This was originally published on Pessimists Archive.

The Canadian trucker protests and the increasingly aggressive tactics used by the Canadian government to quell them feel unprecedented.

Those on the left will say this is another example of the (dis)information age, those on the right will say it’s another show of authoritarian righteousness from the left. Yet, 136 years ago saw very similar dynamics play out.

Canada saw anti-vaccination riots in 1885, one report noted rioters lead by 3 carriage drivers and calls for martial law were made. Armed infantry roamed the streets and guarded exposition grounds on horseback, which rioters had threated to burn. A bylaw was adopted making it a penal offence for persons living in houses with small-pox to knowingly come into contact with other persons. Even the cities chief medical health officer – Dr. Laberge – was forced to go out in a disguise.

Read the whole report below: