Canadian truckers are driving freedom home

canada Jan 30, 2022

#ConvoyForFreedom2022

A record-breaking convoy of 60,000 truckers from Western Canada and 12,000 truckers from the Eastern region have converged and are heading their way to Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, to take part in a peaceful protest. It’s been reported that 12,000 US truckers are crossing the border to join them.

The truckers are primarily protesting the vaccine mandate requiring all truckers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated. This rule came into effect on January 15th. The United States also imposed the same mandate on truckers, on January 22.

The convoy assembled in British Columbia on Sunday and has grown to nearly 50 miles long! The first several hundred truckers reached Ottawa on Friday and are expected to set up around Parliament Hill.

Since Thursday, hundreds of flag-waving supporters have lined the streets of down-town Ottawa, with many honking their vehicle horns.

One protester captured on video is heard saying:

“You said it was crucial to listen to the people..listen to this Mr Trudeau (sound of loud truck horns) Can you hear us now? Can you hear us now?”

1.4 million people are expected to flood into Ottawa this weekend.

The convoy is due to arrive on Saturday January 29, throwing the entire city into grid-lock. The truckers intend to remain until all Covid restrictions and mandates are lifted.

This unprecedented trucker convoy has become a nation-wide movement for freedom and a powerful form of protest against Covid-19 restrictions and mandates to be lifted for all Canadians.

Thousands of supporters have cheered the #ConvoyForFreedom2022 at bridges and intersections across the TransCanada Highway. Many have greeted the truckers with food and hot drinks at various truck stops along the way.

Organisers of the group have set up various channels on Zello for the truckers and their supporters to communicate with one another.

Young children can be heard leaving messages such as: “Thank you truckers for fighting for our freedom!”

I recorded a short segment from their Zello channel, Convoy to Ottawa.

Informative updates and logistical queries; emotional messages of gratitude; honking at the top of the hour and motivational speeches from supporters not just from Canada but all over the world, have been streaming in on these channels, over the past several days. Frequently, the group’s moderaters chime in with strict instructions that the weekend’s protest will be peaceful and anyone causing trouble will be reported to the authorities.

A Go-fund-me page was set up ‘to help with the costs of fuel first, and food and lodgings.’ So far, over 91k donations have rolled in, raising a staggering total of $7 million.

Not everyone has been supportive of the truckers. Much of the mainstream media has so far chosen to ignore this monumental convoy. The outlets that have covered it, have been largely negative, using phrases such as “so-called Freedom Convoy” and “a convoy of anti-vaccine Canadian truckers.” One website ran the headline “The ‘Freedom Convoy’ Is Nothing But A Vehicle For The Far Right.”

When asked a question about the coming protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded:

“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know of that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values, as a country.”

Over a short period of time, this convoy of ‘salt of the earth’ truckers, has not only grown to a nation-wide movement with their potent message of freedom and their oppostion to government over reach but it has spread to other parts of the world, too.

Thousands of Australian truck drivers are assembling to protest vaccine mandates. The truckers are planning to converge on the nation's capital, Canberra, on January 31. A Facebook page with over 75K members has been set up, along with a Go-Fund-Me page.

Several Telegram channels have been set up across parts of Europe with the aim of truckers to converge on Brussels.

Given the vast number of supporters who have cheered on this convoy en route to Ottawa and those who are expected to descend on the nation’s capital this weekend- one thing is for certain, they are no “fringe minority” and they are being heard, well for those of us who have ears to hear.

Update: Since this copy was filed and after a week-long drive across Canada, the convoy of big rigs arrived in Ottawa yesterday, to protest vaccine mandates and Covid-19 measures. Truckers’ signature honk protests rang out, attendees displayed signs and banners in hand and on their vehicles, one with the slogan, ‘Make Canada great again’. The demonstrations have remained peaceful. Prime minister Justin Trudeau and his family are reported to have removed from their Ottawa home to an undisclosed location.

By Sonia Elijah

CONTINUED:

Canada’s protests against mandatory vaccine order continue to heat up

On January 27th, according to multiple media sources, protests initiated by Canadian truckers against the local CCP virus vaccination policy are continuing to heat up.

Canada has gone from the sunny country that Trudeau promised to a dark, authoritarian place, a trucker in the “Freedom Convoy” said in an interview that day. At the same time, the vaccine passport currently being promoted by the government contains a lot of personal information, which will make it easier for the authorities to track and monitor the private data of each citizen. To this end, the protest this time is not only to free Canadians from the government’s mandatory CCP virus vaccine order and vaccine passport policy, but also to prevent Canada from becoming a third world country full of bureaucracy, tyranny and corruption.

