having being uncomfortable with mandates like, even if you feel they're necessary, like being uncomfortable with the amount of of state power that is being accumulated. You know, in in Canada, you know, there have been sweeping changes to the way that we live our life. Like, I I know that that's been universal. But there there is not a province that hasn't really suffered, like hasn't really impacted people's lives dealing with COVID. And you know, this is this is one of the the biggest issues when trying to point out disparate responses and policing. Well, it's like, oh, it's like, so we should treat the convoy participants like they treated everybody else. And it's it's like, no like, like. You know the. The police chief of Ottawa got a lot of **** for saying he doesn't think there's a policing solution, and it's like I I do agree with the criticism of him because he has attempted to kick the responsibility to just about every other level of government available. But dragging people out, like towing their vehicles and taking away their livelihood and dragging a lot of people out into the street and then into jail is is not going to resolve these issues, no. And if anything it could could bring more support like again there was another report today that. I think it's 25% of people who have camped out have children with them. Like, you know, this is going to be an incredibly traumatic experience. It's going to help radicalize more people and it's going to lend credence to their cause if they just go in and bust heads. And it's like. If the main focus of this convoy had been in Toronto, where we have a incredibly aggressive police force when it comes to like homeless encampments, for instance. You know, I think the result could have been very different. Yeah, and then. Because a lot of stuff around the question governments and stuff, you know, it's it's the type of things I can agree with with like right wing libertarians is yeah, you do have a lot of. Points they can sympathize with around the state and around control, but the way you address them don't actually address the underlying power structures which give the state legitimacy in the 1st place. Yeah, absolutely. And the world that you kind of want in the end is still a world full of hierarchies. Just hierarchies that make your life easier, right? Skew and skew in your favor. Just like asking for two unelected bodies to replace, replace your democratically elected government. It's like, yeah, we had 10 years of Stephen Harper like. People were unhappy and extremely critical of that government from the center and from the left, but. You know, there wasn't this kind of broad support for the idea that that government was illegitimate. Which is I think what we see mostly today, which is the most disturbing and kind of anti democratic part of the whole pot. Yeah. And that's the kind of what the last thing I want to talk about is like what do you see? Like because eventually people will go home either out of exhaustion, it'll maybe fizzle away like a like the protests in Portland did. Maybe they'll eventually police will kind of clear out small sections like, who knows? But like this is not going. Knock you out one here. But this, this isn't gonna last like a year, right? It's not, it's not gonna like they're. I don't think they're gonna have thousands of people camped out in front of the government forever. So what? But what are the actual long term political ramifications of this? Because we already saw the leader of the Conservative Party stepped down. So, like, I want to talk about like specifically with the guy who's probably more most likely to take his place, how this just does kind of play into the more negative aspects of the convoy is like how they're going to use this as a political symbol and a political. Tool to push for policies and forms of government and actions that will end up hurting a lot of of and will end up hurting a lot of people in terms of, you know, how, how it's going to be used in propaganda and rhetoric. Yeah, well, certainly if we have, you know, strong legal ramifications put in place that. Make it easier for provinces, the federal government whatever to crack down on on protests in general. Which I think is something that might be very attractive to our current government. You know, that's going to have obviously very far reaching effects, you know, one of our opposition parties which is, you know, generally further to the left than, than the Liberals, the NDP. Their leader was proposing ways to stop. Foreign funding from coming in to supply to the protests. You know, once again we we had protests couple years ago by indigenous people and people who support indigenous movements. You know that that raised money using the same platforms and the same methods. You know, so I worry about like one the legal ramifications like. To just this, this idea, like if the government does crack down very hard, this idea of real grievance and alienation that the West has already been struggling with. Like we've had a real renewed separatist movement, not from Quebec, where it's generally been the most successful, but from the western provinces. You know, not not really getting close to obtaining any real political power, but. You know, kind of steadily gaining support, pulling a, showing that. You know, there is a real feeling of Western alienation that they don't feel represented and, you know, a lot of the ways our government are set up actually makes that true. Umm. Yeah, ultimately these people I think become more and more disenfranchised. When government action begins to. Kind of justify imagined ideas of oppression. You're going to have a real hardening, and since the government in power is a progressive, one is, or at least one that espouses, you know, tries, tries to reach for progressive values. You know, there's a good chance that those issues are going to get caught up with. What is just like a quote UN quote leftist agenda? Whereas up until probably a decade ago, those things were very much seen as kind of inherent Canadian values that were embraced by both sides. The current candidate for leadership, he hasn't been. He hasn't won the seat in the the Conservative Party yet, but Pierre Polliver has kind of always flirted. To some degree with. Far right. Talking points like I don't. I I specialize in hate groups. I don't want to make too many pronouncements about mainstream conservatism, but even by kind of members of the very far right, who often have turned against the Conservative party over the course of the pandemic, he's often referred to as the adult in the room. Umm. And while still a politician, kind of their best bet for getting someone in office that they would actually like to see in power. Which could, I mean could be interesting to see how they if there will be continued support. For the PC in two to four years. Umm. But yeah, I just think there there is a real hardening of the right. And it's not like the Overton Window is shifting. It's just like it's getting wider, like more and more is being incorporated as opposed to it just going in One Direction or another that disenfranchisement is is a driving factor. Like they view this populist kind of uprising or upswelling. That they're seeing now as a function of democracy, or like part of how democracy is supposed to function. So again, like if if you talk to them, they will quite earnestly say many of them anyway would quite earnestly say like, this is about freedom, this is about having my voice heard. Yeah, but without a lot of thought about. How that will actually function and on a broader scale? I mean, that just plays into like, alienation as a general concept, right? Like, we're so disconnected from everything about our lives, disconnected from, you know, the way we work, disconnected from their interactions with other people between, disconnected from, like, you know, money or food, you know, it's all this stuff. And like, disconnected from, like, politics. Is that the only way that you can actually something that feels real? The only thing that actually feels like reality is going to do this thing in person because everything else is so disjointed. It's the there is so much of that space. Between the phenomenon and the actual thing that is, it leaves you wanting something which you don't know quite what O yeah you're going to drive to Ottawa because that feels so much more real. That feels like actual politics. And it kind of is like that's like, that's that's that's always what it feels like when you're when you're like when you're when you're protesting. It's like, yeah, I'm actually doing politics now because that's how everything gets set up is by that type of like you know, getting people on the ground. So it's such a more personal way to engage than. You know, putting a note into a box every two to four years, like, yeah, I'm, I imagine it does feel substantive. And then. I mean voting power is centered in our urban centers as well. So there is there is a real disconnect with the representation that that rural people again Western, the western provinces receive. I now want to specifically talk about police response and the ways this occupation and blockades being handled will affect the political organizing in the future. I think initially the majority of police concerns and what they were actually focused on responding to was fears around the convoy storming Parliament or if they know the convoys were going to do something exceedingly violent, which I don't think was necessarily the convoys actionable objective from the beginning. If you listened to what they were actually saying it will. It was more about choking out the city and applying pressure on government officials. But the initial nonviolence, coupled with the shield of being conservative white and middle class whom you know the police, are less likely to react as brutally to allow time for the infrastructure to rise that led the protest turn into a full scale occupation of a North American city. The first real action police took against the occupation was on the evening of Sunday, February 6th. Demonstrators were gathering for dinner, then dozens of officers in riot gear carrying munitions launchers raided a camp after footage of stockpiles and gas cans went viral days previous. In an attempt to cut the supply route, police say they seized around 3700 liters of fuel and two vehicles, including a diesel tank. But within hours of the raid, protesters from the camp broadcast a reassurance to their supporters and continue to organize, just utilizing smarter tactics. The day after the police raid, protesters continued to deliver fuel to downtown truckers as they executed a coordinated effort to exhaust police resources. Hundreds of demonstrators carried fuel cans, some empty, some not just right past officers, who mostly stood and watched as hundreds of people trolled them with decoy cans, while others smuggled in more fuel within the safety of the large crowd right in the middle of the day, Ottawa Police Deputy Chief Steve Bell said the demonstrators. They're filling Cass cans with water to distract officers attempting to subvert their efforts, and that one officer was swarmed by the crowd while trying to confiscate fuel. To date, police have made around 30 arrests and issued thousands of tickets, launched. More than 80 criminal investigations and 400 plus hate incidents are also being investigated. Earlier this week, Peter solely said that the force would turn up the heat as police started to crack down on anyone bringing material aid, such as fuel, to protesters. Police dismantled a protest camp near the Rideau Canal downtown and a fuel operation on the Coventry Road east of the core, but some trucks and demonstrators continued to occupy downtown streets. And the staging area on Coventry? Please say that they need an additional 1800 more reinforcements from federal and provincial governments to help end the crisis. The entire Ottawa Police force numbers only 1200, but it's been supplemented with several hundred officers from the Ontario Provisional Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as local police forces elsewhere in Ontario over the past few weeks. Near the end of the second week of occupation, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, declared a state of emergency for the entire province, warning protesters demanding an end to pandemic restrictions that if they do not demand, there will be consequences and they will be severe. He said that those who continue to impede the movement of people and goods could face fines of up to 100,000 Canadian dollars up to a year in prison and the revocation of their driver's license during the cold morning of Sunday, February 13th. Police largely cleared the portion of the self styled freedom convoy blocking the ambassador bridge US Canada border crossing on the road between Windsor ON and Detroit. The clearing marked a week since the border blockade had begun. Police made several arrests and towed vehicles in connection to the demonstration that had disrupted traffic and the flow of goods. After law enforcement enforce the injunction enacted 2 days prior ordering truckers and their supporters to leave and ticketed and towed vehicles, a defined core of some two dozen protesters had remained on foot as temperatures dropped below freezing, but around 9:30 local time, police had mostly cleared the streets of the bridge and were deployed around the area. It was unclear, however, how large police presence would remain to prevent vehicles and demonstrators from returning there. Meanwhile, in the capital of Ottawa, police grappled with an influx of anti government and anti vaccine mandate demonstrators for a third straight weekend. Despite both local and provincial officials declaring states of emergency, law enforcement appeared to be unsuccessful in attempts to get the Freedom convoy protesters to leave by threatening them with fines, prison time and loss of their licenses. Police have not made any large. Efforts to instruct the convoys in Ottawa similar to what they did on Sunday in Windsor ON. Ottawa police say that over 4000 demonstrators were in the city throughout the day. However, on Monday, February 14th, police action was taken against the blockade at the Kootz border crossing that had shut down cross-border travel for almost three weeks. The RCMP said in a press release early Monday morning that they became aware of a small organized group within the larger protest at Kootz, which led to 11 arrests. They say that they had information that the group had access to a cache of firearms and ammunition in three trailers. During the raid, officers seized