Mon. May 16th, 2022
“‘Freedom Convoy’ vaccine-mandate protests reach from Canada to Canberra to Europe

About 400 trucks remained downtown and blocked major streets. According to police, there were 25 arrests for mischief and menacing behavior. Police have received reports about 400 hate incidents, issued over 1700 fines and are currently pursuing 120 investigations.

Protesters blockaded a third US-Canada border crossing on Friday (AEDT), escalating a crisis that’s leading automakers to cut production, weighing on the economies of both countries and prompting US officials from mayors to the White House to call for their Canadian counterparts to intervene.

The bridge, connecting Windsor in Canada with Detroit in the US is the busiest crossing of the border and a crucial conduit for the auto industries.

Protesters block access to the Canada-United States border crossing at Emerson, Manitoba, with heavy trucks and farm equipment on Thursday.
Protesters blocked Emerson, Manitoba’s Canada/United States border crossing on Thursday with heavy trucks, farm equipment, and other large vehicles.Credit:Canadian Press/AP

Canada has had many businesses shut down due to security concerns. Many people have suffered disruptions in their daily lives. Police have stated that some people were harassed because they wore masks. Protesters also rally against Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister.

Pat King, a far-right figure listed as a regional organiser for the Canadian convoy, has said the only way to end restrictions “is with bullets”. In a video streamed online, he agreed with a passenger who said “it’s going until the mandates are gone and the premiers are gone and the prime minister is gone.”

“And the dissolving of the Liberal Party,” King added.

Police have said that those found to be taking part in criminal activity, which could include blocking streets or “assisting others in the blocking of streets,” could be arrested. They’ve also said that if suspects are convicted, their vehicles could be seized and forfeited and they could be denied permission to cross the border.

The US federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are preparing for a possible protest by truckers. This could start this weekend and continue into March. It could include a cross-country caravan, disruptions to major transportation routes, and possibly a trans-country caravan.

According to local media outlets, truckers from Alaska already drove to Eagle River on Sunday to show support for Ottawa protesters. “Mandates should be our choice, whether you want the shots or not,” one truck driver told the Anchorage Daily NewsAccording to, similar events were also reported in other Alaska cities.

People carrying a large Canadian flag march on Brooklyn Bridge during an anti-vaccine mandate protest ahead of possible termination of New York City employees due to their vaccination status in New York.
A large Canadian flag was carried by people who marched on Brooklyn Bridge in protest against the imposition of vaccines. This was before possible termination of New York City City employees for their New York City vaccination status. Credit:AP

Protests also reached New Zealand, where vehicles blocked streets in Wellington with their horns blasting on Wednesday. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, described the protesters only as a minority.

Police officers form a line in front of protesters at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand.
A line of police officers forms in front protesters at Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand.Credit:Getty

In Australia, a pedestrian “Convoy to Canberra” has lasted for about eight days with a largely peaceful atmosphere and are expected to keep going into the weekend.

The ‘Convoy to Canberra’ protest at the front of Parliament House on February 5.
The ‘Convoy to Canberra’ protest at the front of Parliament House on February 5.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

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