At the same time, Musk and Trump Jr. also strongly praised the protesting Canadians on related news programs. As for the mandatory vaccination orders for the CCP virus implemented by various countries, Musk believes that this is a serious erosion of civil liberties. Although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denigrated the “Freedom Convoy” at a press conference on the 26th, even threatening that they are only a minority of marginalized people and do not represent Canadians; but according to the video shot at the protest scene, more and more Canadians people took part in the protest, and they spontaneously provided food and supplies to the truckers.

By GNEWS

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FREEDOM CONVOY

Truckers roll into Ottawa in MASSIVE convoy.

HUGE multi-cultural, multi-lingual, NON PARTISAN outcry!!

As many as 50,000 truckers may arrive in total for this weekend’s massive protest in Ottawa, Canada against mandates, vaccine passports, lockdowns, and the general rule of covid tyranny in the country.

The convoy was precipitated directly by a vaccination and testing mandate at the border between the U.S. and Canada.

The Daily Mail writes:

A huge convoy of up to 50,000 Canadian truck drivers arrived in Ottawa on Friday night ahead of a planned protest this weekend against vaccine mandates for drivers.

Since January 15, all Canadian truck drivers who are unvaccinated must take a COVID-19 test and quarantine when driving back from the United States.

They are not allowed into the U.S. unless they are vaccinated, and American drivers are not allowed into Canada unless they show their certificate.

They add that “As many as 32,000, or 20 percent, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads due to the mandate, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates. ”

The article includes this map.

There are many videos and photos online.

This reflects something we’ve seen in many parts of the world, which is regular people throwing off the shackles of covid tyranny, but we don’t see it enough in the United States.

Yet.

By Fred T

CONTINUED:

Trudeau and family flee as anti-mandate protest takes over Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fled his Ottawa home as tens of thousands of protesters converged on the national capital in a massive protest against anti-COVID measures.

The loud but peaceful protest in sub-freezing weather was led by thousands of trucks drivers whose convoys converged on the national capital from all points of the compass.

One of the thousands of truckies occupying Ottawa to demand an end to vaccine mandates and passports. Photo: Twitter/Kelly Lamb

Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family left their downtown Ottawa home as the protest took over the streets.

His office would not disclose his current location, saying the Prime Ministers whereabouts is a matter of national security.

Earlier this week Trudeau said the convoy represented a “small fringe minority” who do not represent the views of Canadians.

About 90 per cent of Canada’s cross-border truckers and 77 per cent of the population have had two COVID vaccination shots.

The truckies’ “Freedom Convoy” started out as a rally of truckers against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers, but turned into a demonstration against government overreach during the pandemic with a strong anti-vaccination streak.

Unable to earn a living

“I’m not able to work no more because I can’t cross the border,” said Csava Vizi, a trucker from Windsor who noted he was the family’s sole breadwinner.

“I refuse the vaccine,” he said, calling it dangerous. He spoke from inside his truck in front of parliament.

The rally started early on Saturday and built through the afternoon. Some handed out bag lunches to the truckers, who convoyed to Ottawa from the east and west coasts and places in between.

Few wore masks, but many were in balaclavas as the temperature with windchill was minus 21 Celsius. A downtown mall closed because demonstrators refused to wear masks inside, CTV reported.

The violent rhetoric used by some of the promoters on social media in the run-up to the protest had worried police, who were out in force, but mostly the protest felt like a very cold street party, punctuated by blaring truck horns.

Trudeau announced a vaccine mandate for federal workers on the eve of the October election, then last month Canada and the United States imposed one for cross-border truckers.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole opposes vaccine mandates and expressed support for the protest after holding talks with some of the truckers on Friday.

Not all truckies

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which represents some 4500 carriers, owner-operators and industry suppliers, has opposed the demonstration.

It urged the truckers who participated to do so peacefully and then leave Ottawa. The protest organisers had said they would stay in Ottawa until the government abandons the mandates. Downtown streets could be clogged for days.

“If I have to stay here two months, I’m going be here,” said Vizi.

By The New Daily

CONTINUED:

Justin Trudeau and his family flee Canadian capital Ottawa

Up to 50,000 'Freedom Convoy' anti-vaccine mandate truckers arrive at his office - days after he dismissed them as a 'small fringe minority'

  • Justin Trudeau and his family have left their Ottawa home amid security concerns as demonstrators marched up and down the streets in front the Prime Minister's office to rally against the vaccine mandate
  • Days earlier, he had called the truckers headed for the city a 'small fringe minority' before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long as it made its way to the capital .
  • Protestors could be seen carrying copies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while others carried signs reading 'God keep our land glorious and free,' 'Make Canada great again,' and 'we are here for our freedom'
  • The convoy set out from British Columbia on Sunday and was cheered by hundreds of Canadians as it made its 2,000-mile journey to protest vaccine mandates

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have left their home in the national's capital Ottawa for a secret location as up to 50,000 truckers gather to protest against the country's vaccine mandate and Covid lockdowns.

Hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday as part of a self-titled 'Freedom Convoy' which started as a protest against vaccine mandates required to cross the US border.

Days earlier, he had called the truckers headed for the city a 'small fringe minority' before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long as it made its way to the capital .

The movement received an endorsement Thursday from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who tweeted, 'Canadian truckers rule' and the movement has become a cause celebre for many on the right of politics  in the United States.

Flying the Canadian flag, waving banners demanding "Freedom" and chanting slogans against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the truckers were joined by thousands of other protesters angered not only by Covid-19 restrictions but by broader discontent with the government.

There was an enormous clamor as hundreds of big trucks, their engines rumbling, sounded their air horns non-stop. Estimates of the number of truckers range from 10-20,000.

Closer to Parliament, families calmly marched on a bitterly cold day, while young people chanted and older people in the crowd banged pots and pans in protest under Trudeau's office windows.

Canadian media said the prime minister and his family had been escorted out of their home and taken to a secret location in the capital, with much of the protesters' wrath directed at Trudeau.

'I want it all to stop -- these measures are unjustified,' said one demonstrator, 31-year-old businessman Philippe Castonguay, outside the Parliament building.

He had driven seven hours from northern Quebec province to make his feelings known: "The vaccination requirements are taking us toward a new society we never voted for," he said.

Trudeau said Friday that the truckers' views -- which he described as anti-science, anti-government and anti-society -- posed a risk not only to themselves but to other Canadians as well.

To date, 82 percent of Canadians aged five or older have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Among adults, the figure is 90 percent.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, a major industry group, said the vast majority of the country's truck drivers are vaccinated. It has "strongly disapproved" of the gathering in Ottawa.

The protest originated last week in western Canada, where dozens of truckers organized a convoy to drive from Vancouver to Ottawa to demonstrate against Covid-related restrictions, particularly a vaccination requirement for truck drivers.

Hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday as part of a self-titled 'Freedom Convoy' which started as a protest against vaccine mandates required to cross the US border
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have left their home in the national's capital Ottawa for a secret location as up to 50,000 truckers gather to protest against the country's vaccine mandate and Covid lockdowns
Days earlier, he had called the truckers headed for the city a 'small fringe minority' before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long as it made its way to the capital.
The movement received an endorsement Thursday from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk , who tweeted, 'Canadian truckers rule' and the movement has become a causse celbre for many on the right in the United States
Flying the Canadian flag, waving banners demanding "Freedom" and chanting slogans against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the truckers were joined by thousands of other protesters angered not only by Covid-19 restrictions but by broader discontent with the government
There was an enormous clamor as hundreds of big trucks, their engines rumbling, sounded their air horns non-stop. Estimates of the number of truckers range from 10-20,000
Closer to Parliament, families calmly marched on a bitterly cold day, while young people chanted and older people in the crowd banged pots and pans in protest under Trudeau's office windows
Canadian media said the prime minister and his family had been escorted out of their home and taken to a secret location in the capital, with much of the protesters' wrath directed at Trudeau.
Trudeau (pictured) said Friday that the truckers' views -- which he described as anti-science, anti-government and anti-society -- posed a risk not only to themselves but to other Canadians as well

Both Canada and the United States imposed that requirement in mid-January, affecting drivers who cross the 5,500-mile (9,000-kilometer) border -- the world's longest.

The movement rapidly gained steam as the original cross-country convoy was joined by others en route to the federal capital.

Their rallying point was Parliament Hill, in the heart of Ottawa.

Police said they were expecting eight convoys, totaling several thousand vehicles, and perhaps 10,000 demonstrators.

Stephen Penderness, an unvaccinated 28-year-old trucker from Ontario, said he was protesting for all Canadians, not just his fellow drivers.

"It's actually for every single person... everybody on the road," he said. "It's all about your free choice."

Quebec resident Louise -- who had come to support the truckers but declined to give her full name -- agreed. "We shouldn't be forced to get vaccinated, regardless of the vaccine."

She said vaccine passports "represent an intrusion in our personal lives."

There was a strong police presence around the federal capital, amid fears the protest could turn violent.

Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly described the situation as "unique, fluid, risky and significant."

