TheNewAmerican - by Rebecca Terrell February 1, 2022
A grassroots Canadian truckers’ movement is laying siege to their nation’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario, in protest of the government’s COVID tyranny. Freedom Convoy 2022, which began in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vaccine mandate for U.S./Canada cross-border truckers, includes more than 50,000 semis, according to organizers’ estimates.
They have vowed to remain until government removes all COVID restrictions on Canadians. Drivers are literally living in their trucks, parked on the streets of Ottawa, causing what convoy spokesman Benjamin Dichter laughingly describes as a logistics nightmare.
“How long are you planning to stay?” asked a reporter at the convoy’s first press conference in Ottawa.
“We’ve already raised more than $8 million, so 2023? 2024?” speculated convoy spokesman Benjamin Dichter. “We’re in this for the long haul. We don’t have a time limit.”
Supported only by small, non-corporate donations, the convoy has raised more than $9.6 million to date, already setting crowdfunding records with no end in sight. Organizers say the money will pay for food, fuel, lodging, and other expenses related to the protest.
Meanwhile, border blockades are joining the protest. The reputed largest is located at the Alberta border north of Sweetgrass, Montana, where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are threatening to arrest truckers who refuse to move their rigs. Rebel News reporter Kian Simone is publishing up-to-the-minute reports at ConvoyCoverage.com and on his Twitter feed. He and fellow Rebel News reporter Sydney Fizzard say they have been the only media allowed to witness police negotiations with the truckers, who refuse access to journalists from major media outlets. RCMP is preventing family members of the blockaders from bringing food and medical supplies to their loved ones.
Meanwhile, RCMP is running into problems finding tow trucks willing to remove the blockade rigs. “Police have placed requests since Sunday for them to assist the RCMP in the removal of trucks and other vehicles participating in the protest,” reports Rebel News. “The companies said that they would not be doing so.” Area towing companies have instead sent trucks to the site to assist the stranded protesters.
Elsewhere, Trudeau is still in isolation, refusing to meet with convoy organizers. He has called his constituents “a small fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” and denounced their supposed “hateful rhetoric” in remote televised speeches. Despite this and media claims that the area is a powder keg, reporters at the convoy’s Ottawa press conference confirmed that law enforcement had encountered no violence or injuries.
When asked about government pushback, Dichter responded, “They solve all our problems, right? So they can solve this problem.” Fellow convoy spokesman Chris Barber added, “There’s an easy way to fix this.”
“Everyone’s got hope again … which is something that we haven’t felt for so long,” said convoy organizer Tamara Lich, who has emphasized the group’s dedication to lawfulness and peace. “In that sense, we’ve already won.”
Thousands of truckers from the U.S. joined Canada’s convoy and are planning a similar trip to Washington D.C. once their job north of the border is complete. Convoy to DC has a rapidly growing following on Facebook. Other convoys are planned in Australia and in countries across Europe and Scandinavia.