Saturday afternoon, dozens of Vermonters waving Canadian and American flags gathered at the I-89 overpass on Williston Road in South Burlington to support the Canadian truckers in Ottawa protesting government mandates. Among them was John Covell, one of the two main organizers of the ongoing event. In a brief Vermont Daily Chronicle video interview, he talks about how his concern for the future of freedom drove him to come out, alone, to the overpass.
“I came out here to wave my flag, because I didn’t know what else to do,” Covell said. “That’s when I met my friend Steve, and between the two of us we decided to make it a regular thing.”
Steve is Steve Bedard, the first of a growing throng of other Vermonters concerned about the real loss of freedom in Canada and what it may mean for potential loss of American freedom.
Driver response on the heavily-travelled Williston Road I-89 overpass was generally favorable. But flagwaver Tom Licata noted a few exceptions in his online comment to this story after it was posted on Saturday:
“Just after parking my car at Staples Plaza and walking towards the I-89 overpass with my American flag draped over my shoulder, a gentleman rolled down his window and screamed “Nazi”.
“Though I witnessed many ‘middle fingers’ one in particular stood out. An upper-aged bitter-clinging looking woman rolled down her passenger window, craned her head towards it, stuck her ‘middle finger’ out towards me and screamed, “[editor edits out adjective of Anglo-Saxon origin describing copulation, followed by noun synonym for person born outside of marriage]!”
“This was witnessed by at least two other people. As I was standing by the curb, holding my American flag in one hand and waving at passing cars with the other a white vehicle, I believe a Volvo, accelerated towards me and brushed me back from curbside.
“Two separate times I witnessed two drivers take both their hands off their steering wheel and proceed to give me – not one – but two simultaneous ‘middle fingers’.
“All this from the ‘tolerate’, ‘belonging’, ‘diverse’ community of progressive-Democrats, little doubt. ‘Equity’ is socialism. Never forget that. Freedom is constitutionalism. ‘They’ want you to forget that.
“On the plus side, I’d say about two-thirds of the vehicles that responded in some fashion responded positively with some combination of honking, waving or providing a thumbs-up.”
The Canadian government’s aggressive suppression of the peaceful truckers’ protest may have unforeseen implications, said Vermont Stands Up co-organizer William Moore of Johnson. “In the 1960s and 1970s this type of government tyranny ended up with students shot dead at Kent State and FBI bombing apartment buildings of the Black Panthers in Philadelphia. How soon history forgets…”
All photos and videos by Guy Page unless otherwise credited