Op-Ed by Robert Fellner
The Canadian government is now freezing the bank accounts and personal assets of those who donated to support the Freedom Convoy, which is an organized political protest of the vaccine mandates. The deputy prime minister announced that they will retain these so-called emergency powers permanently going forward and will also seek to implement additional measures to further restrict the ability of political protesters to raise funds or otherwise use the banking system.
This highlights the need to eliminate the state’s control over money, at least in societies that wish to remain free. As articulated in a fascinating Twitter thread, constitutional rights become utterly meaningless if there are no practical means to exercise them. Free speech rights and the right to assemble are of little use to those who have no ability to access their money. Organizing an assembly requires being able to afford the costs associated with travel. Exercising free speech rights, at least if one wishes to do so effectively, requires at least some funds to ensure that the message reaches a large audience.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau understands this fact, which is why his administration has chosen to freeze the bank accounts of those directly involved in the protest, as well as those who merely donated to help support the protest efforts. When a similarly power-hungry tyrant seeks to do the same here in the United States, the Constitution will be utterly powerless to stop them. Good luck mounting an effective protest to an unjust and tyrannical government without having access to money or the banking system.
It is therefore necessary that Americans start taking the necessary measures to help ensure such tyranny cannot come here. While the ultimate solution will require finding a path to free-market money, the Canadian experience makes clear that simply waiting for that to happen is too risky.