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Copycat US trucker convoy silenced on social media

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A group page organizing an upcoming trucker protest against vaccine mandates has been removed by Facebook in what the founder is calling “censorship at its finest.”

A group of US truckers calling themselves “Convoy to DC 2022” announced on their Facebook page on Sunday, January 30th that their “March to Freedom” convoy would roll out on March 1st in protest of vaccine mandates. At that time, approximately 94,500 people had joined the Facebook page that described itself as “part of many large groups who believe in our founding fathers. We believe everyone has a voice. We support our freedom. Help us spread the word about this group and together we all can make it a better place. God Bless America.” Now, Facebook has taken the page down, claiming that it was removed for QAnon activity. 

 “We have removed this group for repeatedly violating our policies around QAnon,” said a representative of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, according to Fox News.

Jeremy Johnson, the founder of the Facebook group and another popular trucking Facebook group “The Disrespected Trucker,” along with Brian Brase, a co-organizer of the event, say that the removal was unfounded. 

“I have to laugh about that. Can they contact me or something? Can we talk? That’s not true,” Brase said on Wednesday. “They actually had offered the administrators to remove content and then request to review again. They didn’t even give that option. They literally wiped Jeremy completely out of Facebook,” he said. “They don’t even have a profile anymore, so how are you supposed to request a review or remove anything? It’s simply not true.”

Brase and Johnson say they believe that this demonstration could “get very big” in spite of the Facebook page’s removal, and posts encouraging people to participate have been shared across other Facebook groups, Tik Tok, and even less mainstream social platforms such as Telegram

The peaceful slow-roll from California to Washington D.C. is planned for March 1st, but Johnson says that “it could start earlier than that. We have a lot of people getting in touch with us and they’re interested in being involved in this. And it’s not truckers, it’s everyday American people. Multicultural – a wide range of people. This is going to get very big in my opinion. I think the government needs to take a look at what the American people want, and they don’t want mandates.”

“The bottom line is, no mater who tries to spin it, the facts remain that this crosses all genders, all races, all sexual orientations, all occupations. Truckers might be standing up, but it’s not about the truckers, it’s about our constitutional rights, it’s about our human rights,” Brase said of the upcoming demonstration. 

“This is on a global scale, this violation of our human rights. This is peaceful, this is crossing both aisles, this is not… I don’t know quite how to express what I’m saying here other than there is no intention of any ill will, there is nothing but respect that is expected out of the attendees and out of ourselves as organizers,” he continued.

“We’ve been contacting the stops along the route, getting permission to stop in these locations and working with these people. These locations appreciate it so much that some of them are even offering fuel at cost. So that should tell you how America feels about it and where we stand about the mandates.”

Johnson has since contacted a civil rights attorney to discuss next steps following the Facebook page’s removal, and plans for the convoy are still circulating the internet.

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