• 2023
  • Feb
  • 7

What Just Happened?

Tuesday February 7, 2023

By Ted Mellenthin

What just happened? What started all this? Why is it still going on?

I first caught wind of a convoy through a post on Facebook. That would have been in Dec 2021. I suppose at that point for me I was in a place of desperation, frustration and anger.

That led me to an overpass in Brooks, Alberta. It was -26 with the wind chill. What I found was a crowd waiting to see the convoy just like I was. What I didn’t expect was what I found in the crowd. That’s where my story begins.

I don’t remember what time the convoy was supposed to pass the overpass but it was late. I soon recognized this as ‘Convoy Time’: 10:00am means around 10:00am give or take two hours.

It was cold. Something was in that crowd, though. Inside me I felt something being drawn out. People started coming up to me and talking to me like I was a close friend. Well what’s this? Aren’t people supposed to look at the ground when they pass each other? Don’t look anyone in the eye? Yet here I was in a crowd of people who treated each other like they were neighbors.

The convoy finally started to go by. I didn’t have any flags or anything because this was the first time I had ever done anything like this, so I just waved.

The first honk was enough! A picture was forming in my mind and I saw something! Before I knew it I was in my friends garage with some art supplies and spray paint. My truck was getting transformed!

I wasn’t able to join the convoy at the time, but I’d heard of smaller convoys heading to provincial legislatures so off to Edmonton I went! I read that Acheson, Alberta was the meeting point for one of the many convoy/protests going on. When I arrived there what a crowd! I started to realize that there was more going on here than Truckers against cross border mandates. The people of my country were hurting. Canada had a huge problem and as I would find out in coming months, it had MANY huge problems.

I joined a second convoy from Calgary to Edmonton the next weekend and I was hearing whispers of the Coutts border blockade. Before long I was on my way to southern Alberta.

I didn’t realize how soon I was going to start my education but I started to learn that these protests were nothing like the BLM protests or other violent protests. The only thing I could see in the crowds were smiles and people helping people everywhere. Phrases started to repeat themselves. “I’m finally proud to be Canadian again”. Most of the time that came with tears, since a lot of us believed we would never feel it again. Three things were happening: I was meeting a lot of people, I was starting to see the diversity in the crowds, and I only saw happy people.

So the days passed and turned into weeks, and the convoy was finishing its second week in Ottawa. There was no sign of our prime minister or any representatives. That’s when whispers of The War Measures Act started. I call it The War Measures Act because that’s what it is.

That’s when I was called.

It was 8:00pm and I knew I had to go to Ottawa. I grabbed a few things and threw them in my truck and drove to Nipigon for my first night.

I started to meet people on the journey. A lot of times I would pull in for food or fuel and single mothers would run up to me thanking me for what “WE” are doing. If they weren’t handing me food, windshield washer fluid, or money they were crying and hugging me. At other times old Polish couples ran up to me telling me that Canada has become worse than their home country and they just want to go home but the government wouldn’t let them leave. They hugged me and cried as they were thanking me for what I was doing.

I didn’t tell them, but in my head I was thinking I haven’t done anything but show up. I was still pretty green to all of this. I might add that I was nowhere near the type of person that would normally do something like this.

One more night in Sault St. Marie and I found myself on the last stretch to Ottawa, but now the mood had changed. Clubs and horses? On Canadian people in Canada? These were the live feeds I had been watching. The tears rolled then like they are now. These were the sad tears.

It was dark by the time I was within an hour or two of Ottawa. To me, then, this was still the capital of my country. I pulled over to clean my headlights at a small local gas station that was closed. Shortly after that a van pulled in with a family from Brandon, Manitoba and kids that needed a washroom. As it turned out they were also heading to Ottawa and they pointed me to the camp at Herb’s truck stop in Van Kleek Hill.

My original intention was not to go through Ottawa at night - things just seem scarier and more serious in the dark - but I ended up with no choice. The Trans Canada Highway was lit up like a Christmas Tree with red and blue lights. It was a scary time; I had no idea what the police would do after watching the live feeds from downtown. My truck stood out.

The police didn’t bother me, though, and before I knew it I was in Van Kleek Hill. I started to meet the people that were on the front lines. I started to hear the stories. Tears were a regular part of my day after that.

I started to understand the dynamics of the groups, not just the freedom groups but all the groups including the police and Antifa. I also understood that I was starting a new education. My reality as I knew it would be forever changed. The reality of the world and mine were not the same. That’s when I decided to watch and listen.

I didn’t realize it right away but I carried the weight of many who were hurting. Somewhere in there I forgot how much I was hurting and how this all started for me. My hurt disappeared in the love I felt in those crowds and with all the people I met along the way.

Somewhere in there is Canada’s answer. We found it. My fight continues alongside the people who still believe Canada needs to be saved. My destiny is to share the love that all Canadians should be able to enjoy in a Country as beautiful and prosperous as Canada should be.

Filmed by Adam Nucci on February 7, 2022. Click here to see more…

Ted Mellenthin is an accomplished whitewater/expedition canoeist and part time writer/ truck driver/equipment operator and heavy construction worker. He was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta October 12, 1967. He is a dedicated Canadian of German descent. Ted became involved with the Freedom Movement feeling a calling.

  1. Chris S

    Tuesday February 7, 2023 - 21:59:29

    Well done, Ted! It was personal and sincere. I felt it, man. Great writing.

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