The two convoys: #FreedomConvoy and Political Convoy
“I have news for everybody on the left, you’re the right-wing authoritarians who wanted to censor my video games and music in the 90s. That’s what you’ve become, you’ve become the very people you profess to be fighting against. “
I recently had a chance to sit down with B. J Dichter of Canada’s #FreedomConvoy to talk about what happened in Ottawa, what the #FreedomConvoy was all about, and his new book Honking For Freedom.
The full transcript of the show is now available, highlights include:
What the #FreedomConvoy was all about:
One thing that was always frustrating to me when talking about the Freedom Convoy, and we’ll get into the whole narrative and spin and media, but let’s state it for the record here. What was the goal of the Freedom Convoy?
BJ Dichter: Oh, it was pretty simple: to end the vaccine mandates and to end the ArriveCan app.
(Dichter had outlined in an earlier podcast with Robert Breedlove how he was pulling up to the border to re-enter Canada and was holding his phone out the window to the Canada Border agent who told him not to bother, his phone had already broadcasted everything they needed to know about him when he was still approaching the border).
The mass conditioning of the public by the mainstream media:
There was nothing but deception from legacy media, there was deception from alternative media as well on all sides.
And no one was being straight with what was going on. I was doing my best to try to manage that and to leverage one media over the other, to do my best to get the story out while also trying to bait the legacy media to cover it. Because in the beginning, the legacy media wasn’t covering it. They’re trying to ignore it, which is one of the reasons I banned them from our press conferences. And I knew that would set them off. What people don’t know is not only did I ban them from our press conferences, but I also sent invites to all my contacts in the legacy media. And then when they responded, I said, “oh, sorry, you can’t come.”
I think marketers call that the takeaway sale.
What infuriated me about that, when you look at headlines throughout the world, there was one guy with a confederate flag, who was hounded out of the crowd by the Convoy, and there was one guy with the swastika flag. I would pay money have that person revealed and outed because what I think, and I’m not the only one, was that he was a plant.
It was just so convenient that there was a photographer there getting professional quality photos of this person walking through the crowd. And yet, those two images were on an infinite loop all over the world. They just looped the same image over and over.
And then it’s so subtle: Suddenly the headlines, say, confederate flags and swastikas — plural. And it’s so subtle, right?
So it gets into the mind of the masses. They think that this place was overrun with Hitler Youth and Klansmen, and it was one guy of each: one swastika, one confederate flag, and they were hounded out of the area by the participants.
That was infuriating.
The other thing I’ll say about this, is when I tried to engage with people who disagreed with me about what you were trying to do, what the goal of the Convoy was, the discourse would be civil, and it would be polite, until one thing happened:
When I challenged their source of news. When I called into question the veracity of the mainstream media, the conversation turned nasty immediately. So what I found very odd about this is you can oppose people’s premises and you can attack even their beliefs. But if you attack their support structure for how they base their knowledge, they get defensive and they come out swinging.
Yeah, it’s because you’ve triggered them into cognitive dissonance.
One of the people that benefits of all this, is that I managed to connect with some people that have large platforms, people who I admire, one of them was I messaged him back and forth just a couple of times, is Scott Adams.
Scott Adams describes this as the seven signs of cognitive dissonance trying to do his best to get people to understand this.
Once you challenge their belief system, they jump into one of the seven categories which are:
- change to the topic
- ad hominem
- mind reading
- word salad
- analogy instead of reason
- it’s too complicated to explain, or the ‘
- so you’re saying’ straw man
Which is what you saw.
That’s what you’ve done, you’ve managed to force them, and into second guessing their belief system, because we’re no longer a science-based society, we are now a belief-based society.And we don’t challenge our own beliefs.
The role of Bitcoin in the #FreedomConvoy
Bitcoiners were trying to warn the convoy organizers that their fundraising proceeds would likely be seized, when they first approached Tamara Lich, she said reportedly said: “I don’t need video game money, I need real money.”
Eventually, they found their way to Dichter, who still encountered resistance from the other organizers who viewed it with suspicion.
Markjr: So how many people became instantly orange-pilled when bank accounts started getting frozen?
It’s amazing. You know, it’s just like the narrative poisoning problem with messaging. Once you once you throw them the counter-narrative, either people slip into the seven signs of cognitive dissonance, or if it’s really serious, it really hits them emotionally where it’s important, like their freedom and their wealth, then they switch to “Okay, tell me more.”
Right. So we got a little bit of that. There was so much. I mean, I spent a week on the phone with lawyers trying not to get arrested. There were so many other things going on that it’s not even covered in the book, stuff I haven’t talked about yet. But what it did is it allow me to do consecutive Twitter spaces towards the end and then after the convoy and leading up to Bitcoin 2022 in Miami, that I had people saying, “Okay, tell me about Bitcoin. How did it work during the convoy? How do I buy it? Should I keep it here?”
It just really opened up the doors, where people previously they dismissed it, because in the Western world, we’re spoiled. We don’t deal with regular currency collapses. We’re not in Argentina and Brazil, right?
So what is Bitcoin here? It’s an investment. Well, once the Freedom Convoy came around that hyperbolic scenario that we all thought would never happen here. It’s always going to happen somewhere else. Well, it happened here.
And now it’s more than just an investment for a small group of people that’s growing daily. That’s why in my discord, we have a Bitcoin chat for people who are new, and still learning and don’t understand and I like the soft pill approach, the soft orange pill approach of letting people come to you and they are definitely coming because of the Chief Marketing Officer of Bitcoin: Justin Trudeau.
