The “Freedom Convoy” trucker protests in Canada have inspired similar movements against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions worldwide, including the United States.
In a Wednesday memo shared with police partners, the Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement that demonstrations similar to the trucker protests up north could bring disruptions to the Super Bowl on Sunday in Los Angeles and President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next month, The Hill reported.
DHS said in the memo it “has received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates,” according to the report.
“The convoy will potentially begin in California early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union address scheduled for 1 March,” the memo said.
Starting last month, truck drivers from across Canada frustrated with that country’s COVID-19 restrictions descended on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to make their case heard by the upper echelons of the Canadian government.
The protesters demanded an end to vaccine passports and mandates and expressed their disapproval of what they saw as liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authoritarianism.
Cheered on by citizens and joined by pedestrian protesters, the truckers pledged not to leave the city until the government heard and agreed to their requests.
The presence of such a large number of trucks and protesters threw the city into gridlock, irking Canadian authorities, including Trudeau, who has painted the demonstrators as violent racists and accused them of “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy and our fellow citizens’ daily lives.”
The protests also halted international transit through the Ambassador Bridge border crossing with the United States, causing Ford and Toyota factories in the U.S. to cut back supply, Reuters reported Wednesday.
While Trudeau remained stubborn in refusing to back down on the vaccine restrictions, multiple provincial authorities have decided to lift some, if not all, of their local vaccine rules, granting the protesters a significant win in their quest to lift the restrictions across Canada.
These provincial governments include Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. Alberta has agreed to completely slash vaccine mandates by March 1.
CHILLS: Canadian Freedom Convoy Supporters Holding Hands, Singing, Tyrants Are SHOOK pic.twitter.com/kIRsTGGYeL
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 4, 2022
University of Toronto bioethics and global health professor Kerry Bowman told the Canadian outlet Global News that the convoy resonates with popular frustrations over COVID-19 restrictions worldwide.
“There’s a lot of pent-up frustration and it’s resonating not just around the country, but it’s resonating globally,” Bowman said. “What I worry about is will it erode the … the acceptance of public health intervention in the future if in fact the pandemic continues or … if we have another pandemic someday within our lifetime.”
The convoy indeed has been “resonating globally.”
A Facebook group called the “People’s Convoy,” with more than 57,000 members, has planned to launch a similar protest starting in Indio, California, next month.
According to the group’s plans, the protesters would gather for a rally between March 4 and 5, after which they would roll out to destinations organizers would announce later.
Politico reported that the group plans on heading to Washington, D.C.
According to a statement from the group, the organizers promise fuel reimbursement for American truckers who arrive at the rally.
“Americans love our freedoms and love the Constitution of The United States of America. This convoy aims to bring back our freedoms, our civil liberties, and bring an end to all unconstitutional mandates,” the group’s mission statement states.
“This is about our rights, as well as the freedom of future generations. It’s not about political parties, but [more so] about a government that has forgotten its place and has no regard for our founding [father’s] instructions, The Constitution.”
Convoi de la Liberté’s Facebook group and Telegram channel show images and videos of members driving out of Nice and packing food and supplies for a protest planned to begin Thursday and Friday, the Times reported.
The outlet reported that similar protests also had been planned in Australia and New Zealand.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.