Protesters with loudspeaker permit confronted by Ottawa bylaw officers

On Dominion Day, a group was hoping to use loudspeakers on Wellington Street to amplify their speeches; what ensued was a perverse game of musical chairs…

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As we’ve previously reported, Parliament Hill on Dominion Day weekend pretty much resembled a police state. There was an overwhelming sense of paranoia on the Hill and law enforcement was on red alert in case anything even remotely resembling a freedom convoy should set up shop on Wellington Street.

Of note: in the area near Parliament, Wellington remains closed to traffic — even though the freedom convoy left in late February.

But it is almost as if law enforcement feels compelled to stage some street theatre from time to time to show the citizens of Ottawa (or their political masters) that they are doing everything in their power to keep the city “safe” (even in the absence of a clear and present danger, mind you).

Case in point: a group of people who apparently had a permit to broadcast speeches via loudspeakers on Parliament Hill decided they’d be better served if they could move the speakers past the fence and on to Wellington Street. This was due to the logjam of people trying to get onto the Hill thanks to ludicrous airport-style security being setup.

In other words, there was a far bigger audience on Wellington Street than there was on Parliament Hill. Alas, moving the speakers onto Wellington was not tolerated by the legion of law enforcement personnel and bylaw officers.

So it was that the speaker-toting group either kept mobile on Wellington Street (which is apparently OK) or they would remain stationary to “negotiate” with dozens of members of law enforcement (for what seemed like an eternity).

At times it resembled a game of musical chairs. And at other times it almost felt as though a hostage negotiation was taking place as opposed to a discussion regarding where the speakers could be situated. Only in Ottawa.

And ask yourself: was this truly a prudent use of police resources? Are there no real crimes being committed in Ottawa these days as opposed to, you know, “thought crimes” being amplified by loudspeakers?

Finally, a compromise was reached: the speakers could be situated on the other side of the Parliament Hill fence, but not actually on the sidewalk or Wellington Street itself.

So, at the end of the day, all that was accomplished by this perverse brand of kabuki theatre was the group gaining about…one metre of territory? Talk about The Longest Yard. Or as the Immortal Bard once penned: “Sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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