long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armor. A machete and a large quantity of ammunition and some high capacity magazines. Later that day, two other arrests were made in connection to the blockade. Following the police raid and the 13 arrests, some other organizers of the protest said a decision was reached voluntarily to leave the coots area. Around Tuesday morning, the organizers made a statement saying, quote, we were infiltrated by an extreme element. Our objective was to be here peacefully to keep that message going. We want to peacefully leave coots and return to our families. As of Tuesday the 15th, both the border crossing at the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit and the cuts. Port of entry to Montana are open once again as the border opened back up in Cootes, the previous blockade, protesters and police embraced each other with hugs and handshakes. Meanwhile, on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history to give the federal government and police extra powers to handle the ongoing blockades and protests against pandemic restrictions. Here's how the measures were taking. Today will help get the situation under control. The police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities, such as blockades and occupations, as seen in Ottawa's Ambassador Bridge and elsewhere. These tools include strengthening their ability to impose fines or imprisonment. The government will designate, secure and protect places and infrastructure that are critical to our economy and people's jobs, including border crossings and airports. We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue. The Emergencies Act will also allow the government to make sure essential services are rendered, for example in order to tow vehicles blocking roads. In addition, financial institutions will be authorized or directed to render essential services to help address the situation, including by regulating and prohibiting the use of property to fund or support illegal blockades. Finally. Will enable the RCMP to enforce municipal bylaws and provincial offenses where required. This is what the Emergencies Act does. The Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in the 1980s, defines a national emergency as a temporary, urgent and critical situation that seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians, and is of such proportions or nature as to extend the capacity of authority of a province to deal with it. The unprecedented deployment of the Emergencies Act gives police quote, more tools to restore order in places where public assembly is constituted illegal and dangerous. Activities such as blockades and occupations, according to Trudeau. But The thing is, police already had all the tools they needed, the illegal occupations and blockades were already illegal, they just didn't want to enforce it. You can look at how the shoots, protesters and the police are hugging right. This isn't a matter of having not enough tools. All this does is set a terrible precedent for using this type of extra power in the future to respond to protests, because the cops are still going to take a very gentle. Approach if they ever are forced to take physical action against the Ottawa occupation while using the extra powers of the Emergencies Act. The Finance Minister of Canada also announced on Monday a broadening of the laws regarding financing of crime and terrorism to now include crowdfunding and also extra surveillance measures against people who donate and use crowd funds for criminal acts, including illegal protests. As part of invoking the Emergencies Act, we are announcing the following immediate actions. First, we are broadening the scope of Canada's anti money laundering, laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the proceeds of crime and Terrorist Financing Act. Our banks and financial institutions are already obligated to report to the financial transactions and reports Analysis Center of Canada, or FINTRAC, as of today, all crowdfunding. Platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with FINTRAC and they must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC. This will help mitigate the risk that these platforms receive illicit funds. Increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by FINTRAC and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement into these illegal blockades. That's kind of all the information I have at the time of recording. So now I'm going to talk more about the potential political effects that this protest could have, not just on Canada, but also in how we view protest in general, so the actual result of liberal media. Framing this type of protest as scary terrorism is laying the groundwork for brutal police actions against massive, mostly nonviolent and tactically smart protests to be more normalized across Canada. An extremely brutal police response and harsh charges are unlikely to be levelled against a protest made-up of these conservatives, but will absolutely happen to any future progressive social justice cause, especially if they use Occupy style tactics. The more powers police obtain and the legal precedents that are set will have long lasting implications with legal consequences that will always come down harder on the left than they do on the right. Police will do a bare minimum to resolve this conservative, so-called freedom protest, but then we'll use it as a justification to grab greater resources and power and use this movement to justify severe preventative protest suppression in the future. If liberals can wildly celebrate and thirst for harsh crackdowns of a protest made-up of white conservatives in their families, calling the entire movement a criminal enterprise and cheering on as police steel property of the protesters. Despite what the majority of these protesters are doing just being kind of camping inside of a street. Think of all of the ways that consent can be manufactured to clamp down on any future large scale protest, especially when the movement isn't made-up of a bunch of regular white people and their kids. And instead of actually challenges the underlying power structures that prop up White Canada, instead of just reinforcing it like the convoy does. I have a similar issue around all of the hubbub around the fundraisers. Right? Restricting where crowdfunded resources can come from will only result in future political social justice causes to be negatively impacted, whether that be bail funds or supporting indigenous blockades from out of country. On February 10th the Canadian Federal Government effectively shut down the freedom convoys give, send, go fundraiser, making it illegal for the funds to be used in any way. Governments setting the precedent for shutting down protests. Crowdfunding is not a good thing now. Any future protest bail funds and crowdfunding for the WISETON blockade will always be in jeopardy. I'm by no means saying that action against a generally hateful, anti democratic and dangerously conspiratorial protest isn't justified. But just when governments start using it as reasons for more power and creating new precedents for years in jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for an occupation, protest like that shouldn't be cheered on. Because those things will only come back to bite. Progressive causes a lot harder than they will be used against the Conservative Conyers. There has increasingly been attempts at counter protesting the Ottawa convoy and the various convoy inspired protests around the country, many of which faced harsher police response than any of the convey protests have up until this point. But those community LED counter protesting efforts are vital. The RAM Ranch resistance actions are still ongoing. On Sunday night, the URL for the give, send, go fundraiser was hacked by activists who redirected the page to a video of the frozen song, let it go, accompanying a manifesto condemning the fundraiser and the convoy. And that's great. That is wonderful. Counter protesting that is very in terms of effective ways to shut down fundraising efforts for a basically pseudo fascist, you know? Anti anti Democratic conspiracy LED movement. That's great, right? And this was hours after it was officially confirmed via data leaks that around 56% of give send go donations for the convoy came from the United States, around 30% came from Canada and then 2% came from the UK. Although I think it's worth mentioning that for the initial $10 million GO fund me, we only have confirmation that around $33,000 came from the United States. To understand how the convoy slash blockade is working, it's useful to get away from painting all the participants themselves as extremists, because the fact that regular Canadian right wingers are what's making this possible has a whole bunch of other implications that people aren't really talking about. I'm seeing a lot of Canadians who are just really upset about how this convoy is affecting cities and the country as a whole. Which, you know, reasonable I am it. It is a thing to be upset about, but then just jumping to insist that it must be inorganic, I think is kind of faulty. Focusing instead on theories around foreign influences and astroturf organizing, elements of which have been present, sure, but also the impact of which is, I think, kind of been overblown. But even if those things are completely true and major factors, that still overlooks the fact that there are thousands of real Canadians from around the country. Kept up in Ottawa and the majority of those Canadians sitting in the streets are not Nazis, right? Or really even extremists. And most of those people are not receiving personal funding from dark money billionaires. They consider themselves regular, working class, freedom loving Canadians. It's much harder to reconcile a homegrown movement full of participants that have slid further to the right over the past two years due to rampant online misinformation coupled with ineffectual government support during the pandemic. It's easy to point to so-called organizers, who are definitely more fashy large scale, sketchy donations and far right media figures who are trying to drum up support for the convoy. But those things alone don't get many of thousands and thousands of people and their kids to drive across country for A cause that they earnestly believe in. The years of political alienation and disenfranchisement that caused that to happen is a lot harder to solve than just cracking down on organizers and donations. Watching homegrown reactionary St politics that one day can grow into an actual far right populist and fascist movement is a lot more frightening than the idea of overseas astroturf organizing. Not that those things are mutually exclusive always, but I'm just trying to make a good point here. Despite cries to make this Canada's January 6th in a way, the convoy is more effective than January 6th in terms of the evolution of valid political action. It's pushed the boundary on what is deemed as acceptable and even possible for large scale occupations and supply line blockades in the major North American urban setting. People who would never consider themselves militant are now involved in multiple border crossing blockades that's cost hundreds of millions of dollars. And to get to this point, so many things need to happen. COVID isolation offered fertile ground for people's politics to unknowingly slide. More to the extreme, the many in person connections that help prevent people from falling prey to conspiratorial thinking cease to exist. General frustration at Trudeau and the perceived notion of liberalism and elitism has been. Heavily growing since 2015 and all that mounted up, frustration is now being released, and as a result, the Invisible Overton window of acceptable political action has shifted right in regular conservatives minds. And a movement like this is hard to dissolve. Police actions have the chance of escalating the situation and elongating people's willingness to protest. And even if more mandates get removed, that doesn't mean the protest will stop either. Removing the Alberta mandates didn't stop the Coots border blockade, for instance. Because, you know, even if all the mandates in Canada get rescinded, which which they won't and which they shouldn't, but even if they did, that would still leave the US vaccine border requirements which are preventing. Not vaccinated truckers from entering the states anyway. Similar tactics and protests inspired by the Canadian convoy have broken out overseas in recent weeks. The convoy and blockade inspired protests in New Zealand have led to frequent clashes with police outside New Zealand's parliament building. For the past two weeks. French protesters formed their own freedom convoy against the government's vaccine mandates. The convoy converged on the Sean's Alizee in Paris on February 2nd, where protesters were met by. 7000 police members and tear gas unlike Canada, where the government failed to stop a blockade at the US border, French authorities got way ahead of this protest by stopping at least 500 vehicles before they even got to Paris. Only a few dozen cars made it to the Sean's Alizee, and the police ticketed 300 protesters who were present at the demonstration. Protests Against government coronavirus restrictions have caught on in Europe and other parts of the world in recent days, but they remained more subdued than the Canadian demonstrations. A convoy of about 500 vehicles, mostly from France, were barred from entering Brussels of just a few days ago, leaving several 100 protesters to gather on foot at a city square. Instead, another convoy of several 100 vehicles blocked access to the seat of the Netherlands government in The Hague on February 12th. And of course, many political figures in the US are really trying to get a convoy esque protest kicked off here in the United States. Tucker, Carlson and Fox News in general has covered the convoy nonstop, giving it tons and tons of support. Tucker has said that the Canadian trucker convoy is the single most successful human rights protest in a generation. Senator Rand Paul said that he hopes the truckers come to America and specifically to clog up cities. At least nine members of Congress, all Republicans, have all publicized their support for the convoy participants on Twitter. Self appointed organizers for a US based convoy. Have found quick support from conservative outlets. US convoy organizer Brian Brace has been making the rounds on Fox News. Sitting down with Carlson as well as the networks Fox and friends morning show, Brace says that he hopes to organize a cross country convoy from California to Washington DC starting around March 