“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
These words, often attributed to Voltaire but written by his biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, are important to understanding the national conversation around the freedom convoy.
It was this sentiment and much more that drove a Medicine Hat trucker and pastor to pack his family in a van and head to Ottawa to protest the vaccine mandates.
“I wasn’t going to go, I had pastoral obligations, I had other obligations for work,” explains Sheldon Andreas. However, eight hours later he was on the road with his family after their GiveSendGo account hit its target.
Despite some reports to the contrary, Andreas described the scene in Ottawa in late January and February 2022 as “very sweet.” He said the positive spirit didn’t match with the media narrative around the protests, which he said was more like a carnival than anything.
“I think that was probably one of the intoxicating things about it, if the movement would have been angry, if the movement would have been hateful, we would, I would have never gone.”
At one point Andreas recounts a conversation he had with some counter protestors.
“By the end of a very short conversation, I believe that they genuinely knew that we loved them, and that we believed whether we disagreed with them or not, that we believed that what we were doing was loving. You know, for their freedoms, for their rights to, for their lifestyles. If the government can take away our lifestyle, the government can take away your lifestyle” explains Andreas.
When asked about having any regrets about going to Ottawa Andreas didn’t hesitate.
“Absolutely not… the momentum in the movement was big enough to hit the world stage to spark people’s interests in liberty and freedom.”
Resolute but soft spoken, Andreas’ story of the convoy is worth consideration as one voice in the larger context of Canadian society. To hear the whole story watch the interview video below.