"Let me be very clear," he told reporters on Friday, "we are prepared to investigate, arrest if necessary, charge and prosecute anyone who acts violently or breaks the law."

He urged local residents to stay off the roads.

The zone around the Parliament was closed for the weekend.

Police said they fear some demonstrators will stay beyond the Saturday protest, snarling traffic further.

Trudeau, who is currently in isolation after a Covid exposure, on Wednesday defended the vaccination mandate, noting that 90 percent of drivers are already vaccinated.

He called the truckers headed for the city a "small fringe minority" who do not represent the majority of Canadians.

Trudeau's office has not commented on the Prime Minister's location for security reasons and the Canadian Parliament's Sergeant-at-Arms has warned that demonstrators could show up at the homes of officials, CBC News reported.

The prime minister's office told the Ottawa Citizen that Trudeau was continuing to 'isolate in the National Capital Region and work remotely.'

Despite security concerns, there have been no incidents at the rally, Ottawa Police said in a tweet.

While their trucks were parked in front of the parliamentary buildings, protestors marched carrying copies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while others carried signs reading 'God keep our land glorious and free,' 'Make Canada great again,' and 'we are here for our freedom,' the Toronto Sun reported.

Ottawa Police were at the scene warning truckers that any vehicles blocking emergency lanes or other locations that must be kept clear for public safety reasons would be towed.

Officers planned to remain downtown until crowds disperse, but hundreds more vehicles from Western Canada, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are expected to arrive in the next few hours, the Toronto Sun reported.

Since January 15, all Canadian truck drivers who are unvaccinated must take a COVID-19 test and quarantine when driving back from the United States.

They are not allowed into the U.S. unless they are vaccinated, and American drivers are not allowed into Canada unless they show their certificate.

On Saturday morning demonstrators marched up and down the streets in front Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office waving the Canadian flag in protest of the vaccine mandate for Canadian truckers crossing the U.S border
Trucks sit parked on Wellington Street near the Parliament Buildings in Ottowa as truckers and their supporters take part in a convoy to protest vaccine mandates on Saturday
Hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday as part of a self-titled 'Freedom Convoy' to protest vaccine mandates required to cross the US border
A man carried a US Confederate flag with a semi-truck during the Freedom Convoy protesting Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in front of Parliament on Saturday
A protestor carried a 'United Against Tyranny' sign during Saturday's protest against vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers in Ottawa
A protestor carries a cut out of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau who has dismissed the protest from the truckers as a disgruntled few, pointing out that almost 90 percent of his country is vaccinated
Supporters of the Freedom Convoy protest in front of Parliament in Ottawa on Saturday. One protestor proudly wave a 'Fuck Trudeau' flag
A protestor at the Freedom Convoy protest in front of Parliament wears a 'Freedom' hat as she joins thousands of Canadian truckers against the Covid-19 vaccine mandate
On Saturday morning demonstrators marched up and down the streets in front Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office waving flags- including the Canadian flag marked with the word 'Liberte'

American drivers returning to the U.S., however, do not need to take a test and quarantine.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, has dismissed the protest from the truckers as a disgruntled few, pointing out that almost 90 percent of his country is vaccinated.

But truckers in the so-called 'Freedom Convoy' are angry at his mandate, and plan on using this weekend's rally to show the strength of their sentiment in the Canadian capital.

At the protest was Tom Pappin, 53, who came from just outside Ottawa.

'I can travel freely through the border, and not be in contact with anyone. Yet I'm locked into my own country right now,' he said. 'I can't go on a holiday. I can't go to a restaurant, I can't go bowling. I can't go to a movie. You know, these are things that it's just gotten out of control.'

Pappin told the Toronto Sun that attendees are likely to stay parked by Parliament until vaccine mandates are lifted.

Other protestors were more realistic about what the protest would accomplish.

'It's a nice thought, but I don't think anything will happen immediately,' Phil Powers, a truck driver from Oshawa, Ontario told the Toronto Sun.

'This is the Canadian space to have the debate, so that's why we're here,' Powers, who parked his trailer truck in front of Parliament Hill on Wellington Street for the weekend, said.

The convoy assembled in British Columbia on Sunday, and were joined by other protesters driving from the east and the south of the country.

Truckers from the US - who are only allowed into Canada if they are vaccinated - have also joined the massive convoy.

Elon Musk also tweeted praise for the truckers, saying: 'If you scare people enough, they will demand removal of freedom. This is the path to tyranny.'

He'd earlier tweeted that 'Canadian truckers rule'.

In September 2020, the Tesla CEO said that he and his family would not be getting vaccinated because they are not at risk.