4th. Routes to converge on DC from across the country are being planned, while the group's telegram channel is actively soliciting volunteers and donations of items like tents, generators and PA systems. I kind of hope people on the left can look at the tactics being used in Canada, some that have worked and some that have faltered. But in terms of like anti capitalist action, you can't do much better than causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to international trade between two of the biggest countries in the world right now. No protest movement can be replicated, but any movement can be analyzed and that can inform how folks approach future movements as they spontaneously arise. And I at the very least to help you, have a better idea now of how only a few 1000 people can totally choke out a major city. Because we've talked about this possibility before. You know, a group of people overwhelming local law enforcement and taking over and shutting down a sizable portion of a popular metropolitan area. Not to mention simultaneously blocking off supply lines, trade routes and international border crossings. The evolution of these medium scale anti government resistance tactics is something we all should be paying attention to as the political tensions. Continue to rise right outside our doorstep cause it's always too late when you realize the call is coming from inside the house. What's incapable of being racist? Million people joking about Canadians can't do it to Canada, can't do it to Canada. Or the first it could happen here. The French. We can be racist against the French. It's true. Yeah, Speaking of speaking, that makes Quebec angrier. But, like, Speaking of racism, Chris, what's our topic today? Yeah, today's episode is about why I hate the cops. Hell yeah. Specifically it is about is about Chicago Police Department and the many, many, many, many, many crimes they have committed. Uh, we're going to talk about. Well, OK, so to to, to, to to lead us in to explain what we're doing here. Today, I'm going to read a quote from from the late anthropologist David Graeber from his book The Democracy Project. For my own part, I find what I call the rape, torture and murder test very useful. It's quite simple when presented with a political entity of some kind or another, whether a government, a social movement, a guerrilla army, or really any other organized group, and trying to decide whether they deserve condemnation or support. First ask do they commit or do they order others to commit? Acts of rape, torture and murder. It seems self-evident question, but again it's surprising how rarely or better, how selectively it is applied. Or perhaps it might seem surprising until one starts applying it and discovers conventional wisdom while many world political issues instantly turned upside down. In 2006, for example, most people in the United States read about the Mexican governments sending federal troops to quell a popular revolt initiated by a teachers union against notoriously corrupt governor in the southern state of Wahaca. In the US media, this was universally presented as a good thing, a restoration of order. The rebels, after all, were violent, having thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails, even if they only threw them at heavily armed police, causing no serious injuries. No one, to my knowledge, has ever suggested that the rebels raped, tortured or murdered anyone. Neither has anyone who knows anything about the events and questions. Seriously contested the fact that forces loyal to the Mexican government had raped, tortured and murdered quite a number of people in suppressing their rebellion. Yet somehow such acts, unlike the rebels stone throwing, cannot be described as violent at all, let alone as rape, torture and murder, but only appear, if at all, as accusations of human rights violations or in some similarly bloodless legalistic language. Yeah, and that that's the framework that I want to take the Chicago Police Department so people can understand why and how. And just sort of get people can get a taste of, of the sheer horror that anti police organizers and just like regular people in Chicago are fighting every day because Chicago Police Department fails to rape, torture, murder test. Again and again and again and again. And so we are going to tell four stories of torture, rape and murder by the Chicago Police Department. Oh good. That seems fun. It's going to be great. Happy pants on, kids. Yeah, go for a cruise. You know, take the top down. It's it's time for a good old fun fest. So our, our, our first story of torture, rape and murder by the CPD is the story of Chicago's infamous torture ring led by a man named John Burge. Yeah, now, John Burge have been a military police Sergeant working at a POW camp in Vietnam. So, so immediately you have a guy who's not only a troop cop, but he he's he's he's a troop cop while he was a troop, and then he becomes a cop. And. You know, nothing, nothing good can possibly come from that. And the other thing and nothing good can possibly come from, is the fact that while George was in Vietnam, the US was doing some just really sick **** to Vietnamese prisoners, including rape, gang rape, rape with hard objects, and rape followed by murder. The electric shock called the Bell Telephone hour rendered by attaching wires to the genitals and to keep your keep that one in mind. We have not seen the last of that and rip using eels and snakes as we have talked about on ********. It before, they're also like, they're huge waterboarding fans. So this, this is, this is the environment that Birge is sort of, you know, being trained as a cop in, right. He's he's one of those these, these POW camps. And so you get the Purple Heart for his service now when he comes back to the US in 1969. He becomes a cop. And within about three years, Burge and his white cop buddies start just absolutely beating the crap out of black suspects. One of these prisoners. A man named Anthony Holmes was repeatedly tortured with electric shocks and almost suffocated to death of a bag put over his head. Holmes was tortured so badly he literally thought he was going to die. So he confessed to a crime he didn't commit and spent 30 years in prison. Yeah. I actually interviewed one of the people tortured by Burge who was, yeah, had his testicles electrocuted and yeah, yeah, we're going to get into that in a bit. Yeah. It's it's it's horrible. It's yeah, it's pretty bad stuff. The worst things I've ever read. Yeah, and. Holmes's case is particularly grim because so he tells his lawyers that he's been tortured and his lawyers don't believe him. And so you know he. Yeah, he he he went to spending 30 years in prison for. He didn't do those shocks. Yeah, yeah. So OK, so that they have this box, right, it's box is a hand crank generator. Birge calls it the N word box. And he just attaches people's like it's just attached to people. I wonder why he calls it that. Oh yeah, no, it's he's all of these people are. So indescribably racist. It's like. Yeah, he he he just like, he keeps this box, like, on his desk at the Chicago Police Department, like it's just on his desk at work. Now, the other thing is notable about this is that he, he, and people around him would call just electrocuting people by touching alligator clamps to them and putting 9200 volts into them. They called it the Vietnamese treatment because guess what, he learned this in Vietnam. Now Burge is so-called Midnight Crew, had had an incredibly high rate of solving crimes and he has an incredibly high rate of quote UN quote solving crimes because he's just torturing random black people until they confess. And, you know, it's it's it's not like people don't know he's doing this. There's there's a detective in the 70s who, like walks in on Birge torturing a guy, and he goes to his superiors and it's like Burgess Burgess torturing his people, and that detective gets reprimanded and reprimanded for like, reporting the torture and transfer to another area. So Bird gets promoted to Sergeant in 1977 and then again to Lieutenant in 1980, and he gets, he gets put in charge of the newly formed Violent Crimes Unit. And from, from, from this position, his rate of terror. Intensifies. And. So so in 1982, someone shoots 2 white cops. And you know, this is one of one of the sort of classic police things. Anytime a cop dies, the, the, the, the the Police Department just goes ******* ballistic. They kind of lose it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And and and in this case with with with Burgeon charge, he basically turns the entire South side into what can only be described as a fascist police state. Here's this is this is from the Chicago police torture scandal, illegal and political history in in Cooney's law review. Police kicked down doors and terrorized scores of African Americans and what Jesse Jackson of Operation push Push and Reynold Robinson of the Afro American Police League condemned as quote martial law that smacked of Nazi Germany. 13 witnesses were smothered with bags and threatened with bolt cutters and Burgess detectives took several young men who they wrongly suspected to be the killers to police headquarters and tortured them. And I mean, they're just like, you know, they're busting down people's doors or dragging people away out in the middle of the night. They do this for about five days before they arrest two brothers and who again, had nothing to do with this. They just decided that these two were the guys and tortured just the absolute **** out of them. One of the brothers, Angie Wilson. Before Birge even gets there, this is everything about birds. It's not just birds, right? Like, everyone he's like around him is also a torturer. It's just birds. Sort of. You know, bird. Bird is the guy, like, directing a lot of it. So even before he gets there, yeah, like, Wilson gets like he's burned with a cigarette lighter. He gets strangled with the bag over his head again, and they just, like, beat him a bunch of times. And then it gets even worse. Birge like. You know biggest thing we're, we're, we're he he like, he strapped him to to to the electric box, right. But he also strapped him against the radiator. And, you know, these are like old Chicago steam radiators, right. If you touch, if you like, touch them even briefly, you get burned. Yeah. And so, yeah, he shops into a radiator and every time he, like, gets shocked, he jerks back into the radiator and gets burned. Yeah. I have a friend who got a second degree burn disk from, like, briefly touching one of those things. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's basically, it's basically tying someone to an oven that's turned. Yeah. I mean, it's. It is breathtaking inhumanity on a scale that is. Yeah, pop esque. Yeah. Yeah. It's poppy. It's it's it's real. It's real cop ****. It's for sure. Real cop ****. Yeah, uh, so here, here here's an interview with Wilson. Just doesn't accept of 1 from from the book writing for the World of Policing. Wilson said that Berg cranked the generator, sending 9200 volts of electricity into his body. He put it on my fingers, Wilson explained, one of the clamps on one finger and one on the other finger. And then he kept cranking it and cranking it, and I was hollering and screaming. I was calling for help. My teeth was grinding, flickering in my head. Pain. It hurts, Wilson continued. But it stays in your head, OK? It stays in your head and it grinds your teeth. It grinds constantly, grinds constantly. The pain just stays in your head and your teeth cut. Constantly grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds. Now Wilson, they they do this to Wilson for like a day, and she doesn't confess, but he refuses to confess because he didn't do it. And so he he he goes to like, they bring him in front of a felony prosecutor. And Wilson tells the prosecutor that he's being tortured. And, you know, it's incredibly obvious he's being tortured. Like there's just, there's marks all over his body like his his face is destroyed and the prosecutor sends him back to Burge, who tortures him more. And but by the time Burge is done with him, Wilson is so visibly ****** ** that the police lockup keeper. Like takes a look at it, like takes one look at it and goes I'm not going to be a part of this, and refuses to put him in lockup. Cook County jails like director of Medical Services sends a letter going like this man was tortured to the Police Department. We found a human being. Yeah, yeah, well, you know, it's like every once once every like, I don't know, maybe like 100 pages of reading about this. You find one person who is a normal human being. Unfortunately the state's attorney, instead of prosecuting Burge for again attaching, attaching a man's balls to a hand crank generator and then electrocuting him the the state prosecutor and the police Superintendent. With publicly congratulate Berge for his work. Uh, yeah. Angie Wilson, meanwhile, died in prison in 2007. Because this world is. Just the worst oht is that too? Yeah. Now, you might be asking yourself, how does he get away with this? And the answer is that the CPD is complicit in Burgess torture at literally every level, at every attempt to stop Burge is derailed directly by the departments, and not only is he not stopped, he's repeatedly praised and promoted for his actions. Yeah and yeah. Yeah. No, I mean that's the, that's how it goes. Yep. It's it's great. It's it's it's. An institutionalized system of torture, rape, and murder that yeah, doesn't Chicago. It's like we have us a little Abu Ghraib. Yeah, right in home. But yeah. Well, don't worry. We. Well, I guess we won't actually get to Abu Ghraib specifically, but I can do. I can do an Abu grave tie in at the end of this part. O. The CPD has something they call the Code of silence, and we'll talk about this more later. But basically, the core of the code of silence is that just no matter what crimes, what atrocities, what just inhuman pig horrors you see cops committing, you stay silent. Now this code, you know, it's a code that everyone sort of knows right in the police, but it's also directly enforced. And it's enforced by the stuffed bird, which you'd like just to other cops. Like he he would do things like, if there was a cop who was, like unhappy with him, he would like walk up behind him with their opening a file cabinet and point a gun at their head and then go like, Bang. And then do this like a thing that I can really only describe as a super villain monologue about how, like, the projects are a dangerous place. Maybe you're going to turn up dead. It's he also, he has these St files that he keeps on like other cops families, so that if if if another cop like goes after him, he can have their family arrested and then plant evidence on them. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. It's like, you know, like in a certain like he's doing this to other cops and it's like, well, OK, like, you know what? Like what? What possible like system of accountability, quote UN quote. Or police reform is like, ever going to do anything to a guy who will just do this to cops, like. Yeah. And, you know, with the CPD actively backing him, there's nothing that can stop purge. And I should mention here that there's persistent rumors that bird is a Klansman. I I couldn't find, like, firm confirmation of it. He he certainly racist enough. But but I think, yeah, but like, why would he, why would he spend like, that's that feels like almost he would be like, why would I waste my time doing that? Like, yeah, talking about being racist when I could go out and torture people because I'm a racist every day. Like, **** the clan. I've already got **** going on. Yeah. And I think it's like, yeah, the question is immaterial. He is a member of the Chicago Police Department and Organization of Systematic Racial terror, the likes of which the modern clan can only dream of. Yeah, that's what, whatever. Yeah, yeah, it's like, who cares? He's he's he's jumper. Honestly, if he were spending time at Klan meetings, at least he wouldn't be torturing people during that time. Yeah, it's. Yeah. Love, love, love your police when if he was a clansman, that might have been slightly better. I mean, that's a big thing with, like, this type of, like, liberal response to this type of extremism. It's like they only view it as a problem if you're like, explicitly part of this, you know, like it's like very obvious to everyone. White nationalist group, right? They can watch a cop do all these horrible things. That's fine, because that's just a cop. But if he's a Klan member, then that's a problem, right? Like, they can excuse all this horrible torture. And not really be concerned about it, but if but if he had a rope in his closet, then it's suddenly this big issue. It's like, no, like the issue is that he was doing all this torture anyway and he doesn't like this. You don't need to focus on like just the like just that identity, like that weird identity aspect of it. Yeah, the the clan is old enough. And where's the uniform that is distinct enough that everybody recognizes isn't as racist, even though the Chicago Police Department is actually much more of a threat in terms of racism than the Klan today and was at that point in time. But, you know, they're the cops. And if you're a suburban white liberal, they're there to, you know, help help keep your lawn safe or whatever so you don't you don't see them as the same inherently racial organization. Exactly. Even though they are. Yeah. And even though, I mean, they're dragging people out of their homes. And like just electrocuting them like this is. You know, this is something also that I was very annoyed about when I was reading this was like a lot. You, you, you read a lot of this stuff. And then and you'll get descriptions of it that are like, this is something that, like, only happens in repressive regimes like Kazakhstan. And it's like, have you read anything about the history of the US? Like, this is like, yeah, like we have officers over to other countries that often teach their police how to do **** like this. That happens. But yeah, when you were describing a whole bunch of stuff in the past, like, you know, 20 minutes, I was thinking in my head, like. Oh yeah, this is just like, Stormtrooper ****. But The thing is, it isn't like, this just is cop ****. And like, like, the thing, like, the fact that, like, elevating it in my brain to it being like something other than cops is incorrect. No, like, this just is police stuff. It's not. It's not necessarily stormtrooper ****. It's just as police ****. And the fact that those things are so synonymous, that should be the part that's actually, like, upsetting is that, yeah, it's actually, there is really no difference and you shouldn't necessarily resort. Calling it Stormtrooper stuff because it is just what the police do all the time. Missus whole model, you see people talking about it where they talk about like, like the, uh, the police are using unnecessary force. And like, there's like a certain threshold where if you go past it, like, you know, the sort of like like even, you know like, I'm going to read like the bird has a lot of like when he winds up in court, like, the judges look at this and are like, Oh my God, this is unacceptable. How could this have happened? And, you know, you you get some good descriptions of it. I'm going, this is a District Judge court describing what bird is doing in the early 80s. There existed in 1982 in the city of Chicago, a de facto. Policy, practice, and or custom of Chicago police officers exacting unconstitutional revenge and punishment against persons who they alleged had killed or injured a fellow officer. This revenge and punishment included beating, kicking, torturing, shooting, and or executing such a person for the purpose of inflicting pain, injury, and punishment on that person, and also for the purpose of forcing that person to make an inculpatory statements. Exculpatory, yeah. Exculpatory, yeah. Or or inculpatory. It's inculpatory. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Cool. You know, and and you you get stuff like there's there's an FBI report that I'm from the Chicago Tribune I'm gonna read because it's. He left one bullet in the in the cylinder and spun it, a report quoted the inmate as saying about bridge in the 1985 incident. He then said, you talk will blow your black. Expletive, presumably the N word. Brains out. Birds then got up from his desk, walked over to the inmate, put the muzzle of the revolver against the center of the inmate's forehead, and pulled the trigger. He spun the cylinder and placed it back against his forehead and pulled the trigger again. So, yeah, he's just playing Russian roulette with people. Like he's playing it. I don't. I don't think. Yeah, he's playing. Yeah, well, he's pulling A1 in six chance of murdering them. They are in terror. There's also a lot of, like he does, like, he sexually abuses people. He like, he loves going after testicles. Yeah. He he he electrocuted like, well, I mean he's also like is like like. Basically like ****** people. He like electrocute a 13 year old child and you know, this is like. It's it's it's just so bleak that like, I mean there's there's a very famous article about this by Chicago journalist. It's called the House of screams. But you know it. Like, Burge isn't the only guy doing this. Like he, one of his loyalists is Lieutenant. Like is a guy named Byron who's like in charge of the midnight shift at the area 3 violent crimes. And they they become known internally as birges ask kickers at the A-Team, because this is just who these people are culturally and. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. But yeah, these guys start like putting like guns and prisoners mouths. They have one thing where they stick a shotgun in the guy's mouth and they pull the trigger and it's not loaded, but they like, they keep doing this mock execution thing. Yeah, it's it's that is by the way, illegal in international law. Like internationally. That is a war crime if you're military specifically. Fake executions are a type of torture and a a war crime under international law based on treaties. The United States has signed. Yeah, and and Byron also. So he does that a lot. And then that same guy, the same guy, the shotgun thing to, he apparently didn't have the box, so he stripped the dude and shocked his balls with a cattle prod. And this is the guy who Lori Lightfoot sent her #2 lawyer to defend in court in 2020 by arguing the torture never happens. Yeah, that's that's that's accountability. Yep. That's the mayor of my city now. Life, life, life. Footy is on the record as saying that birds tortured over 100 people. But once it came to, you know, actually putting up or shutting up, she just goes about for the cops. And and this happens in Chicago, like just so many times the people who used to be like, who, you know who, who in the moment you're like, oh, birds did torture. We need to reform the police in this. You know, they get into power. They do this stuff. I mean there. There, there's there's a bunch of, like, incredibly weird. Stuff that happens here like so. That the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals at 1:00 point, solid soul. A like they they they they they saw a case over whether a $1000.00 settlement with a torture victim was fair. And Christ, yeah, in court, it's like you, you read the transcript and it's like it's it's the most brutal demolishing of like a a state's argument I've ever seen. Like they're they're they're just like in court asking them like OK like where, where, where this person's judges supposed to have like known in court that he was also torturing other people. Like it's you know, the the courts, just like. You know they're tearing them apart and then when it comes time to decide the case, the court tosses the case out inside with the state. Wow. I yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know what's going on there? It's awful. It's judicial system. Yep. This happens. This happens all the time. I mean, that that is the thing about the way the whole system works, which is that, you know, the police do horrific things in Chicago. They torture in Los Angeles, they have Nazi gangs. You know, there's a bunch of different horrible **** the police do. And then at some point, the FBI and the Justice Department come in and they provide, incredibly, they they send in very talented investigators who produce. Incredibly detailed lists of all of the things that are being done. And then a court says, well, but nobody's going to get punished. Or maybe this one guy will get punished, and then we'll go on back to doing things. And that's why the system is supposed to work. Although we're going to read a story about the FBI not doing that in the next episode. So, yeah, yeah, they don't. We don't always get a report. Yeah. And I just. I I have become in Crete. Like, it's very frustrating because having these FBI reports on police abuses is useful again for talking to liberals. Because they tend to trust the FBI. But it's also like, boy, I've read a lot of detailed FBI reports about how bad police departments are, and it seems like nothing ever gets done. No. Like, it seems like they just write a thing saying, yeah, it's bad and then everything continues forever. Yeah. And it's, you know, this this case like. So the the reason we even know any of this is through what I like, what I will say, like the AA genuinely heroic decades long campaign run by the People's Law Office on behalf of Burge victims. And these people, like they say people's lives, like there are people who Burge tortured who ended up on death row for it. And yeah, you know, like this stuff is so bad that when it comes out, the Supreme Court does a ruling on it and it like establishes new precedents for like, how people can prove they've been tortured. Like you know it's so bad that, like Illinois stops running the death bed like we had the death penalty and like we still tend to get I think have it, but like we just stopped doing it like we stopped we stopped executing people because. Like a Republican governor, like on air, gave a giant thing about how the justice system was broken. And like, this is this is John Ryan, right. Like this is a man who like he he is like, this is a man who was corrupted by the standards of of of an Illinois politician and even he like on the air is like, yeah, this is like, you know, this is this is broken. He he pardoned some Burge victims. And in 1993, faced with just irrefutable evidence of torture and rulings multiple higher higher courts, the police board finally released a report. Although the report also doesn't call it torture and is a disaster that they finally have Burge fired and some of his colleagues who were also torturing people get suspended for 15 months. But, uh, Burge isn't prosecuted for, you know, the crimes that we have multiple reports of him doing until 2010 after the victims literally go to the United Nations. With the campaign and go in front of the United Nations and talk about how they are being systemically tortured by the Chicago Police Department. But of course, by 2010, the statute of limitations on his crimes had run out, so he winds up going to jail for three years. The first statute of limitations on torture? Yeah, that's definitely one of the ones we should have a cap on. Yeah, definitely. It's great. It's a great system. I'm going to read something from Chicago Tribune that was a description of this quote while the jury was out. Burch, still unrepentant, allegedly asked the courtroom Iserver whether he thought the jury would, quote, believe a bunch of N words. Wow, awesome, dude, this is 2010. It's great. Amazing Burge. Burge tortured at least 125 people. That's almost certainly an undercount. 