The Private Citizen 106: Concluding the Coronavirus Coverage, Part 2

I’d like to retract the above statement. The degree to which the Emergencies Act is an improvement over The War Measures Act is at best complicated. As pointed out in the paper below, while it does add some modicum of (after the fact) parliamentary and judicial review it also adds these new categories of emergencies. These new categories grant less power than the war powers – e.g. no using it to disband a political organization by declaring membership a criminal offense subject to 5 yrs imprisonment as was done to FLQ – but at the same time the new categories lower the bar for what it takes to suspend normal, agreed upon law, as has been demonstrated this past week by the declaration of a “public order emergency.” To quote Rosenthal’s conclusion:

“…the additional scope that “public order” and “international” emergencies give to the Governor in Council to rule by emergency decree suggests that Canada’s future will probably be marred by many more “emergencies” than its past has been.”

“Since prospects of effective judicial control of the broad powers contained in the Act are slight, it is reasonable that those concerned about civil liberties lobby for the repeal of the parts of the Act that allow declarations of “public order” and “international” emergencies. If these parts of the Act were to be removed the Act would represent
a significant improvement over the War Measures Act. As it now stands, however, it might well produce even more than four times the number of “October Crises” that would have eventuated under the War Measures Act.”

The paper (which was linked from the wikipedia article on the Emergencies Act) is worth reading in full:

Yes, it has been some interesting times and turns of events here. You have an excellent link here when it comes to the old war measures act and it’s replacement, the emergencies act.

It’s worth noting that the old war measures act was only ever invoked 3 times, 2 of them being the world wars, and the third one being an internal issue facing our current Prime Minister’s father. Since I know most of the people on here likely don’t have any background on Canadian history.

The only time the newer emergencies act has been invoked is for the current mandates protest. Interestingly enough, it was not enacted for the massive flooding in BC this fall, the massive fires in BC last summer, when Fort McMurray burnt a couple years ago, or the massive protests that stopped all shipping and trains last year.

I’m not too sure that we are going to see the oversight or judicial reviews that the people that wrote the act envisioned though. Currently, Brian Peckover, that last Premier still alive that co authored and signed our charter of rights is attempting to sue our government over the government’s failure to follow the charter. Our opposition party called on the government to justify the act in parliament, so our Prime Minister had parliament suspended. This is rather reminiscent of when the Prime Minister was caught, on a recording pressuring the government to drop charges on SNC Lavalin, and then suspended the government to bypass the investigations into what was deemed an ethics breach by the ethics commissioner.

One of the highlights of the opposition asking the government to justify the emergency act was a lady member of parliament standing up in parliament to ask them to. Our Prime Minister then stood up and accused the opposition of siding with the Nazis. The best part, the lady that had asked was Jewish, and her grandparents had actually survived the holocaust in Germany, so she stood back up and asked for an apology. Our Prime Minister then stood up, and walked out of parliament.

I guess the up side is that there is some great camera footage online of our police forces using horses to trample an elderly lady in her mobility scooter (you have to really watch out for those disabled elderly people), and also using their rifles to beat a protestor that has already been tackled to the ground. Not great moments in my country’s history, to be sure.

One of the downsides is that the government has given the banks the ability to seize peoples accounts and assets if they suspect you have been siding with the protest. This was made retroactive, so if you donated money in the very beginning, you are just as likely to have all your assets frozen as a person donating now. Another downside is that most of the tow trucks had been refusing to tow trucks, in support of their actions, which is now punishable by 5 years in jail. They have also started to tell people that we need to start reporting people that we see making social media comments that are against our current government.

And now, to add to the mix, the gas pipeline protestors have reared their ugly heads again. These are the same people that were behind the above mentioned rail blockades. I think they had the rails blockaded for something like 6 weeks last time. At the time, I worked in an industry that relied on rail to ship our product from site, and we were idled for most of it, due to running out of storage space on site. There never really was a conclusion to it that time. This time, they broke into a construction yard, chased the employees with axes and machetes, destroyed vehicles and buildings, and used excavators to tear the cabs off the haul trucks and flip over other excavators and loaders. Not really a peaceful protest, but our Prime Minister is already on record saying he understands their anger and frustration.

