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Former Obama Official on How Canada Should Handle Protesting Truckers: Slash Tires, Steal Gas, Cancel Insurance

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The problem with how Canada is handling protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to a former official in President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, is that authorities just aren’t being draconian enough.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Juliette Kayyem, now a Harvard lecturer, reacted to the Freedom Convoy protest blocking a major trade bridge between Canada and the U.S., promising that if she were in charge she would “not run out of ways to make this hurt.”

Kayyem’s calls for drastic action — which she swears aren’t motivated by vigilantism — are hardly the only example of extreme rhetoric targeting the recent truckers’ protest against vaccine mandates and other coronavirus restrictions. What’s ironic is that much of it comes from the same people who were incredibly tolerant of “protests” in 2020, no matter how destructive they were — provided, of course, those “protesters” supported progressive causes.

Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been documenting the left’s campaign against the Canadian truckers’ demonstrations. You can help in our fight by subscribing.

For Kayyem, this protest isn’t acceptable because of the high volume of trade that passes over the bridge truckers have blocked.

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“The convoy protest, applauded by right wing media as a ‘freedom protest,’ is an economic and security issue now,” she tweeted. “The Ambassador Bridge link constitutes 28% of annual trade movement between US and Canada. Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks.”

Salt the earth around their homes and enter their children in a “Hunger Games”-like competition while you’re at it.

Do you support the Canadian truckers' protests?

Kayyem weighed in two hours later with more solutions, sounding every bit like the authoritarian principal in a John Hughes movie in the process.

“Trust me, I will not run out of ways to make this hurt: cancel their insurance; suspend their drivers licenses; prohibit any future regulatory certification for truckers, etc.,” she continued. “Have we learned nothing? These things fester when there are no consequences.”

Wait. The painful economic costs of protest movements “fester when there are no consequences?” Where was Kayyem to deliver this rhetoric in the summer of 2020? (There’s actually an answer to this question, and we’ll get to it in a second. Here’s a spoiler: She wasn’t a fan of draconian measures in 2020, surprise of surprises.)

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But just so we’re clear — Kayyem wasn’t issuing a call to “vigilantism.” Or so she says, anyhow.

“Earlier today, I tweeted something that has been used by others to suggest I was promoting vigilantism. I was not,” she wrote. “People have the freedom to protest. Governments have the responsibility to protect public safety. That was what I intended to say.”

This is an odd take given that governments don’t usually slash people’s tires, although it may not be fair to say Kayyem was “promoting vigilantism.” Instead, she’s the Twitter version of the guy who wants whoever keyed his car door to spend a few years in a supermax.

She may not have been telling people to go out there and slash them some truck tires, no. However, it’s difficult to see these comments as someone dispassionately trying to balance protest rights vs. public safety when a) “public safety” involves the undisrupted flow of trade, which sounds a bit more like an issue for elected politicians, and b) one of her tweets begins, “Trust me, I will not run out of ways to make this hurt.”

And by the way, this absolutely wasn’t Kayyem’s position during the 2020 riots, as the Daily Caller pointed out.

When GOP Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton proposed bringing out military force to quell the violence, she accused him of gunning for then-President Donald Trump’s secretary of defense position and said she was “highly attuned to ambition masked as a tweet.”

Less than a week after that tweet, she said Trump’s desire to deploy troops was “ahistorical” and only legal “if, like Trump, you see lawful protest — with pockets of violence — as an insurrection.”

The “fiery but mostly peaceful” protests of 2020 ended up being the most costly on record in terms of damage, beating out the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Nevertheless, there’s a tweet for that, too:

Because what the government responded to in 1992 wasn’t “dangerous and disorganized” in the least.

And therein lies a crucial difference: The Canadian trucker protests are disruptive, not violent. In this case, Kayyem is asking the state to use violence and punish political protesters severely, including with loss of livelihood. Her sentiments were different when actual violence was being committed by “protesters.”

It’s not as if elected officials on either side of the border need encouragement to be severe. Both the Canadian and American governments have refused to engage with non-violent protesters, according to the BBC.

It’s interesting to see what an Obama administration official and Harvard professor will tolerate when it comes to political dissent. Not that she’s alone on the left — or that this won’t earn her plaudits in the right places.

Goodbye Pete Buttigieg, hello Transportation Secretary Juliette Kayyem?

I’d like to think I’m highly attuned to ambition masked as a tweet, too.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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