I love the Bitcoin community and I hate the word community. But it’s so awesome and it’s so many people in politics don’t have this advantage, the die-hard politic political people, to go into a space, where there’s a whole bunch of people have a whole bunch of different views on the world, and how the world should operate, but they agree on one thing, which is freedom, sovereignty of money, decentral decentralization, and it’s become this, this undercurrent that allows us all to talk to each other. And I’ve only ever experienced that in Bitcoin. So that’s the societal benefits and political benefits, if you will, with Bitcoin on top of the monetary value that it has, and I’m trying my best to make more and more people realize that and see that and some of them have.
Iterating for Freedom: The Dutch Farmers have a crack:
We talked about how the #FreedomConvoy set off a chain reaction around the world, it was arguably the beginning of the end of the Lockdown Era and vaccine mandates.
Look what happened in the Netherlands. Jordan Peterson explained to me on one of our calls, he said, the people in the Netherlands who eventually connected with, they looked at what happened in the convoy.
They tried to look at the weaknesses that were exposed by the government. And they tried to hedge against that.
They had regular protests, they would break it up, they’d start again, always kept the government guessing.
And what was the eventual result of that was the fact that they protected against all the things that we dealt with. They actually formed a party, and they got 20% of the vote. And now they have the political capital, and the votes in their parliament to block any of this nonsense, whether it’s WTF or Neo-progressive, whatever you want to call it, to block any of these restrictions on farmers, because they have 20% of the parliament.
So they won.
Did it work in Canada?
We saw them testing messaging. And I remember saying to some of the other road captains, people are organizing and saying this is good.
They’re testing messaging, that means they have data showing that there’s overwhelming support for us. They don’t know what to do. Just wait, let’s wait it out a couple of days.
And then lo and behold, we started to see provinces. Scott Moe, in Saskatchewan, started testing messaging and saying, ‘Oh, well, maybe we’re gonna roll back. Maybe it’s time to end the pandemic and restrictions.’
And I was laughing, #nothingtodowithtruckers, right? Because they’ll never admit it. And I found out from a number of people, there was 30+ convoys around the world, that people realized in various jurisdictions that this tactic was working.
And this also had the same ripple effect and jurisdictions outside of Canada.
So yeah, I think it did. The only one that held on were the Trudeau administration. Because extremists only know one worldview, and they’ll always double down on their strategy, they’ll never sit back and think, what’s the other guy thinking?
There is zero respect. And they eventually, how many months later, was it eight months later, they eventually removed the restrictions within Canada and the mandates. And once again, #nothingtodowithtruckers; just because you think you can hang on for additional six months? You think we don’t know it? It was the convoy. We know it did.
However B.J Dichter seems to think that the Canadian #FreedomConvoy protestors were robbed of the same victories that the later iterations, like the Dutch Farmers, were achieving. Facing the prospect of a class action suit for over $400 million, it’s hard to see the silver lining:
We were robbed of building an equivalent grassroots movement, that wasn’t tied to any political party that we could have maneuvered and found candidates, politicians, groups of people, advocacy groups to align with, to have that sort of effect on Canadian politics, we were robbed of that, and that I will never forgive them for.
This brings us back to Martin Gurrie’s book [Revolt of the Public], who said that the fatal flaw in a lot of these populist movements was that they didn’t have a coherent strategy for what to do with the momentum and the inertia and the victories that they achieved, like they could overthrow a government, but then, you know, just someone worse would take its place.
So there was no coherent methodology to sort of channel it all into and what you were describing the Dutch, the Netherlands. They transcended that. They figured it out.
It’s early days here in Canada. Maybe that particular chapter went the way it did. But you guys did something immutable, something transformative, really, you set off the whole movement, and that set the entire thing in motion so that I wouldn’t sell yourself short there because it all started in Canada with you guys
I think we’re right now at the stage where people are, you know, independent journalists, YouTubers are now talking to myself and other people are understanding the nuance of what went on behind the scenes.
They’re now understanding that there are two convoys there — that what I call political convoy and freedom convoy. And freedom convoy was much larger.
The political convoy was a small group of people trying to co-opt us for the political class, which is going to happen everywhere. We’re going to have some rough waters for a little while as we kind of purge out the political convoy and political conflict and go back to their parties.
The rest of us can refocus on unifying and building something with people we don’t necessarily agree with everything, but we agree on respect and unity and tolerating each other.
Off Camera: Liberal Faction planned to oust Trudeau
After we stopped recording we continued speaking a while, including some developments around the class action lawsuit which Dichter will announce in due course (follow the links below to stay on top of this).
However one of the bombshell revelations that came up (at least for me) was that Dichter had been contacted by a faction of MPs from within the Liberal Party of Canada who were more receptive to the grievances of the convoy and who were planning to oust Trudeau by supporting a non-confidence motion in Parliament. It never materialized as the Emergency Act was soon invoked, possibly because Trudeau was in full “seige mentality” by then. (my take, not Dichter’s).
When the convoy was happening I said that the leader of every Canadian political party was going to end up losing their job over it. The CPC dumped the “liberal-lite” Erin O’Toole almost immediately. Looks like elements within the Liberal Party wanted to do the same with Trudeau. We all know Jagmeet Singh is loathed by his own base and will probably not survive his party’s next leadership ballot given that he’s single-handedly propping up Trudeau while trying to sound like he’s fighting the system.
- The full transcript
- Episode page for BombthrowerTV Episode #9: Honking For Freedom
- Support the legal defense fund with Bitcoin
- B J Dichter’s Discord
- The Honking For Freedom book
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