As many as 32,000, or 20 percent, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads due to the mandate, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates.

Hundreds of Canadians have lined the TransCanada Highway 20 to cheer on a 45-mile-long convoy of up to 50,000 truckers who are heading to Ottawa to protest the government's covid vaccine mandate for drivers crossing the US-Canada border
The convoy assembled in British Columbia on Sunday, and are seen on January 28 being cheered on in Levis, Quebec by supporters
50,000 truckers are making their way across Canada in a 45-mile-long convoy in protest of vaccine mandates that now prohibit truckers from crossing the US-Canadian border without proof of vaccination
Canadians standing on an overpass in Kingston, Ontario cheer the truck drivers on. One pickup truck is seen pulling a trailer with a sign saying: 'Freedom doesn't require permission'
A driver gets his pickup truck, with a sign saying 'Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee Freedom', ready for the convoy line in Kingston, Ontario on Friday
50,000 truckers are making their way across Canada in a 45-mile-long convoy in protest of vaccine mandates that would prohibit truckers from crossing the US-Canadian border without proof of vaccination
Canadians gather on a bridge over Highway 400 in Vaughan, Ontario, to support the Freedom Convoy
Pickup trucks with Canadian flags and 'freedom' signs get ready to join the convoy in Kingston on Friday
Truckers left from British Columbia on Sunday and will be met in the nation's capital on Saturday by other protesters driving from the east and the south of the country. The convoy has been joined by US truckers
The Toronto Sun estimated that up to 50,000 trucks could be participating - this convoy could exceed the existing record for the world's longest by 10 times if it stays intact until its intended destination
'It's 70 kilometers long,' Benjamin Dichter, a spokesman for the Freedom Convoy 2022, told the Toronto Sun. 'I have seen footage from an airplane. It's impressive'
In a list of demands, the organizers of the Freedom Convoy are calling for an end to vaccine passports and for the federal government to respect the rights of the unvaccinated
Hutterites have shown out in numbers not just greet the truckers with signs as they drive by, but to keep them fed

The convoy has picked up steam and supporters as it traveled along the snow-filled TransCanada Highway.

The longest convoy in history was just five miles long, consisted of 480 trucks, and took place in Egypt in 2020, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

In a list of demands, the organizers of the Freedom Convoy are calling for an end to vaccine passports and for the federal government to respect the rights of the unvaccinated.

Trudeau hit the brakes on their demands.

'What we are hearing from some people associated with this convoy is completely unacceptable,' he said.

'We know the way through this pandemic is to get everyone vaccinated.

'The overwhelming majority, close to 90 percent of Canadians, have done exactly that.'

But supporters of the convoy disagree, with one driver saying that 'the amount of trucks involved and the amount of people showing up here, this shows the frustrations of Canadians and it's going to continue to grow.'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pictured) has characterized the protesters as a 'small fringe minority who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views'

'A lot of people are trying to say that these type of things are done out of anger, but this is actually being done out of frustration towards the things the government is imposing upon Canadian citizens,' a man named Trevor told Global News when the convoy passed through the Balgonie area, declining to give his surname.

'A lot of people are trying to say that these type of things are done out of anger, but this is actually being done out of frustration towards the things the government is imposing upon Canadian citizens,' a man named Trevor told Global News when the convoy passed through the Balgonie area, declining to give his surname
The Freedom Convoy left from Vancouver to Ottawa on Sunday in protest. They intend to hold a protest in Ottawa upon arriving on January 29
A GoFundMe initiative has already raised $6,365,040 towards the protest since it was launched on January 14, with organizers saying that the money will go toward the gas, food and shelter of the participating truckers

The Canadian government ended the truckers' exemption to the vaccine mandate, meaning Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign national truck drivers who do not have a right to re-enter are turned away at the border and directed back to the United States.

The U.S. now also requires Canadian truckers to provide proof of vaccination to enter.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has disavowed the protest and said more than 85 percent of truckers are vaccinated.

Many truckers have also posted on social media they continue to do their jobs and that the convoy does not speak for them.

Canada has enacted some of the most strict COVID-19 protocols worldwide.

Ontario will only closed its restaurants, gyms and movie theaters early this month, and will only reopen them at the beginning of February.

Vaccinations were mandated in for federal workers last year, and the premier of Quebec announced plans to penalize unvaccinated residents that don't have a medical reason not to get the shot.

