Thousands of truck drivers are participating in a “Freedom” convoy across Canada to protest federal vaccine mandates.
Over the weekend, the “Freedom Convoy 2022” consisting of “thousands” of truckers and concerned citizens began the journey from British Columbia to Ottawa, according to CTV Windsor. The journey is expected to take about a week, and more truckers are expected to join the convoy as it makes its way to Ottawa on January 29 for a rally.
Convoy organizers say that they’re fighting back against sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandates put into place by the Canadian government on January 15 requiring unvaccinated cross-border drivers to quarantine for 14 days following their return to Canada. The group says that the vaccine mandate will hurt small businesses, choke the supply chain, and harm workers.
A GoFundMe in support of the Freedom Convoy 2022 has racked up more than C$3.2 million in donations to pay for fuel, food, and hotels for drivers participating in the convoy.
Images from social media show a large groups of supporters lining the sides of roadways and overpasses as the convoy passes through, holding signs in support of the truckers.
Check out photos and video of the convoy below.
A smaller slow-roll protest took place in Manitoba last Monday.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance issued a statement condemning the protest activities:
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed. Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimated that the vaccine mandate would force 12,000 to 16,000 cross-border truckers to leave their jobs.
The U.S. began to enforce a similar vaccine mandate at border crossings starting on January 22, 2022.
A separate trucker demonstration took place in British Columbia on Saturday, organized by the West Coast Trucking Association to raise awareness about dangerous road conditions.