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What’s behind the “freedom convoy” opposing Canada’s COVID-19 mandates?

Feb 24, 2022

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A self-described “freedom convoy” group blocked roads and bridges at Canadian cities and border crossings between Canada and the United States. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the protests have disrupted international trade, crippling an already slow supply chain.

What do the protesters want? 

Convoy organizers want Canada to end its COVID-19 mandates. For example, one mandate requires truck drivers to receive two doses of the vaccine to avoid a 14-day quarantine when entering the country from the US. If Canadian lawmakers end mandates, the US still requires truckers to follow the same rule. 

According to Canadian lawmakers, 90% of truckers have at least two COVID-19 vaccines, which is why Trudeau is not caving on the issue.

“We gotta end the mandates, and personally, I want Trudeau and whoever is pulling his strings pulled gone. Out of Canada,” said Quinn, a protester in opposition to the country’s COVID-19 mandates. 

 When did this political movement start? 

In 2019, some conservatives lashed out against a new carbon tax, saying it would hurt the oil industry. In response, protesters encouraged hundreds of trucks to form a convoy from Western Canada to Ottawa. 

The movement then morphed again in January. Canada Unity, a group of far-right conservatives, announced the establishment of the “freedom convoy.” It’s a small group of people who support Qanon conspiracy theories and calls for Western Canada to become independent. 

Self-proclaimed Qanon influencer Queen Romana Didulo claims to be the head of the so-called sovereign Republic of Canada. 

According to the Global Network, an independent research agency, Didulo built her following opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates. She also became known for sending cease and desist letters to lawmakers. 

Canadian Prime Minister pushes back, urges protest to end

Trudeau has called for these protests to end peacefully, pointing to science. According to a study conducted by John Hopkins Medical Center, four out of five Canadians have received at least two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety,” Trudeau said. “Critical supply chains have been disrupted. This is hurting workers who rely on these jobs to feed their families.”

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JIMMIE: BLOCKED ROADS, CLOSED BRIDGES AND CONVOYS.

PROTESTER: “We want freedom.”

JIMMIE: IMPACTS OF THE SELF-DESCRIBED MOVEMENT CALLED THE “FREEDOM CONVOY.” 

THE DIVERSE GROUP OF PROTESTORS, INCLUDING TRUCKERS, OPPOSE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS MAINLY VACCINE MANDATES IN CANADA. 

TRUCKER: “If they want to grab us and hook us up and take us away, so be it.”

JIMMIE: THE PROTESTS STRADDLING THE BORDER BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES DISRUPTED INTERNATIONAL TRADE MAKING AN ALREADY SLOW SUPPLY CHAIN EVEN MORE PROBLEMATIC.

SO, WHAT’S BEHIND THE TRUCKER PROTEST?

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT.

CONVOY ORGANIZERS SAY THEY OPPOSE CANADA’S TEMPORARY MANDATE REQUIRING ALL TRUCK DRIVERS TO BE FULLY VACCINATED IF THEY WANT TO AVOID A 14-DAY QUARANTINE BEFORE ENTERING FROM THE U-S. 

EVEN IF CANADA ENDED THE MANDATE, THE U-S REQUIRES TRUCKERS TO BE VACCINATED.

AND FOR THE MOST PART, THEY ARE! 90 PERCENT OF CANADA’S TRUCKERS ARE VACCINATED, ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT. 

THOSE STATS ARE IRRELEVANT TO PROTESTERS ON THE GROUND.

PROTESTER: We’ve got to end the mandates and personally I want Trudeau and whoever is pulling his strings pulled, gone. Out of Canada.”

JIMMIE: THE MOVEMENT DATES BACK TO 20-19, WHEN SOME CONSERVATIVES LASHED OUT AGAINST A NEW CARBON TAX, SAYING IT WOULD HURT THE OIL INDUSTRY. 

IN RESPONSE, PROTESTORS DROVE A CONVOY OF HUNDREDS OF TRUCKS FROM WESTERN CANADA TO OTTAWA.

BUT THE MOVEMENT MORPHED IN JANUARY. 

A GROUP CALLED, “CANADA UNITY” MADE UP OF FAR-RIGHT CONSERVATIVES, ANNOUNCED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE “FREEDOM CONVOY”.

THIS SMALL MINORITY SUPPORTS QANON CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND CALLS FOR WESTERN CANADA TO BECOME INDEPENDENT.

ONE OF THE EMERGING QANON INFLUENCERS WHO GOES BY THE NAME QUEEN ROMANA DIDULO CLAIMS TO BE THE HEAD OF THE SO-CALLED SOVEREIGN REPUBLIC OF CANADA. 

SHE BUILT HER FOLLOWING OPPOSING VACCINE MANDATES… AND SENDS OUT ‘CEASE AND DESIST LETTERS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS, ACCORDING TO THE GLOBAL NETWORK, AN INDEPENDENT RESEARCH AGENCY. 

THESE QANON CONNECTIONS ARE WHY CANADIAN OFFICIALS ARE CALLING THE PROTEST’ POLITICAL’, SAYING VERY FEW TRUCKERS WERE PART OF THE BLOCKADE ON THE AMBASSADOR BRIDGE. 

TRUDEAU: “The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety. Critical supply chains have been disrupted. This is hiring workers who rely on these jobs to feed their families.”

JIMMIE: ACCORDING TO JOHN HOPKINS MEDICAL CENTER, FOUR OUT OF FIVE CANADIANS ARE FULLY VACCINATED. 

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRUCKER PROTESTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. 

 


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