On Thursday night, Elon Musk tweeted: 'If you scare people enough, they will demand removal of freedom. This is the path to tyranny'
He also praised the protesters, tweeting on Thursday that 'Canadian truckers rule'
Musk stated in September of 2020 that he and his family would not be getting vaccinated because they are not at risk, and said he most likely had a mild case of the virus in November
The Freedom Convoy left from Vancouver to Ottawa on Sunday in protest. They intend to hold a protest in Ottawa upon arriving on January 29
Canada has enacted some of the most strict COVID-19 protocols worldwide. Ontario will only closed its restaurants, gyms and movie theaters early this month, and will only reopen them at the beginning of February

By AFP and Gina Martinez

CONTINUED:

Thousands join protest in Canada against Covid vaccine mandates

Supporters joined the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ of truck drivers in Ottawa for demonstrations against public health mandates

Supporters gather at Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. Photograph: Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands held a loud but peaceful protest in Canada’s capital Ottawa against prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates, on the streets and snow-covered lawn in front of parliament.

The so-called “Freedom Convoy” started out as a rally of truckers against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers, but turned into a demonstration against government overreach during the pandemic with a strong anti-vaccination streak.

“I’m not able to work no more because I can’t cross the border,” said Csava Vizi, a trucker from Windsor who noted he was the family’s sole breadwinner.

“I refuse the vaccine,” he said, calling it dangerous. He spoke from inside his truck in front of parliament.

“It’s not just about the vaccines. It’s about stopping the public health mandates altogether,” said Daniel Bazinet, owner of Valley Flatbed & Transportation in Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast. Bazinet is unvaccinated, but operates domestically and so is not affected by the cross-border mandate.

“Myself and a lot of other people are here because we’re just sick of the vaccine mandates and the lockdowns,” said Brendon from Ottawa, who declined to give his last name. He was carrying a sign reading: “Justin Trudeau makes me ashamed to be a Canadian”.

Trucks block a street in Ottawa as drivers arrived for the so-called Freedom Convoy protests. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

The rally started early and built through the afternoon on Saturday. Some handed out bag lunches to the truckers, who convoyed to Ottawa from the east and west coasts and places in between.

Few wore masks, but many were in balaclavas as the temperature with windchill was -21C (-6F). A downtown mall closed because demonstrators refused to wear masks inside, CTV reported.

The violent rhetoric used by some of the promoters on social media in the run-up to the protest had worried police, who were out in force, but mostly the protest felt like a very cold street party, punctuated by blaring truck horns.

Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family left their downtown Ottawa home, the CBC reported. His office said it does not comment on security matters.

Earlier this week Trudeau said the convoy represented a “small fringe minority” who do not represent the views of Canadians. About 90% of Canada’s cross-border truckers and 77% of the population have had two Covid vaccination shots.

The Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, opposes vaccine mandates and expressed support for the protest after holding talks with some of the truckers on Friday.

“I support their right to be heard, and I call on Justin Trudeau to meet with these hard-working Canadians to hear their concerns,” O’Toole said after the meeting.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which represents some 4,500 carriers, owner-operators and industry suppliers, has opposed the demonstration.

“We ask the Canadian public to be aware that many of the people you see and hear in media reports do not have a connection to the trucking industry,” the CTA said on Saturday.

A crowd of protesters gathers in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday. Photograph: Andre Pichette/EPA

The CTA urged the truckers who participated to do so peacefully and then leave Ottawa. The protest organisers had said they would stay in Ottawa until the government abandons the mandates. Downtown streets could be clogged for days.

“If I have to stay here two months, I’m going be here,” said Vizi.

By The Guardian

CONTINUED:

Truckers in Canada protest COVID mandate as some demonstrators dance on war memorials

Thousands gathered in Ottawa, parking on the grounds of the National War Memorial while some danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and others carried signs and flags with swastikas.

Trucks rolled into Canada's capital on Saturday in a protest against mandatory vaccines, but it quickly turned into a larger demonstration against government overreach during the pandemic.

The organisers of the "Freedom Convoy" had been calling for the elimination of COVID restrictions and an end to a vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers.

A week-long drive across Canada had culminated in the truckers arriving in the capital to protest.

The truckers finished a week-long drive across Canada in the capital, Ottawa. Pic: AP

Thousands gathered in Ottawa, parking on the grounds of the National War Memorial while some danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and others carried signs and flags with swastikas.

A statue of Canadian hero Terry Fox - who lost a leg to bone cancer and then trekked across the country in 1980 - was draped in an upside-down Canadian flag calling to "mandate freedom".

The move caused widespread condemnation, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mr Trudeau retweeted a statement from the Terry Fox Foundation that said: "Terry believe in science and gave his life to help others".

Canada's Defence Staff Chief General Wayne Eyre said those involved in the demonstration "should hang their heads in shame", tweeting: "I am sickened to see protesters dance on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrate the National War Memorial.

