Ottawa People’s Commission final report on Convoy Occupation omits the anarchists

Anonymous Submission to North Shore Counter-Info

On April 4 the community-led Ottawa People’s Commission released the second part of its final report. The first part documented what local residents experienced during the winter 2022 occupation of downtown Ottawa by the ‘Freedom Convoy’ – the second part consists of the official recommendations from the Commission.

The title of this post is based on the fact of the recommendations being almost solely directed at government. From our reading of the 25 official recommendations, only two short recommendations address things people can do that aren’t delegated to some level of government or other. They are:

Recommendation 7: Advance reconciliation

Community groups and organizations should invite local First Nations leaders and elders, and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, collaboratively to organize healing circles, ceremonies, and other gatherings and events, to acknowledge truth, promote reconciliation, strengthen regard for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and foster greater respect and understanding within and among communities in the region.

Recommendation 24: Create space for dialogue and community building

Community organizations, aided by foundations and other funding bodies, should consider supporting initiatives like People’s Commissions and other similar processes and fora which provide opportunities for constructive dialogue around pressing social issues, with an eye to building understanding, forging solutions and advancing change.

An anarchist approach wouldn’t delegate 92% of responsibilities to the state. And, it is not only anarchists who are learning that we the people need to take some more of these matters into our collective hands.

More broadly, are these recommendations not a repeat of one of the main problems during the convoy, where many residents were urging the various officials and authorities “in charge” to “do something”… mostly to no response?

The Ottawa People’s Commission stated goals were five-fold:

  • inspire hope and healing
  • hear from affected community members
  • identify underlying issues and enduring solutions
  • press authorities
  • promote lasting benefits and community-led solutions.

As this second report is released, some of us feel that goal #4 may have taken too much precedence. For all the positive elements of the Ottawa People’s Commission work, the absence of stronger anarchist values demonstrated in the official recommendations is disappointing.

The two-part final report and additional context is on the OPC website:

1 thought on “Ottawa People’s Commission final report on Convoy Occupation omits the anarchists”

  1. I’d say OPC was primed towards that from the start. Their whole approach was to focus on “human rights abuses” (primarily towards Ottawa residents) during the Convoy’s stay in Ottawa. Some Convoy supporters did participate to say protesters rights were violated but it did not sway the overall direction they were intent on even if they did have to at least ive a small mention to that. As a result I don’t think you can get much more than complaints that police weren’t able to or didn’t protect people (no duh) and castigating Freedom Convoy participants.

    And since police and authorities had no obligation to partake in an independent commission they can’t get anymore insights other than what’s already public. The POEC may have had a limited focus (on the Emergencies Act and circumstances of “the emergency”) but was more useful for getting information out and having the chance to challenge them and others on the stand in cross-examinations, however brief.

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