By Sonia Elijah
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.