Technically, the currently evoked emergencies act could cover this renewed pipeline protest, however, there is little thought around here that this will come to be.

It is also worth noting that our national police force has admitted to conducting sabotage on construction equipment located in the province of Alberta, to ensure that it could not be used in protests in the future. This was tracked construction equipment, not easily moved to a protest, and located on privately owned land.

But, thankfully, I live in BC, where our provincial health officer has decided to extend vax passports, and to add more job descriptions to the list of “either get vaxxed or lose your job”. For anyone that wants to see her medical qualifications, her name is Bonnie Henry, and you can read and excellent article in McLean’s magazine about her, when she was working for the government in the 1990s, covering up issues with rape and sexual assault in our military.

So, to sum it all up, 2022 has looked at 2021 and said “hold my beer”. And if anyone follows Ozzyman, Canada appears to be on course to “destination fucked”. On a positive note, our neighbours to the South have requested that Canadians be allowed to enter the states to avoid persecution from our government. I really wish there was more positive stuff I could say here.

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As I have just finished listening to episode 108, and there have been some significant changes in the 11 days since I posted the update, I will add some new info here.

As suspected, nothing was said or done about the pipeline protest mentioned in my above post. Actually, as it turns out, the pipelines appear to have been exempted from the emergencies act in this occurrence, but luckily there has been no further acts of vandalism or threats in this regard.

The mainstream media has reported that the convoy failed, and it has indeed been removed from our capital city. However, every province in the country, with the exception of British Columbia, has either dropped mandates and passports, or announced dates for doing so. These dates for dropping mandates are all in terms of a week or two, not this summer or next year type stuff. A couple of the provincial leaders have openly called for the federal government to remove all mandates. There was an issue in the province of Alberta where mayors where imposing mandates in the city to replace the removed provincial mandates, but the province has actually now tabled legislation that would ban the mayors from being able to do so. So, call it what you will, the net effect is exactly what the convoy was requesting.

There were lots of stories that came up about frozen bank accounts. Many of these stories actually got brought up in our parliament. Single mothers, that donated $10 to the convoy, in the beginning days of the convoy were having their bank accounts seized. $10 doesn’t seem like a huge amount. In the beginning days, the convoy had not been labeled a “terrorist act” by our prime minister, yet there they were, not able to feed their children, because they donated to a non illegal cause. Needless to say, that did not go over well in parliament.

The invocation of the emergencies act actually then requires a vote in parliament. There was hope that this vote would fail. The opposition party was against the invocation, as were the other minority opposition parties (we have 5 “major” parties, with our leading party having around 34% of the vote). Heck, even some of the members of governing party (sorry, if I have used the term MP in here, it means member of parliament) that were against this. Well, with the writing on the wall that this might not pass, our prime minister declared the vote was also a “confidence vote”. This means that if the vote failed to pass, parliament would dissolve, and a new election would be required. For anyone that is thinking “problem solved”, this is the exact moment in time when many members of parliament thought back to the moments this year where they called Canadian citizens such things as “racist”, and “misogynist”, and “nazis”, and the sudden realization came to them that they would likely not get re elected. So the vote passed…

In the run up to the vote in parliament, there was a campaign launched to call our local members of parliament. I actually did do this, on the Monday, which the vote would be held that evening. I called my member of parliament, in his office on Ottawa, and after several rings I got a recorded message. The message stated, that since parliament had been suspended, his office was closed, and would not be open again until the 20th of April 2020. No, that isn’t a typo, and I called back a second time to listen to that message again. Im not sure what the deal is with that message, but parliament was only suspended for a couple days, not a couple of months. So, I then phoned his office in town. After several rings I got a recorded message stating that his office was not open on Mondays, and then was only open a couple hours a day for the rest of the week. Well, needless to say, I didn’t get to voice my opinon.

Next up, after the parliament votes yes on the emergencies act, it then needs to be voted on by the senate. And this is where the campaign kicked in to contact our senators. It turns out that our senators where getting the messages from their offices that their phones and emails where over flowing. The senate then began asking questions of the parliament that made the parliament uneasy. Questions like “why is this an emergency?” and “you did not see this coming?”. A couple of senators actually got quite vocal in their questioning. I actually gained a lot of respect for our senate out of this. Questions are always good. The end result here was that our prime minister actually declared an end to the emergencies act before the vote in senate took place.