125 is the number of people who we have, who have come forward. A lot of those people probably have, like people who tortured have probably died by now. Yeah. I mean, yeah, you you'll never, we'll never get an accurate count of all the people who were victimized. Yeah. And and Burge died a free man and has never served a day for his actual crimes. Now, now Virginia's crew are the most famous of the the 80s and 70s eighties torturers, but they're by no means the the only one. And we're gonna talk about one more in this torture section. Do you know Richard Zuley? OK, so yeah, Julie Julie's the one that people tend not to know. Zuli was also a Vietnam War vet, and he he becomes attractive in 1977. What's interesting about him, Zuli is never part of of Burgess cadre, right? Burgess cadres working out of area too. They're on the South side, they're in an overwhelmingly black part of the South side. Zuli works in areas three and six on the north side. You know, what you mentioned off the bat is that Julie is no less racist than Birge is. He wants arrested a black dude for just like having a car and wearing a watch. And like, like, but those are both felonies in the city of Chicago, right? Well, if you famously never know what time it is because you're a law abiding citizen. Yeah, well, it law abiding citizen. And also I don't be black while doing this because, yeah, he throws them in a cell and charges. Yeah, well, it gets it gets you zooly screaming. No N word is supposed to live like this. Oh boy, oh boy. It's, you know, we we people like, talk about cops. Doing stuff for that reason, but it's it's, you know, they're so racist. Just get a direct quote. Yeah, yeah. Like I can't emphasize it, like. They're just, they're so racist. It's like ingrained into the like the cop DNA. Yeah, they're just saying the loud part. Loud. Yeah, like they're just screaming. Like we're gonna do one of the things. The next episode is the cops will just drive around like blasting the N word out of their, out of their, like, cop stereos because Jesus Christ. Now, Zooey, in a lot of ways is a more modern torturer than Burge is. You know, Berge is very big on your, like, overt physical violence, right? You're beating your execution yourself. Sure. The problem with these techniques from a torture perspective, that they leave incredibly obvious Marks and, you know, this is how Burge goes down, right? It's too obvious what he's doing. There are people who can just, like, show up to a court and be like, hey, look at my neck, like, here are all these burns. Julie is much smarter about it. You know, she, I mean, she does some beatings because cops are literally animals and are incapable of resisting the urge to beat the living sheriff. Anyone who falls into their grasp, but you know, mostly what he does is he does things like he'll just shackle someone to a wall for 24 hours. And, you know, and he'll be like, OK, like, I'm gonna shock you to this wall. And until you sign this confession, I won't let you leave. And also, you can't talk to anyone. You can't talk to your lawyer. You can't talk to me like you can't talk to your family. And in the next episode, this is how modern CPD torture works. Except Julie is doing this in, like, the 80s now. Zuli is is a naval intelligence officer who's so still technically in the reserves when he joins the cops. And that meant when the CIA's torture is like a total base stalled out, they they needed a hero and that hero. Azuli. Zulily is was the most active. Like, The thing is the most active in is is is the torture of Muhammadu Old Sali, who is famously known as the most tortured bannick autonomo he that's, yeah, at least he got into Guinness. Yeah, he yeah, they they do sleep deprivation. I mean they they. So some of it's like the standard sort of like GITMO stuff, which is like, they don't let you sleep. They blast loud like sounds into your cell all the time. They like, beat you. There's molestations, and but there's also stuff that's like, like, you know, the threat of attack by dogs, but like, they'll do things like, like. I feel like soak. He'll like get soaked in ice water. Or like they they they stuffed him in this like straight jacket thing that didn't let him breathe properly and then stuffed it full of ice. Oh, cool. And then Julie also. Yeah, yeah, it's it's it's bad. And he also, like, threatens to kidnap his mother and have her sent to Guantanamo to be raped because these people are, again, just monsters. And yeah, Zuli is still Live Today, and Rome just reached as a free man, having received literally no consequences whatsoever for being a torturer. So good in the CPD that the CIA was like, we're going to bring this guy into torture. That's great. It's great. It's Yep. Yep. And and that that that brings us to our first interlude. Which is every year, Chicago police officers go to the grave of the deputy chairman of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, who they assassinated in a police raid after drugging him in 1969. They go to his grave to shoot his ******* tombstone. They do this literally every year, every year. Families, they keep getting new tombstones. They shoot them every they shoot them every year. It just doesn't matter. The CPD just keeps shooting it. And there's a quote from the Great Trinidadian Marxist historian Clr James. And I think about a lot that goes when history is written as it ought to be written. That is the moderation in long patients of the masses at which people will wonder, not their ferocity. I really hope there's a moment. Of people doing things to cops that makes generations in the future Marvel at their ferocity. Yeah, I think I can say that without it legally being incitement. Yes, I'll make one other fun note, which is that 5 Chicago police officers died last year from COVID. So that's good. Yeah. Only five, huh? Let's make it 50. Officer. Dad looked. They're working on it. They don't they won't wear masks. They working vaccinated. Critical support to the Chicago police who don't wear masks. Yeah, they're they're they're they're they're they're having their police Academy exams in person now. Oh, that's good. So that's fine. You know what? Conrad COVID critical support. Yeah, yeah. Spend more time indoors. Together without masks, guys. Avoid those vaxes. Yeah, yeah, I'll be great. No mandate will happen. OK, so story 2, which is a shorter one but no less bleak I think. On October 20th, 2014, officer Jason Van **** fired 16 shots at La Quan McDonald, who had turned around and was walking away from him. Here's from the people of the state of Illinois walking away aggressively. Chris. Yeah, oh boy. Violently exiting. Yeah, I walking away while black, which I guess in in the minds of like half of the United States is the same. They do have someone a court defended legal right to shoot people. On the back who are trying to get away, yeah. Yeah, great country. We're nailing it from the Chicago Tribune and analysis of the video this is this is from the the court case but in the Tribune in analysis of the video establishes that 14 to 15 seconds passed from the time the defendant. Van **** fired his first shot to clear visual confirmation of the final shot. For approximately 13 of those seconds, McDonald is lying on the ground. So he he fires literally every bullet in his gun at a man who is by those like second shot lying dead. Like, well, it's not quite dead yet, but lie like lying on the ground. It's just yeah from the cops perspective like why not like that? That's like that. Like they have the ability to do that if they get the chance, oh, I get to kill a black person and it doesn't matter then why? Like you know that's like if you if you you have to, you have to think through like what they're actually processing this as and they don't see them as like a they don't see them as like an equivalent human life. So it doesn't like it's. It's they don't. It doesn't like, you can't, like, apply the same rules of civility that, like, we should all kind of agree upon because cops have such a higher hierarchical viewpoint that with them at the top that you they can never actually exist within any kind of Humane Society. That's why again. Unspeakable for ucity of the masses. Fingers crossed. 111 day, yeah. Yeah. But you know, I think the the thing, you know. OK. So look, if this is the price of liberal democracy, right? If if you're going to, if you're going to live in a society that has like you know that that where laws are enforced by the police, the police are going to murder people like that's that. That's what you're signing on for. And I think that I think that's an absolutely unacceptable price and but we shouldn't do this. Now, the other aspect of this is because you have to keep all of these just absolutely like. Just bloodthirsty murderers on the leash. And because also all the people who are actually in the government are just. Genuine, despicable human beings immediately after. I mean, like, really before the shots have stopped firing. Like there's a cover up that stretches from like, it includes everyone from the officers on the scene all the way up to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. So, for example, mysteriously, none of the multiple dashboard cameras on the scene were recording audio for reasons only the discerning listener can guess at. Yeah, Yep, like everyone across the entire chain of command. Again, going right up to the mayor's office immediately goes we we cannot let this video get out, because. It's it's so bad that even the CPD is like, this is going to look bad for us. Yeah, because if it gets out, then people will want to do bad things to cops and they can't have that and, you know, so. This, this, this this this tape is concealed for over a year until the journalist Brandon Smith like literally gets a like sues them and literally gets the judge to like order the state to release it. And while this is going on, the cops are doing this massive PR blitz featuring this just like incredible pack of racist lies, including that McDonald had lunged forage at Van **** with a knife. No he didn't. He was literally walking away from them that McDonald had a gun, which is an interesting one because not only like they didn't even have time to like plant. They they they killed him so fast they didn't have time to plant a gun on him. Like there's no gun, but the multiple officers are are like you can you can find news things of them talking about how this guy, oh, he had a gun. Like there's no gun. Yeah, I the the classic one is that, like, Van **** feared for his life and I know he didn't. He probably should now, but he does not. Yeah, he should never, he should never live a waking or sleeping moment where he's not in constant fear of someone cutting his head off. Just as like in terms of the horror that should be imbued inside. People who do these things they should never like. They should have to like sit down and be comfortable being closest we've ever gotten to justice for one of these guys is when that mob surrounded. Uh, Derek chauvin's house? Yeah, and it would have been actual justice if they had gotten through the door. Yep, Yep. It's yeah. So yeah, it all. And you ever, like, so there's, there's, there's this huge coterie of cops were all just lying about this. They're lying in the press. They're lying. Just they're lying. They lie, they start, they lie like on the stand. And, you know, this strategy works for a while because this country is just a racist hellhole until the court forces him to release the video. And when it becomes clear of the video is going to come out, the state immediately charges them like they they they charged him. And then later that day they released a video. Now keep this in mind. They had this video for a ******* year. Yeah, they knew exactly. What have you done? It's all it's all fake. And you know, yeah, they they only charged him with the alternative was literally being run into the sea by an entire mob of the literally the entire population of Chicago. So Van **** is suspended without pay, right? But he immediately gets hired by. And the police union. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. OK cool. And and Vandyke. Vandyke eventually, I mean he goes down eventually he gets convicted of, you know, of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. But, you know, there's, there's a later report that describes the involvement of 16 other officers in the cover up. Four officers were eventually fired for lying about the case. Three were tried for the cover up and acquitted. And four officers were given a one week suspension for the mysterious lack of camera audio. Honestly? It's more that is more than what usually happens expected. Yeah. Well, I mean this is like this video is so bad that like this video is so, I mean Rahm Emanuel stuff doesn't really. I mean he the consequence he suffers is that he decides not to run again because it will be bad for him. But Rahm Emanuel is currently now that his, his consequence is that he's the American ambassador to Japan. And OK, well, that is a fate worse than death. You know, I will also say this, the people of Japan do not deserve all Emanuel the Liberal Democratic Party. On the other hand, are maybe the only people on Earth who actually deserve him. Like if if you didn't want us to palm Rahm Emanuel off on you, you shouldn't have taken all that CIA money in the 50s and 60s and let them run your political campaigns. So Liberal Democratic party, lie down with dogs, get fleas. But yeah, Jason Van **** was released from prison two weeks ago after serving less than half his sentence. Laquan McDonald remains dead. Yeah, I mean the the really depressing part is that that is more consequences than usually ever happens. And that that only happened because of, you know, like, it it. Incredible amount of organization. Yeah. And like, think, think of all of the times where there is no video. Think of all the times where there's nothing and things just happen, no one watches it. And then dead bodies get kicked into a ditch. And that's way more common than anything where there's type of like recordings or even where there needs to be cover ups. You know, you you both are probably too young for this movie, but in one of the Transformers movies, after they beat all the bad Transformers, I've watched all of the Transformers. OK, so you know, there's all the animated ones where the Navy lifts them all up and drops them into the sea. Yes. What if we did that with the Chicago Police Department? Just drop them in the sea. Big old, big old. Sink or swim. Scoop them up. Drop them in the sea. Yeah. No, we put them in a bag. There's no swimming. OK, that's fair. Look, look, they. 11 they they get one bag individually. Each individual gets one bag for each bag they put over someone's head and strangled them with. I think that's fair. And then right into the sea and see. Solves all problems. The last thing like I, I do, I do genuinely want to say is that like if if if you read this story over and over and over and over again, you get people who are like, you get the governor going, like the system is fundamentally broken, we must reform it. You get the court saying the system is fundamentally broken and must reform it, and it never changes. They just keep killing people. They keep enslaving people. They keep doing like they keep torturing people, they keep murdering people, they keep ****** people. And this will not end until you abolish the police. Like, there is no alternative if you, if your car is fun, is broken on a fundamental level, you can't, you can't reform your car to make it better. There's a certain point where it's totaled and you're like, well, I guess that car, it's like you go away and block is shattered and you're like, well, I fix it, the tires, so it ought to go now. No, no. Like if it's broken on a fundamental level, you can't reform it. Those were like, those words don't go together. Throw, throw out, throw out your car and build a train. That's what you have to do. Walk. Use your feet to get a bicycle. Honestly, like. Yeah, I stuck a bottle under the rail of my AR15, so it's not a gun anymore. Like no it's it's still a gun. Yeah, yeah. This is really, really sad. Yeah. And it's good stuff. Pretty