"Generations of Canadians have fought and died for our rights, including free speech, but not this."

Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and the premier of the province of Quebec who is proposing to tax the unvaccinated is popular.

Police had been prepared for the possibility of violence and warned residents to avoid downtown. A parliament security official advised politicians to lock their doors, amid reports their private homes may be targeted.

The protest has been condemned by some politicians. Pic: AP
Protestors show their support for the truckers. Pic: AP

However, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said a great number of the protesters who gathered in Ottawa had no connection to the trucking industry, and said they had a separate agenda to push.

The alliance said the vast majority of drivers are vaccinated.

Some opposition Canadian Conservative politicians served coffee to protestors, while former US President Donald Trump weighed in, telling a rally in Texas: "We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way. They are doing more to defend American freedom than our leaders by far."

However, former US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, who served under President Barack Obama, said "the threat against democracy is not only happening in America".

He tweeted: "Both the use of the swastika and the confederate flag are symbols of hate.

"So very sad to see these symbols anywhere and especially in Canada."

By Megan Baynes

CONTINUED:

In Texas, driverless trucks are set to take over roads

A self-driving truck manufactured by Waymo

A self-driving truck produced by Aurora is seen on a road in Texas

A giant 18-wheel transport truck is barreling down a multi-lane Texas highway, and there is no one behind the wheel.

The futuristic idea may seem surreal, but it is being tested in this vast southern US state, which has become the epicenter of a rapidly developing self-driving vehicle industry.

Self-driving lorries are operated using radars, laser scanners, cameras and GPS antennas that communicate with piloting software.

Waymo is building a logistics center in Dallas that will accommodate hundreds of autonomous semi-trailers.

In a sign of how competitive the autonomous trucking industry is, none of the three companies agreed to show AFP one of its vehicles.

"I think that everybody who is in the autonomous trucking business is in Texas," says Srikanth Saripalli, director at the Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems at Texas A&M University. "Even if they don't advertise it."

Houston and Dallas are major freight hubs, and Texas's sprawling distances are ideal for long-haul transport.

In 2018, Texas passed a law that essentially gave autonomous cars the same status as conventional vehicles.

With the United States so vast and trucking such a vital part of its economy, companies see self-driving as a way to cut costs and reduce risk, since unlike with human drivers autonomous vehicles don't get tired and don't require mandatory breaks.

And it will be nearly twice as cheap. The per-mile cost would drop from $1.76 to $0.96 if the truck drives itself, according to Embark.

Alex Rodrigues, CEO and co-founder of Embark Technology, insists self-driving trucks will be crucial in combatting the current shortage of long-haul truck drivers in the US, some of whom are unwilling to be away from their families for weeks at a time.

And Rodrigues promises that the self-driving truck industry will create "attractive" jobs for local drivers, who will take over the autonomous trucks at transfer points and drive them to their final destination points.

For Julio Moscoso, a 56-year-old driver in Texas, the arrival of driverless trucks is "not good news."

And most importantly, Moscoso says he wouldn't trust driverless trucks.

At the same time, he admits he does not want to do long-haul journeys anymore, and finds it uncomfortable to sleep in his cabin and not be able to shower every day.

By news.com.au

CONTINUED:

PM Trudeau flees Ottowa as 50,000 trucks roll in

Reinforced by 67,000 US trucks

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his family have fled Ottawa after the massive trucker convoy began arriving in the capital on Friday night.

According to Israeli sources, the Trudeau family have been moved to a safe place in the US.

Tens of thousands of truckers are parked in front of Canadian Parliament, saying they will not leave unless Trudeau resigns or drops all mandates. No negotiation. They are prepared to stay there for weeks or months.

Convoy of nearly 50,000 trucks roll into Ottowa, Canada causing PM Trudeau to flee to a safe location in the US, possibly toppling the government. Australia has to be next. Pic Daily Mail

Note in the video that there is a wall around the Parliament Building, just as there is now a wall around the White House in DC.

Farmers have now joined the truckers and are driving their tractors toward the Capital, with 67,000 truckers from the US reportedly en route to Ottawa, as well.

Citing its powers under the COVID state of emergency of March 2020, the provincial government of Nova Scotia has declared it illegal to finance, organize, aid or participate in a truck convoy, as well as to stand along the roadside in support of a truck convoy, with violators facing $10,000 fines.

The MacDonald-Cartier bridge connecting Ontario to Québec was partially closed due to this planned protest.

Meanwhile, the Pfizer building in Paris was surrounded by a crowd of protestors on Saturday, shouting at Macron and Pfizer executives, calling them “Assassins!”