At this point in time, I think the convoy had been occupying Ottawa for about 3 weeks, and the emergencies act had been invoked for about 1 week. Those are rough numbers.

In the aftermath, we are still seeing calls for smaller and more localized protests and convoys every weekend. I think there is the possibility we could see these continue for the next while. Media and our politicians have started to try put a negative spin on them by referencing Ukraine, and stating that we are having minimal impact on our life when compared to Ukraine, but one should not compare apples to oranges. I spent several months in Donetsk prior to the outbreak of the original fighting, and this is not the place to discuss that. Apples and Oranges are not comparable.

One of the other things to come out of this is that several of the convoy organizers were arrested. The arrested part is not the surprise. The surprise comes from the part where some of them were charged only with “counseling to commit mischief”, but they were then denied bail. For comparison, there was a person that physically drove their vehicle into a crowd that was supporting the protest (arguably vehicular manslaughter), but they are out on bail. It has since come to light that the judge that has denied them bail had previously run to become a member of parliament for our current government, which would actually put them in a potential conflict of interest position. So this part here has not finished playing out here.

And on a final note, America now has their own convoy that has departed the west coast, and is headed to Washington. By shear population scale, I think this promises to set an untouchable record for convoy size. I’m not sure what the plans are down there, but I have heard that they have mobilized the national guard to prepare for them. As they are advocating for peoples rights and freedoms, I wish them well.

I’m sorry about the long post, but I did not want to leave Fab hanging on what the outcome was. The recap is mixed results, with a net positive effect in Canada.


Just chiming in here to let you know that I am reading all of this and I am planning an episode on this. So please, continue to update me on this. All of your info and your different viewpoints are invaluable to me.

Just to give an update: in Russia, anti-COVID measures are being rapidly dropped. Masks in public places are still mandatory, but that is pretty much the only thing left (and many people ignore that as well, it is rarely enforced anymore).

The running joke is:
COVID-19 is calling off its strains and stopping all business in Russia.

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We have the same here. My province hasn’t backed down on any restrictions or mandates, but the people have had enough. I was in a large store the other day and out of the 20 people I saw, only the store manager was wearing a mask.

Here the word is that Putin ended the global pandemic.

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Steve is plainly sympathetic to the protesters which may tinge his view. On the other hand, he still lives in Canada and I don’t. Still, let me give a somewhat contrasting perspective, as a Canadian (and American) citizen not particularly sympathetic to the protesters, one who likely has very different politics, but also one who is concerned about both the flawed text of the Canadian Emergencies Act and its invocation in this case…

As suspected, nothing was said or done about the pipeline protest mentioned in my above post. Actually, as it turns out, the pipelines appear to have been exempted from the emergencies act in this occurrence, but luckily there has been no further acts of vandalism or threats in this regard.

Not sure what Steve wanted here. Using the Emergency Act would equally have been an abuse in that case (or equally proof that the criteria needed for its invocation are too easily met), it being nothing the local police couldn’t handle.

However, every province in the country, with the exception of British Columbia, has either dropped mandates and passports, or announced dates for doing so.

It strikes me as a huge stretch to suppose this relaxation had very much to do with the trucker protests. There’s been relaxation all over because the case counts have gone down. See above where Quebec was already relaxing restrictions and their premier’s funny comment offering to let the protesters take credit for in return for staying away from Quebec City. My sense (and that of most polls?) is that the majority of the Canadian public were unsympathetic to the protesters and that there would be no political cost to ignoring them if they weren’t such a pain in the ass to Ottawa residents and if they hadn’t disrupted the auto industry for a few days by blocking the border near Windsor, Ont.

opposition party was against the invocation, as were the other minority opposition parties (we have 5 “major” parties, with our leading party having around 34% of the vote).

This is inaccurate. The house review passed in a vote of 185 to 151. The Liberals do not have a majority government, so if the opposition were all against the invocation this could not have happened. The Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois voted against it, but the NDP and Greens for.