depressing. Anyway, I'm going to go watch 2008 The Dark Knight and feel feel great about myself. Yeah, alright. Well that's gonna do it for us that it could happen here today until next time. Hope that more Chicago police officers get COVID. There, there is that. There is that fun scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker goes into the Chicago police building and blows up the prison block with all those cops inside. That is. That is a fun scene. Yeah, anyway. Oh my goodness, it's could happen here. Alright, well, that's the introduction. I'm Robert Evans and my work's done for you today, Chris. Yeah, it's it's me. It's Christopher. We we are back with two more stories of rape, torture and murder from the Chicago Police Department. But what a fun show we have. Yeah, yeah, well, you know, OK, this one, this this one will be more fun than last time because. OK, so basically since I since I started showing up on this show, I have made a case. I have been dropping references to the fact that the Chicago Police Department is literally a cartel. And today I am finally telling the story of how the little unfair to cartel. Yeah, also also I mentioned this before we go in, there's also a bonus cartel because while I was doing research on one of the cartels, I realized that I couldn't actually talk about it without talking about the other cartel. So there's two, there are two completely unrelated CPD cartels that are will show up in this story. Uh. Yeah, it's great. So, all right, this is the story of Ronald Watts. Now, Ronald Watts joined the CPD in 1994 after serving in the Army, making him yet another example of the fabled Troop Cop combination that produces the worst people on Earth. What watch was assigned to patrol Chicago's old public housing like projects now wants is from housing himself. There's. OK, so some of the people who knew him before he went into the police claimed that like he was just always like a drug dealer and that he went into the police to like drug deal more. I don't know if that's true because, I mean he's also in the army for a while, so I. I don't know, it's sort of unclear, but. You know, he he he's further projects, he he knows the terrain well. And that's why he was an extremely effective agent of terror in a place where officers would regularly drive by blasting the N word and other racial slurs out of their cop car speakers. Yeah, here, here. Here's the Intercept describing what, like Chicago cops are just doing at the projects. There were officers who founded amusing to toy with those under their power, arranging a foot race of heroin addicts that determined who would go to jail, for example, or forcing a woman they had searched on the street to walk home naked from the waist down. It's yeah, people who find joy and exerting their power over other people and they think it's funny. Yeah, that's. Why they become cops? Yep. Well, and you know the the other reason you become a cop is is the the the the second thing that they do constantly, which is they just walk into the lobbies of these buildings, just start taking everyone's money. And like they they they they literally called the lobbies. These public housing buildings like this quote their ATM machine. So they're just doing this constantly. There's also cops. This is not every cop that there's specific cops. We do this. Who would show up on on the 1st and the 15th of the month, wait for everyone to cash their paychecks and then rob them? And you know, the thing I think is important about this is that, OK, so like watts and like the specific cartels do this, but this isn't just watts, this is like, this is everyone who's working at these projects is just walking up like 2, like the poorest people in Chicago and just robbing them constantly. Yeah like this is this is, you know, this is this is just how regular policing works and the elite units are even worse. So cartel #1 or I guess I guess Carter number two since we've introduced watts, but so there used to be an elite unit in the Chicago police force called the Special Operations Section or SOS. And these guys, these guys are different because they, you know, they're they're not attached to like an area or certificate. They're they're just completely their own thing. They're just like they're the special response team and SOS would just go into projects and just ransacked the entire building like they they would go room by room, like taking people stuff and just looting it and then just like walking out. And you know, it's not even, like it's not just they're taking cash, like they're taking TV's. And I mean the thing that the thing the thing you if when you read, interview some people who lived through this, like, they're not just taking like stuff that's like, let's use that are expensive. They'll take people like lamps, like they just walk out with anything, like literally anything they can sell. And you know again like these are, these are the people living in these projects are like huge like a lot of these projects are literally like segregation era, right. And so they're they're almost entirely black and they're just take like they're just getting robbed but constantly by both the regular cops and special operations section and and there's not even like you know like cops nowadays have like. They have like civil asset forfeiture with this like pseudo legal framework. No, no this, like they're not even, this is the 90s not even doing that. They're just literally walking in and robbing people at gunpoint. West, like they eventually get shut down in 2007 after. So there's a series of scandals about them. They they steal like hundreds of thousands of dollars from people. They do shakedowns of drug dealers. They start kidnapping people. At one point in SOS, dude like tried to hire his coworker to do a hit on someone who was like going to report them to the feds. And yeah, but SOS isn't the main story today because Watts is writing, is running an even larger version of this operation. And, you know, while I was researching this, I had the realization that, like, so I've talked to people in Chicago about like the CPD cartels, right. And I had the realization that there are conversations that have people where we've been, we've both been talking about different ones and we both, we both thought we were talking about this. Like I had people looking back and was like, oh, they were talking about it was like, no, I meant the watch one. It's. It's great. It's. Love, love our institutionalized just robbery system. Yeah, so the other thing I want to mention because so the intercept did like really good like 4, like huge four part series on on the watts. I like cartel, but I think it's worth mentioning that, like, even the, you know, there's like 2 quote UN quote good cops who like, go after watts. And for years, they actually bring him down. But, like, even those cops are doing things that are objectively horrifying. Like, most of the actual cop work in this story is done by is literally just the good cops. Like, they they know a homeless guy. They called you Baca, who they they they paid to be an informant in, like, blankets, sleeping bags and food. And like it's. Like, it should be fair. Chewbacca, like, genuinely, like, likes the two of them. But Chewbacca is the guy who does all of the work here. Like what Wass gets like, what? Like he's the guy who's, like, wearing the wire. He's the guy who knows everything. The cops, the cops don't know anything. And like, she has known this. Everything was going on from the beginning. They just don't ask him for years. But like, and Tribeca, like goes to prison at one point because Watts, OK, so Watson Watts is just like a drug dealer, right? So. Wants and uh, so, so Chewbacca would like you know, he he was like, he was like a sort of low level like runner, right. He'd get a bag. He'd like move it sometimes. And one time it was all these information. So one time, like Watts was like trying to get information on where a drug stash was so we could rob it. And then like, well, technically he could do a police raid on it and then take the drugs and sell them. And she bought just like, didn't know so well. It's just like through in prison for two years. And it's just like, you know this I don't have. It's constantly there. There are so many people who are just. You know, like people trying to survive in the city and then, oh, hey, you don't have the exact Pacific information that this cop wants on this drug thing, so we're just gonna send you to prison for two years? And Chewbacca, who like risks his life wearing a wire and brings down one of the biggest cartels in the CBD as best I can tell, is still living on the street because the society is just broken in ways that like. Are difficult to comprehend and incredibly bleak. Yeah. Hmm, yeah. So OK. But back to Watch's operation. Watts has this thing called the watts tax, and the wattstax is, if you run drugs, you pay the tax to watts, and this tax gives you protection from the police. If you don't pay the watch tax, the cops show up, they put you in prison, they take all your cash, they rate your drugs and then watch resells your drugs at a profit. So is like, objectively that is a decent grift. Like in terms of it's pretty good grip. It's incredible logistical. Yeah. Like, yeah. OK. I can I can see how the how this would actually be very profitable. Yeah. It's genius. And like and and and the other thing about these taxes, like these taxes are enormous amounts of money like if, if so if if if you're running a drug that's like, OK, so you have a drug that you move and the drug is said, no, I've, I've, I've ran drugs for 30 years. I know. Yeah. So the the the tax for the for that single drug can be as high as $50,000 a week. So he is he is making a lot of money, so much money, but just an incomprehensible amount of money off of this. We could do that. Everybody can do that, I guess. I guess we would have to become coughs. I have an idea for a pivot. We're doing the cartel pivot. This is this is how we give, this is how we get funded by this in the lower courts. And we've always been a cartel, but that's where we move from podcasting into drugs. We can partner with our friends at the Sinaloa Cartel. Yeah, would be great. Eventually, there's a guy named Big Shorty who's another like sort of player in the scene. And so when they. Yeah. All the people in this game in this great names. Yeah, it's great. So Big Shorty is like, I'm not paying like 50K a week per drug to do this anymore. I'm going to go to the feds. And so, so be sure. Like, he threatens to go to the and he goes to the DA and then, like a couple days later, she's gunned down the street by. Yeah. You never someone with the feds. Yeah. No. Like, yeah. Well, if you do, you have. Make sure they, like, disappear you because, well, you never threaten it. Like, that's the thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You don't you these worlds you mention, like cops and going to in any combination and everyone around you just like, all right, well, this person's got to be dead. That's just how that's got to go. Yeah, it's it's it's not it's not the best you should move I've ever seen. Yeah. So you know and this is when, this is when the cops, the, the, the, the two cops are gonna bring lots down like actually started to take notice because literally for years, I mean there's tell story about this, like people they they be locking people up and people would say things like why are you going after me for two bags and watts is running the dope and just no one believes them. Like the cops are being told constantly for years, like the cops who aren't in on the, on the, in the cell being told literally for years that that this whole thing is you know that that. Oh yeah. Well, why are you bothering me? Lots is running this operation. They don't believe them and they they they don't. They don't believe them, basically, until Big Shorty gets shot. Because. When will be short, he goes down like another. They they, they, they, they they get another guy who's like pretty big in the scene. That guy's like, Oh yeah, no, he got shot by watts and they're like, wait, hold on. Now the the the cops. Go to the FBI and the FBI, it turns out, has been trying and failing to put again, put together a case against waltz for so long that like, they're on, they're like second like Agent who they've had in charge of the case because the first guy like just could do it and laugh and they had another guy. And almost immediately after this I there's there's another, there's another dealer named fears who he has this fears, has this great grift, which is like all of his people wear Obama shirts is like 2008, like he doesn't no seven or something. But yeah, so like all the people doing this thing, they wear Obama shirts and they, they they call the drugs like Obama. And so when everyone, they had their lines called hope so. And like this, this, this actually works on the FBI. Like the FBI doesn't understand that they're running drugs because I think that, like all the references of Obama are just like they're talking about like Obama and it's like. There's so many, there's so many great like FBI weird incompetence, things in the story like that. There's one point where the cops are going through the documents and they see the word, they see Lou, and it's a lose just short for Lieutenant, right. But the FBI thinks that Lou is like a name and so they're kind of tracked down this guy named Lou, which is just, it's it's. Ah, just. Baffling. Incredible. And compress number thrilled when they have to investigate cops. Yeah, yeah. Even though it is literally their job. Yep. But hey, I hate doing my job too. So please continue, Chris. So so that fear is guy who she's doing the Obama thing, like takes 17 rounds to the chest, and so the FBI airline number rounds to take to the chest. Interesting #2, right? Because, like, like, it does have a cult significance, yes? Yeah. What would also like? Like is did they like reload? Like do they have a gun that has exactly 1707, like they're 17 round man. OK, yeah. No, no, there's yeah, there's that. That's not, that's not is it is it like a handgun or is it a rifle? I think it's a handgun. Yeah, or like Baltimore people with handguns. Yeah. Glock seventeens have 17 round magazines. That makes sense, yeah. Yeah, so so after this, the FBI investigation intensifies and. So. The FBI goes to the Internal Affairs Division or ID, who are like the most hated cops of all cops by other cops because they're people who are to investigate the police and you know, so. So they they they tell that you guys are going to watch, they're going to be protected and this works for like a