By Cairns News

CONTINUED:

The road to freedom

Truckies have become a symbol of freedom for Canadians living under Justin Trudeau’s increasingly despotic medical state.

50,000 trucks – the largest convoy in history – assembled under freezing conditions before snaking their way toward Ottawa. They were accompanied by hundreds of vehicles and greeted by cheering local crowds waving flags and banners after standing in the snow for hours. It created an outpouring of hope and signalled a palpable change in the political wind.

The celebration of liberty was enough to make Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flee the capital and go into hiding.

His evacuation was conducted with such drama that anyone would think Canada was under attack from a foreign army rather than frustrated citizens. Perhaps he was worried things were getting a little – uh – French?

There is something uniquely pathetic about Trudeau’s cowardice. After telling truck drivers that they were ‘extremists’ with ‘unacceptable views’, he equated the transport industry with terrorists. It was a low blow from a government running out of power. In Trudeau’s absence, the message of the Freedom Convoy was left to echo around the world – repeated by the independent press.

Ezra Levant of Rebel News addressed the rally with a backdrop of blaring truck horns. ‘I see a lot of cameras – a lot of independent journalists – because when people say, “What do we do about the media?” I say, “You become the media!” You have got to tell the story yourselves. Justin Trudeau says that you’re extreme – but he is the one who has violated your civil rights. He says that you are “fringe”. Well, this is a pretty bloody big “fringe”.’

Mainstream media barely touched the Freedom Convoy, and when they did it was only to hurl slanderous labels in their direction. Nazis. Conspiracy theorists. Anti-vaxxers. Terrorists. Even the word ‘freedom’ has been used interchangeably with ‘selfish’ – as though we should shame anyone that wishes to maintain their civil rights.

The press failed to acknowledge ordinary people had latched onto the truck protest as a sort of ‘freedom by proxy’. Unable to rally against Trudeau on their own, Canadians have used the truckers as protection to begin their own rebellion in defiance of Covid health orders.

Truck drivers hold a unique position of power. They are, in effect, the on/off switch of the nation. Without trucks everything stops, including the ability of the government to govern. Trudeau ran away because his empty threats could not stand toe-to-toe with 50,000 transport workers.

Trudeau’s weakness has alerted other freedom movements around the world to a chink in the armour of illiberal regimes.

Australian truck drivers are among those that have taken to the road in a satellite protest, journeying to Canberra as part of the Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccination group, where they assembled in front of Parliament House chanting, ‘You serve us!’

It is a message that has been lost during the Covid years, with politicians increasingly viewing their role as one of ‘control’.

In Australia, as with Canada, truck protests are not a single-cause issue. Mandatory vaccination is a major concern, but people are also furious about a wide range of Covid health orders which are seen as overreach, unnecessary, unscientific, dangerous, punitive, and increasingly ridiculous.

One of the only journalists on the ground in Canberra was Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini – who news.com.au chose to disingenuously call a ‘far-right YouTuber’. He spoke to the protesters and asked them why they were gathered in front of Parliament.

‘I am not allowed to earn a living. Why? Where is the justice?’ said one driver, clearly furious. ‘This truck costs me $2,200 a month to have parked up.’ He went on to say that he was allowed to work during the pandemic, and then the government cast him aside with mandatory vaccination orders.

‘This is democracy – this is real democracy,’ said another.

‘They are trying to destroy everything that we’ve ever worked for.’

‘We need our freedoms back – we’ve had enough.’

‘This government is killing our future.’

For Scott Morrison, the message was clear. ‘Just grow up. Make hard decisions for the country. Let us go back to work.’

‘We’ve just got to have change in this country, mate. We cannot keep on going. We’re going to send this country broke as a nation. We need a leader. We need someone to stand up for our people – for what’s right.’

Other truck drivers thanked their Canadian counterparts, saying, ‘Thank you for the motivation. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us.’

‘We’re thinking about you in the snow while we’re in our shorts and T-shirts.’

This is not the first time that Australia has looked to truck drivers to help free the country of Covid health orders. The #IStandWithTruckies hashtag did the rounds in August of 2021. It may be that the timing is not yet quite right in Australia for a full scale rebellion, but Canada has taught us that truck drivers hold the key to freedom.

As they say, ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!’ or in this case, ‘Don’t upset the truck drivers that bring food to your local supermarket’.

By Flat White

Canadian truckers are driving freedom home
Canadian truckers are driving freedom home #ConvoyForFreedom2022 A record-breaking convoy of 60,000 truckers from Western Canada and 12,000 truckers from t...
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