- “Freedom Convoy” truckers in Canada are protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a state of emergency.
- Fox News legal contributor Jonathan Turley compared the move to the American Civil Rights movement.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mocked a Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley after he said that the Canadian government’s clampdown on the truckers protesting vaccine mandates meant, “They could have arrested Martin Luther King” — not mentioning that during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, King was arrested more than two dozen times.
“Fox News analysts already reaping the benefits of banning books, I see,” she tweeted Tuesday, apparently referencing the recent uptick in efforts to ban books around race and sexuality.
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2022
Turley’s comments about the Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 mitigation measures were made on Tuesday on Fox News’s “Your World.”
—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 15, 2022
“And so the troubling aspect of what is coming out of the prime minister’s office is that by this rationale, they could have cracked down on the civil rights movement. They could have arrested Martin Luther King,” Turley said, calling the Canadian government’s response to the protests “excessive.”
Turley’s argument left out that Martin Luther King, Jr. — who penned the famed “Letter from Birmingham Jail” — was arrested more than two dozen times throughout his life, according to the King Center. Many of those arrests were during acts of civil disobedience when Black Americans were protesting segregation and calling for equal rights.
Turley also referenced “good trouble,” a quote from the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. On March 7, 1965 Lewis’s skull was fractured by police while he and hundreds of others were protesting against police brutality and calling for voting rights for Black Americans in Selma on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”
After receiving widespread criticism online, Turley tweeted, “Not to feed the trolls, but I never said that Dr. King was not arrested.”
—Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) February 15, 2022
“The point is how such protests would be treated today under the emergency powers being used by the Trudeau government,” Turley added. “The concern remains the free speech implications over the emergency powers.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
This week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a national emergency over the “Freedom Convoy” truckers that have disrupted the country, stopped up city streets, and even delayed international trade for more than two weeks in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related measures.
The Canadian government has announced that truckers participating in the protests may have their trucks confiscated, bank accounts frozen, and vehicle insurance suspended.