year. And then the head of a ID changes and it's like a cop, cop guy instead. So they have this, like they brought an FBI guy who the head of aid and then he gets kicked out and they bring in like a cop and that cop just immediately tells literally everyone that, that the. Cops are running an investigation against Watts. And so I do. They die with the next few months or stunningly, no, I especially, I can tell Watts seemed to have thought that, like, they wouldn't, they wouldn't be able to get him because too much protection, which worked for a while. Yeah. It's yeah. He has a lot of power. Yeah. Well, and also, I mean, the thing about this is she just, like, his stuff, starts getting Wilder. So he goes after this guy. He tries to go after the drugs of this guy named Monk. And like Monk, Monk is carrying a bunch of drugs. He's trying to, he's trying to rob Bunk. From the Intercept, a wild card chase ensued on the Dan Ryan Expressway, Lakeshore Drive and ultimately into the Hyde Park neighborhood, where Monk lost control of the car and crashed in a park. He fled on foot. Watts and his team seized the dope in cash. They didn't even check on the condition of the woman, an infant who remained in the car. Which is great. And also that's that's standard that that's that. That's like standard CPD procedure. I have literally seen this happen like in Hyde Park like I I have when I was in college. I almost got run over in a seat and like the CD almost ran me over this like car chase that went bad and this giant multi car crash and like there's like 16 cops, right? They all just run past the car crash after the two guys are chasing and, like, I have to go make sure no one died. And I was like, I this is great. You have just almost murdered me. And then also you're not checking on all of these people in this car. You've been in a wreck. I. Ohh, hate the CPD. I hate them a lot. They sound they sound nice. Yeah, it's great. They're they're yeah, this just happens like. All the time. Like often enough that, like literally in the same place. Yeah, I saw this thing happen in which, like, all of these big, because you've got like a few really big, ****** big city police departments. You've got your LAPD, you're NYPD, you've got your Chicago Police Department. But by God, you've got Saint Louis cops and they're all they're all ****** in simultaneously the same and different ways. Like they're they're it's the same basic idea. It's brutality, it's violence, it's robbery. They they they find unique ways to do those ****** things, which is fascinating. Yeah, like, if I was like, like, the NYPD's, like, their big thing is, if you get a large number of people together, the NYPD is just going to annihilate you like LAPD has. Like the Nazi gangs CPD thing, CPD's thing just seems to be crime. Like, CBD is just too crime torture. It's torture. And yeah, yeah, Saint Louis Police Department will attack you with dogs if you're not a white person. Like, yeah, they've all got they've they've they've they've they've chosen their cop subclass. Yeah. Now. OK, so, but back in the investigation, the two cops investigating watts are like, Even so basically all the researchers get cut off. It's literally just them to watch note, like basically knows that he's he's they're coming for them and they almost get him anyways because cops are just not very smart. And, you know, they're about to get them on a sting for drug running and then right before, like, look, I think it's like the day of that they're running the sting, they suddenly get like transferred to the police Academy and they basically just, like get detained. And this police Academy for like weeks. And it's it's really weird. And eventually, like the and, you know, this is when, like, everything just completely comes apart. Like, the liaison between the CPD and the FBI literally tells them they can't move on the case, because if they move on the case, it's gonna reveal that watts murdered a dude. Because, well, so they they don't have good evidence up shortly, but they have, they have evidence that they have good evidence that he killed fears. And I and the head of internal Affairs basically tells them, like, yeah, like, I I won't do anything about watts because it comes out that another CPD unit had gone rogue after SOS. I'll be done for. So I'm just going to cover for them. The second cartel is too much. Yeah, go to the only one cartel. Great, I can excuse one cartel, but I tried the line at 2. But once you hit four cartels, we're back to good. Which is why I am such a big fan of the Los Angeles Police Department. It's great. Look, you you got it, you got it, you got you, you just you just gotta get over the cartel hump. And once you're over, yeah, you got. It's like, it's like growing out your your hair, right. There's going to be that. Where it looks really awkward. That's when you that's when you've got 2 cartels and then you get hot at 4 cartels. Then you're ******** again. Yeah, it's great. So there's an interesting description from one of the two cops that I want to. Because it gets at how the code of silence works. From the intercept he had, she said. This is about the aid guy. He had, she said, made too many deals, thereby neutralizing his ability to act, attributing her understanding of this dynamic largely to conversations with Rivera himself, conversations she denied ever occurred. She described him as ensnared in a web of mutual blackmail, which bosses have leverage over one another by virtue of their shared knowledge of the deals they have made. She gave an example. I'll make the CR against your guy go away if you promote my guy. Within your unit, the Code of silence and clouter thus entwined. Rivera, she recalled, once remarked to her that the bosses quote trade CR for favors like baseball cards. So, yeah, this is what the code of silence is. It's an informal code, sort of, that's also called the thin blue line, which is great. Yeah. But basically it says that cost, you know, it's that cost will protect the road. But it's more than that. If, if if if you if you cross the thin blue line and you break the code of silence, you will be formally retaliated against by your commanders. And but when I say breaking the code of silence, what that means literally is if you take any action against another cop, like it literally doesn't like they they they could be torturing people. Could be literally running a cartel. It doesn't matter if if you say anything about them, you will be like formally retaliated against by every other cop. And so the two cops who are investigating watts, like they get arrested by internal affairs and internal affairs like tries to like basically make a fake case against them. And they eventually get out, but they're their careers are over, right? Because they, you know, attempted to like do the thing sort of that cops are nominally supposed to do and they just immediately get arrested. And, you know, and they have a lot of other stuff happened to them. Like one of the two cops comes home to a mailbox literally full of **** with a note that says, since you like **** so much, thought you'd enjoy this. Amazing. Yeah, you know what I mean? Like, that's. But I think, like, that's fun. That should happen more often. Just that should happen a lot more often than other other scenarios. Yeah, yeah, it's. It it it it sucks that these are the cops that this is happening. Like of of all of the this is like the only time I I like do not approve of, like sending cops ****. Is this like this? Is this is the wrong reason? Wow, this is the wrong reason. It's always that's true that they have probably gotten stuff. They have done something. Make sure it's better. It can be safer. If it's if *** **** is used then DNA, cause it's harder to track you know? Anyway, you know what the safest **** of all to use? I no, I don't. Should you find this ****? Panther ****? Panther ****? See, I could. Yeah, I I think BI is never gonna figure that one out. Yeah, I get. They don't have the technology. Get right on. I'll get right on that. Yeah. You're going to go collect Panther **** be gone for a month. You could be their Unabomber for, like, 15 years. They're trying to track down what kind of **** is getting put in people's mailboxes until your brother sends them a letter saying I know someone who has access to a lot of Panther **** and the grudge. Tragic tale tale as old as time, and then you can get an HBO miniseries where they make you like look slightly like you're in a boy band. Slightly. It's like you were in a boy bed but aged out. Yeah, yeah. You were in a boy? Yeah. Yeah. So the code of silence also extends their friendly politicians. Here's from The Intercept report. Soon after he came to the confidential section, he was given the assignment of investigating a deputy Superintendent. The allegation was that the officer of the official lived outside the city. Mills worked on the case for months and concluded the allegation was true. He produced a thick file. How does that take months? I'm sorry. To figure that out, they're cops like you got you got to make allowances for cop the caper of where does this guy who works here live? Yeah. Uh, very funny. The next day the file came back to him. It was Bart. There was a yellow post it note with a handwritten message. Make it unfounded. Oh, that's fun. Awesome. Amazing. Great. Yeah. Yeah. Make it unfound. Cops are cops are a breed of their own. Poetry, poetry. Yeah, so. Actually, there, there. There's a long history of like, yeah, Paul should do stuff with cops all the time. Like, I remembering this story, right? Like Rahm Emanuel's like. Nephew or something killed the guy in a car crash and the CPD he got, Emmanuel got the CPD to just like never investigated it. They just were like, oh, someone died in the car crash and it just went away. It's it's real fun. Umm. Yeah. So so eventually it shortly after this sort of the the the those two cops get like detained at like the police Academy, the FBI and the and the CPT move on Watson and his partner Mohammed and no one else. Interestingly, because again, if you think about this for about 5 seconds, there were an enormous number of people who either know about this operation or are actively involved in running a ******* drug cartel. That is one of the biggest players in the South side who are still just cops. And like the CPD goes after exactly two people, there are like dozens of people who were actively involved in this who are still cops. Umm. And and, you know, and the only real tradition of this is that the FBI and the CPD are complicit, which is that, you know, I mean, so parts of the CPD want to keep doing, keep, keep running. The cartel, the FBI is like both the FBI and the CBD also have an interest in keeping this covered up because they don't want like, you know, oh, hey, look at the, look at the loss of trust in in in law enforcement. It comes out that there were actually 2 cartels running in the same place at the same time, parallel to each other. And then we didn't catch them like it's nothing. Yeah, but it's great because literally nothing. Happens to these people. They're still out there. They're still doing cop ****. Yeah, only two people went down for that. And yeah, so the cartel is just still there. It's it's good. It's still still operating. Well, it proves that if you put in the work, you can really build something that lasts. And I think that's a lesson we all should be inspired by. Pull yourself up by your. The Jack bootstraps and wow yeah that's good stuff. OK, so so interlude #2. On May 4th, 1886 someone threw a stick of dynamite at some cops in Haymarket Square in Chicago area General strike for the 8 hour work day. They they sure did. The cops fired wildly into the crowd and the state rounded up a bunch of completely random anarchists who by their own admission had nothing to do with it and had the medicated. Now the cops for their part, built a statue for the cops at Haymarket. Now, the first of these statues, which destroyed on May 4th, 1927 by a guy who just guys, this is great. So he he he he he he had the he was a Street car driver, right? He had to like every single day he had to go past the statue of the Haymarket Cop. And one day he was just like, no. And he he he ran his Street car off of the street. Cars are like on rails, right? He ran them off of the rails and rammed it into the statue. This guy rules, you know? So, so the house build another statue and that the second statue was blown up by the Weather Underground on October 6th, 1969. The cost making another statue. The third statue is also blown up by the Weather Underground on October 5th, 1970. Good work guys. Looks like that was less than a year later. Yep, Yep. And so they originally they rebuild it again, right? And originally they have it under like a 24 hour armed guard. Jesus Christ, then and then and then. But you know, even then they were like OK, we can't protect it. So they moved it into. It enclosed courtyard in the middle of the of the Chicago Police Academy because they're too cowardly to show it in public. Awesome. See, that's good. That's a win. That's a win. They realize everyone hates him so much that they have to hide the statue to the ******** who got killed. Yeah, that's great. One day, one day that 4th statue will follow the first three. One day, one day. By the mere cosmic forces of the Universe 1 by entropy, the force of entropy will one day destroy the statue. Yes. OK, so on the story #4 story #4 is the Chicago Police Department black site. O the Chicago Police Department has a black site called Homan Square. So, so normally, you know, you go to a police station and you get booked, right? They they they book you. They put you into the system. And you know, because you're in the system. Like, you know where, like, people can find you, right? Because you can just look someone, you can look some up in the system at home and square. They don't book people. If you just if you go there, you just disappear. There's no record of you. There's no, there's no way to contact a lawyer if you're in there. Your lawyer doesn't know where you are because again, there's no records of where you are. You've just been grabbed off the street and taken to a building. Yeah, and and this is a so. Store storage people there tends to be pretty short. They don't tend to hold people longer than a couple of days. But what it's there for is this is, this is a confession machine. This is this is a way to force confessions out of people by just, you know, literally disappearing them and denying them access to lawyers or literally anyone knowing where they are and they just holding them until they confess. And also, yeah, so, so at home and square, prisoners are routinely shackled for, for hours, like 10s of hours, sometimes 24 hours. Beaten, denied phone calls, and robbed constantly. This is another fun CPD tradition is yeah, they'll just take you to this black site and then rob you, and then maybe the release you, but you know they still robbed you. And yes, you know, they they do these beatings and these beatings are incredibly intense. Like you know that they're punching people. They're doing like me strikes, doing elbow strikes, hitting people with batons. Sometimes they're tasering people. We, we have a report that the cops filed of listed listed as a cop being assaulted and the thing that they're listening as a non was like like non like fist assault was the guy spat blood. Yeah. Well, yeah. And they listed that as an assault on the blood on them. Yeah, it's great. It's yeah. And they also do things like they they put like flex cuffs around people's necks. Oh geez. Torture. Yeah, that is, yeah. Yeah, that's a way for someone to die. It's almost like that's maybe part of the intention is that maybe someone will quote accidentally die. Oh, we'll get to that. OK, well, so not great. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's it's not it's bad. There's another guy who. OK, so the cops are completely convinced. This guy who was completely innocent. OK, I just want to say, like, I'm gonna say a lot of people innocent because they are, but also, like, even if you're guilty, you no one deserves this. Like, maybe the cops doing it deserve it. But even then, it's. I don't even think they do. It's like, yeah, you don't. Yeah. No, not a thing for people. Yeah. So this guy, you might knock down a statue or three, but yeah, like, you know, like, it's yeah, it's it's really grim. Like. Yeah. So they they hold this guy's mouth open with a pen. Right. And then they keep elbowing him in the stomach until he throws up. And so she tries to get medical attention because he keeps throwing up because he has asthma? I mean, also because she just got elbowed in the stomach, repeatedly held up his mouth? Yeah, and instead of giving him medical treatment even though he, like, easily could have died, the cops just beat him up for asking. There is another guy who gets sexually abused with the barrel of a gun, and when he starts screaming the guard, the gun goes on a rant about how he needs to be careful or he might accidentally pull the trigger. Oh boy, it's it's bad. So this, this is all within that specific. Yeah this is, this is, this is, this is all just in Homeland Square. He claims that like the the cell he's being held in, he doesn't get any food, doesn't get any water. They keep in there for hours and the the like the cell just smells like blood and like feces because yeah yeah, they don't let people go to the bathroom. Two other individuals. Stephanie Martinez and Calvin Kofi described relieving themselves will shackled in a Homan Square interrogation room. Martinez, locked up in 2006, was told by a guard that she did not have the key to Martinez's handcuffs and could not take her to the bathroom. Kofi, to take him to Homan Square on the 6th of February 2015 on suspicion of narcotic activity, defecated on the floor. After two hours fruitlessly requesting for the bathroom, a police officer made Calvin clean it up with his skullcap, the lawsuit alleges. It's these people are sick they're yeah well yeah. It's it's yeah yeah yeah they I hate that it's like yeah. It's cap **** huh. Yep. And you know things that they do it they're holding children in here like they have people as young as 15 who are being just literally everything is about this is so sometimes sometimes you get sort of like arrested normally. Although again I should mention that the Constitution does not exist. Like it's it's fake. It's a lie. No one ever gets ******* read the Miranda rights. It doesn't matter because. Constitution doesn't exist if you're poor. Yeah. It it sort of exists if you're not. But I will guarantee you they're reading their Miranda rights to people who look like they got money. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, these people, there's actually a story of these two Puerto Rican guys who got brought in and they like the cops are like trying to give us something. And they just like, they start name dropping like, civil rights lawyers and the cops are like, OK, OK, We're good. We'll drive you back. If you don't talk, we'll we'll we'll drive you back to like where you came from. And it's. Yeah, it's it's extremely grim. Yeah. They just want to ****. People who can't defend themselves. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, and the way they do this, right. Like they they they they do these raids where like, everyone's, they're not wearing badges. Everyone just, like, wearing mat, like tap, like black armor and like black masks. And so people describe getting, like dragged out of their house and they don't know if getting robbed or like if they're being kidnapped and they are being kidnapped, but just being kidnapped, like by the cops and they get dressed. Then again, they're dragging like 15 year olds into the into this thing. There, there's one guy who gets found unresponsive in an interrogation room. Now, the police say they died from a heroin overdose, but this makes literally no sense. And so the the, the first reason why doesn't make any sense is that the cops initially lie about where he about where he like had the overdose and died because they don't want to reveal that he, you know, was in their secret black site. So they like lied and said he was another, he was at another site. Now the other thing. You know that that contradicts their claim that this guy was, uh, had a heroin overdose. Is that the hospital when he when when the hospital saw him, they wrote that he was sober? So, I mean, he could have he could have had a heroin overdose in terms of the cops injecting him full of hair. Yeah. Like, yeah, that's the most likely thing. Like, and there's there's another part of this. So, so this guy was selling cocaine, right? But again, he's selling cocaine, not heroin and the other and you know his his partner, like there was another guy who was he was selling cocaine with like. His partner and everyone who knew him was completely insistent that, you know, he does. He doesn't do drugs, right. He sells them because, you know, you sell drugs. But yeah, and and the the cops and the other things the cops do, the cop thing where they changed their story twice. So originally they said that he like, committed suicide by heroin overdosing and then they changed their story to he died by accident. The other thing that that indicates that he probably did not, in fact, die from heroin overdose is that there's bruises all over his face. He has a busted lip. His neck is super red. And none of that shows up in the in the police autopsy and this all. Yeah. And this all reads just like a standard burger in interrogation. So, like, they beat him. They put a bag over head to suffocate him, and then you plant heroin on him and, you know, you you call him. Yeah. Bing, bang, boom. That's a day's work. Yeah. Yeah. And there's another thing that I should mention here about the story, which is that. OK, so this guy is in a Chicago Police Department black site, right? How did he get heroin in? Like, everyone in this black site is literally shackled to a wall. Like, there's no the old. The only place the hair we could possibly have come from is the cops. So it's like, you know, and and independent autopsy says he dies of asphyxiation. So yeah, I'm going to read something from the Guardian about the guy who. The the guy's partner who was in the next selover. The other partner who requested to be cited as John Doe while he rebuilds his life post conviction was in a home and square interrogation room near Galvins. While Doe was unable to see inside, he told the Guardian he heard a lot of commotion, then booming and banging, and then a gagging sound coming from his friend's cell. His partner? Yeah. So this this guy, like his partner, like he's that guy's also, like, chained to a wall for like 12 hours. Here's he has something to say. I heard a hauler. I heard officers talking to him. After that, I just heard a lot of commotion, like boom, boom, boom, boom and banging boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And then I didn't hear nothing. After that, my door was kind of cracked and then they shut it. After that, they shut my door all the way before the police shut the door. Doe said I heard a gagging sound, like he makes a choking noise, like choking, like somebody was choking after the commotion, like choking. I yeah. Yeah. It's it's very, it's very obvious. But yeah. From the get go. Yeah. Yeah. Like they they torture this guy to death and yeah, it's. Yeah. And the other fun part about Home Square is Home Square is also used to torture political prisoners. So Brian, uh, Brian Jacob Church is a member of the NATO 3, which is a group of anti NATO protesters in 2012 who got set up by an incredibly elaborate government entrapment scheme and arrested for it. And he was taken immediately to Homewood Square. He's never read his Miranda rights. He's cuffed to a bench for 17 hours. And he he asked to call his lawyer because like a good leftist, he has a National Lawyers Guild number written on his arm. And, you know, this is something that's important. So the Guardian talked to like, dozens of people who were held here, right. Exactly two of them were able to contact a lawyer, and they were both white and church churches. One of them. And this is actually how. Part of how Homeland Square goes public because Brian Jacob Church like talks to the press about it and Spencer Ackerman said great journalist does a bunch of incredible reporting and like brings the black site to light. And so there's there's 7185 people we can prove we're taken to Homan Square 6000 of those people are black. Less than 1% of those people had their rest logged, which means the cops just vanished them. It's almost certainly more people. Now I'm going to read something about this from from the book writings from the world of policing. This homeschool revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of practices that date back more than 40 years, said Flint Taylor, the civil rights lawyer most associated with pursuing Area 2 Commander John Burge. Back when I first started working on torture cases, I started representing criminal defendants in the early 1970s, Taylor continued. My clients often told me they've been taken from one police station to another before ending up an area 2 where they were tortured. That way, the police prevent their families and lawyers from seeing them until they could coerce the torture or other means confession from them. So yeah, that that's our ******* police reform. Instead of having a, instead of taking them police station to police station, the police have now been reformed so that they have one institutionalized black site instead of multiple ones. Home and square is still open to this day. Like this came out 2015. There have been like over half a decade of protest against it. So supposedly the rules have changed and if you get arrested have to put you in the system. But how many square is still open? There's probably another one like somewhere that they've just, they've they've they've they've switched which side they're doing their black sites on. And yeah. Well. Yeah, I have, I have, I have a closing statement. OK, sure it is. It is an inhuman crime that a single one of these ******* demons is allowed to roam our streets with a badge and the authority to rape, torture and murder us at the certainty that the system will beat us into a pulp if we attempt, even in the smallest way, both symbolic way possible, to resist them. The police must be abolished. There is no alternative. For the sake of our survival, for the survival of our children, and for the sake of every generation that has bore its horrors before us, we could only abolish the police, salt the earth upon which it stands, and drive the very concept of policing into a space of such infamy and terror that even the worst among us would not dare to even propose bringing it back. Also, get rid of that last statue. Yeah, that one destroyed. Let's knock that one out of there too. Yeah. I mean, I feel like everyone who's ever been to that site has should have the, the, the like universal right to take a hammer and maybe, you know, maybe maybe an RPG and just like do whatever they want to that building. Yeah. I I think the men who continued to like in women who who continued to work and CPD like anyone who was ever arrested. By them or otherwise brutalize them should just forever have the right to just give them like a solid shot to the balls, you know? Like, just just like they get to wear a little sign around their neck and it's like, oh, that guy used to that guy was, you know, was one of Burgess dudes. So anybody who sees him can just give him, give him a little haymaker. Right in the right in the bread basket. Yeah. That is a proposal that is, I'm running for mayor of Chicago. I mean, I I'd look, our mayors all suck. So, you know, move, move over here. And we, we can propose a solution to this problem that is so unbelievably, not proportionally violence to what the police. I've been doing that. It boggles belief. And I'm pretty sure I can still manage to be corrupt. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's Chicago. You can't not. I mean, I guess. I mean, life was sort of corrupt. Life that's less corrupt than normal, she's just bad. But yeah, it's Chicago, you'll you'll find. Corrupt corruption will be foisted upon you. I'll I'm, I'm. I'm actually fine with that. Well. Another another uplifting final episode of it could happen to you. I will say this like or as Garrison named it last year earlier today high. Here's the problem by you know I will say this at anytime anytime someone tells you that like no it's fine we're going to reform the police just like remind them that reforming the Chicago Police Department went was that the the reform was that we now have black sites we now have we now have consolidated the Blacks. Yeah yeah it's like we went for multiple black sites to one. Black site and also they probably moved it again. It's just. You just have to get rid of that is that is the essence of police report. You just so, yeah. Anyway, Yep, there's a problem. OK. Bye. Yeah. Bye. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here as a production of cool zone media. For more podcasts from Cool Zone Media, visit our website, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for. It could happen here., thanks for listening.