This was disappointing to me, since the NDP was who I always voted for when I still voted in Canadian elections. It’s a really dumb stance for the left to go this way. Singh tries to have it both ways in his speech but plainly is playing politics or is stupider than I thought:

Even if you can’t bring yourself to empathize with protesters from hating their ideology or whatever (which would be too bad) you ought at least be able to imagine how “our people”, the anarchists, environmentalists, BLM, labor activists or whatever, will pay for your newly authoritarian inclinations. E.g. anyone with anarchist leanings in Florida had better word your online postings very carefully:

Next time Canada gets another Stephen Harper type asshole in just wait for, “what’s good enough for Trudeau is good enough for me,” maybe against indigenous people protesting pipelines.

The way this review works is bent. It didn’t go to senate vote cause it was un fait accomplit by the time even the house voted on it. Trudeau cancelled it the next day. Get that? It went into effect the week before, what was it Wednesay or Thursday. They flagged or froze bank accounts and forced tow truck drivers to help clear the protest (otherwise it was a normal police action on a protest with no permit that blocked streets with few serious incidents). Friday the House didn’t convene for review, supposedly for their own security given the proximity of the police action. That largely completed by the end of the weekend. Then Monday the house votes to pass review. Tuesday Trudeau ends the emergency state before the Senate votes. Some months down the line I think a commission is supposed to report on it. For how that goes see the various ethics commissions that have gone against Prime Minister Teflon in the past.

There were lots of stories that came up about frozen bank accounts.

The Emergency Act allowed two major abuses: 1. financial aggression against protesters and their supporters, that with no judicial oversight. That took the form of temporary bank account freezes as well as FINTRAQ flags previously reserved for “terrorism” and money laundering. 2. forcing tow truck operators to tow in Ottawa when they previously refused.

On #1, my mom tells me accounts were not frozen very long. I raised a concern about the account flags based on reading this early CTV news article:

“Kim Manchester, managing director of financial intelligence training company ManchesterCF, told The Canadian Press that flagging accounts in this way could financially ruin those targeted and make it difficult for them to get any financial services in the future.”

My mom also seemed to think that turned out less severe than that early article portrayed, but I’m not satisfied with that answer. I haven’t been able to find new info on possible long term financial harm from these flags, whether Kim Manchester’s concerns were justified.

And on a final note, America now has their own convoy that has departed the west coast, and is headed to Washington.

This never happened as far as I can tell. I heard somewhere that roughly 40 people showed up in D.C., but now can’t find any info at all. I happened to rent a car and drove across part of Massachusetts that day. I saw American flags and a sign in support of “truckers” on one or two overpasses but that was the limit of it with one guy standing over it waving his arms or something. With the war this story is dead.

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This was simply me just pointing out that although we have been having issues with protests that have blocked our rail lines for weeks at a time, caused considerable damage to private property, and destroyed public infrastructure such as bridges, there has been no move to prevent this from happening. I wanted to contrast that this one has been going on here for over a year with no escalation on the laws or enforcement of existing laws while the protest in Ottawa apparently needed to be escalated to needing the emergencies act, despite the lower level of violence and destruction. I do completely agree that it was not required for either.

I’m not sure how my information was inaccurate. The official opposition party is the Conservative party, which you also indicated voted against it. My point in that sentence was actually that the vote itself was combined into a confidence vote, meaning that if the vote failed, an election must be called. It was widely reported that having the vote tied to a confidence vote would have swayed people. I probably just worded it poorly.

I would also like to add that several banks have come forth since stating that they not only froze accounts belonging to names that the police provided them, but they also proactively froze accounts showing similar patterns. Banks went beyond RCMP list of names in freezing a ‘small number’ of accounts under Emergencies Act: Bankers Association - The Globe and Mail

I fully agree with that statement. I guess it could possibly have long term effects, but nothing that I have read about yet.

I haven’t actually been following it, but I think your account is likely accurate, as it has not come up in any of the places I read either.

I agree here too, however I’m still cautious.

And to end on a positive note, British Columbia announced the end of masks yesterday, and the end of passports next month.

