Letters to the Editor: Canada’s trucker protests show the limits of vaccine mandates
To the editor: As a fully vaccinated person who wears a mask, I am convinced by the truckers’ protests in Canada, France, New Zealand and Australia — and probably soon in the United States — that vaccine mandates, however well-intentioned, do not work.
People inclined to be vaccinated get their shots, with or without being required. Adding a mandate guarantees that a certain section of the population will rally around sanctimonious claims of their “rights” and militantly refuse vaccination simply because of their antagonism toward any government public health measure.
A push leads to a shove in response. There must be a better way.
Mara Casey, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Allowing the truckers to call themselves “freedom convoys” is like saying the Jan. 6 insurrectionists were engaged in “legitimate political discourse.” It’s an absurd name that completely misrepresents the trucker’s actions.
This isn’t a freedom convoy. It’s a dangerous, organized harassment campaign.
These truckers and their supporters are preventing law-abiding citizens from earning a living. They are striking fear into many locals who simply want to live their lives in peace. And by blocking the flow of goods and services between nations, they are now causing the kind of supply chain disruptions that are contributing to inflation.
Peaceful protest is part of the very fabric of democracy, but these protesters are not peaceful. They’re bullies. They are inflicting significant harm and risk on innocent citizens in trying to coerce changes in laws they don’t care for. That’s anti-democratic.
Accordingly, I believe the Canadian government should give these truckers one last chance to peacefully disperse. If the protesters refuse, they should arrest these people, impound their vehicles, impose heavy fines on the truckers for the economic harm they’ve caused and for the fear they’ve inflicted, and revoke their licenses.
And if the same convoys start appearing in the U.S., they should be dealt with in exactly the same manner, but much more expeditiously.
Matthew Singerman, Newbury Park