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One other thing that I am taking away as a positive on this is Petit-Michel. The area I live in is predominately “right of center”, and I also fall in that group. The area that Petit-Michel comes from is predominately “center” or “left of center”, and the NDP party that he previously voted for is “left of center” for sure. So for me to be seeing so much common thought on issues such as this, considering the differences in political stance, I find this to be reassuring that people out there still have critical thinking skills and morals. I had actually started feeling like those two things had died lately.


Thanks for the compliment, but the sad thing is, whether it’s this or the slightly similar attitude to protesters at the Jan. 6th 2021 Capitol protest in the U.S., there seems not many people on the center left who use my trick of mustering empathy with protesters whose aims I don’t share by trying to imagine if they were peace or environmental protesters in the same situation. And Canadians have I think a real problem with emphasizing, “Peace, Order, and Good Government,” as a contrasting or distinguishing statement of political values to the U.S.'s “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but I’ve heard debates in Nova Scotia where an idea is panned simply because it has currency within the U.S. It’s like, the U.S. has lots of problems, but “Americans say X, Americans are idiots, therefore X is wrong,” is not great syllogism.

So for instance, I got together with a Canadian expat social club in Boston several years ago. It was around the time of the Snowden revelations. I remember this older guy from Ontario just really hated Snowden, said he was a traitor and all this stuff. I’m not saying I haven’t heard that from Americans (Diane Feinstein comes to mind) but thinking back to the October Crisis I’d learned about in intro Sociology back in Nova Scotia, it had me thinking there’s this unhealthy side of Canadian political thought that could lead to heavy handed crackdowns on dissent accompanied by broad political support for said crackdowns. And of course the reaction, the polling especially, to the trucker protest only solidifies my view. Speaking of Snowden, I see from wikipedia that he’s been following the issue and sounded in in support of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association challenge: Emergencies Act - Wikipedia

I would say still, though you may not have meant to, I think you were understating the degree of NDP support for using the Emergencies Act. Thanks for the tidbit about Trudeau trying to make it sound like a confidence vote. I’d missed that. This National Post article seems to cover it fairly well:

The trouble I have with supposing Singh might have voted otherwise if not for this classic bit of Trudeau-esque weaselism is that he’d already stated the prior week that he was in support of use of the emergency act, well before the threat that this (may or may not be?) a confidence vote. And if you look at his statements in the national post article and in the speech I linked to yesterday, he’s very much playing up the idea that the protesters were dangerous and were looking to overthrow the government (that when the strange initial list of demands including that the government step down, the one coming from the Canada Unity party, had long since been withdrawn).

Now, my mom had heard some rumor the Friday before the vote that Singh might withdraw his support, and you can see his statement in the Post article that he’d planned to vote against when the measure became unnecessary. But statements of his as late as Monday have him worrying over the protesters remaining nearby and being able to come back. So my interpretation is that he was playing politics and/or genuinely had contempt or fear of the protesters (more likely politics, maybe contempt). Trudeau’s little trick was good cover for him which he took full use of, as you see in his statement saying he also considered voting against the measure as conceptually a no-confidence vote (whatever that is supposed to mean legally). I’m going to also guess that Singh will look for future favours from Trudeau and the Liberals somewhere down the road in exchange for his support, but that also the bulk of NDP supporters or maybe more importantly those on the fence between Liberal and NDP were in the “these people are a menace and must be stopped by any and all means” camp, so he felt taking a principled stand would be a vote loser.

One last thing. Someone on a private forum (the dark net, yuk yuk yuk) shared this with me: Trudeau Plans To Invoke Emergencies Act -- This Has NEVER Been Done Before -- A Lawyer Explains - YouTube
It’s Canadian lawyer Ian Runkle in his podcast explaining the Emergencies Act and why it was inappropriate (and surprising to him) that Trudeau had planned to (and did) invoke it. The article I posted earlier is excellent too, but this gives just what you need to know in 24 minutes.

I really can’t see what the argument for its use could be. I think the act should be changed to require a Supreme Court justice to sign off before it goes into effect, with the other review measures also kept. As it stands there’s no pre hoc review and the post hoc one is subject to political partisanship with the reviewing entity (the house of commons) of course having a make up to reflect who is in power at the time. It makes no sense to me. While a judge might be some kind of law and order bondage and discipline type who’s not fond of protesters, at least he or she would have to make some reasoned legal argument. The way Runkle describes the act and what I’ve read before (e.g. where it refers to the CSIS (Canada’s intelligence body) act’s definitions of national threat, not mentioned by Runkle), I think it could not have been done in this case.

Which kind of makes him the anti-fab? Sorry, man, I couldn’t resist. You know we love the show.

I fully agree with that statement. Singh has pledged his allegiance to Trudeau repeatedly. My concern here is that any NDP members that were eligible to vote normally would only have to consider their party line, but in this case also had to consider if they stood to be re elected if the government fell. With Singh having sided so heavily with Trudeau, it has rather blemished their reputation, as more than just you have pointed out their disappointment in some of their recent moves.

Oh, it is well understood that there will be back room favours going on. This is part of the problem with our current political system, and one of Fab’s episodes made me admire the German system in this area. The problem here being that we can have a minority government (a government formed by less that 51% of the vote). The nice part about what I understand of the German system is that they then form an official coalition, which would mean the people have a bit of an understanding on predictability. In Canada we do not have that, so for every voting instance in parliament that the minority government feels is important, back door deals are made to have members from other parties support them. As these are back door deals, most of our people will never know what was promised. This does not play well for a party that got their minority government position by running on the promise of “transparent government”.

Again, I fully agree. Whether it is a supreme court issue, or a special mandatory session of ALL parliament, the requirements need to be higher. The current requirement is “because I said so”, but I think in the case of a real emergency here at home, obtaining a 70% or higher in favour vote should be quite easy. Something like a special session of each provincial parliament saying yes or no, and then going with the results of that tally could even work. So many better options out there…

Actually, in Germany, we are relaxing things now and the case counts are higher than ever.


Ouch. That was harsh. :neutral_face:


This is a really nice threat, BTW. I am planning to do an episode that includes talking about the Canadian account freezes and what stuff like this means for all of us, BTW. Should be one of the next few episodes I do.

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Well, I hate to breath new life into this particular thread, but it appears things may be heating up here in Canada again.

Our Prime Minister was a recent guest in Europe, where he received a less than welcoming string of speeches from the European leaders: European MPs blast Trudeau for COVID 'rights violation' | Toronto Sun

Upon return to Canada, a back door deal was created between his minority leadership party (Liberals) and one of the smaller minority parties (NDP). this is basically a pledged continuation of the NDP providing unconditional support to the Liberal party for the remainder of their time in office. Petite-Michel and I discussed this briefly above, in it’s application to some previous votes, but this will now be applied to all votes going forward. Canada's Liberals, NDP reach tentative deal to support government to 2025, CBC reports | Reuters

This brings us to the next issue. Government has now tabled a bill that will provide measures that were provided by the emergencies measures act, but without the need to have an emergency. This means that at any point in time, if a police officer or government official feels you are protesting, and that said felt protesting causes any concerns, they may take any of the actions that were previously in the emergencies act, and more. Previously, under the emergencies act, this could have resulted in the seizure of your vehicle or bank account, which will still be true, but now also your drivers license, insurance plates, and any personal property. There will be no innocent until proven guilty, in fact you will be guilty until proven innocent. There will also be no court hearings or warrants required. There is no sunset clause on this act, so these new powers will be available for use for ever. This next video seems to do a good job of breaking it down, and while I can not vouch for the person breaking it down, he is using actual video footage of our government discussing this bill. Ontario Bill 100 TYRANNY ENSHRINED IN LAW - YouTube

While this bill has not yet been passed, the bill has been tabled by our Liberal government, and now that they have the new deal with the NDP to support their votes, there is little chance that this will not be voted into law here.

And this is how democracy dies…


I have to do my taxes, so am not watching the video yet, but as a correction it appears to be an Ontario bill introduced by Ontario’s Solicitor General, member of the Conservative Party and Premier Ford’s government:

The title is sleezy/revealing, eh? Maybe better than the original title. I mean, “the we ran out of budget for keeping U.S. trade commission officials flush in hookers and blow act” doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.

But this isn’t the federal liberal government doing it as far as I can tell.


You are correct, this will be an Ontario law, but since that is where our federal government sits, it will make it impossible to protest the government where they sit.

All we can do is stand by and shake our heads.