Ottawa’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ of Truckers Is Settling in For an Extended Protest

by Samantha Whidden

Despite the recent pleas from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to disperse, Ottawa’s Freedom Convoy” of truckers is reportedly settling for an extended protest over the COVID-19 vaccination mandates in Canada. 

Reuters reports that although it has thinned since arriving in Ottawa nearly two weeks ago, the “Freedom Convoy” protesters are not giving up quite yet. “We want freedom for our kids,” a protester, Jean-Pierre Lapointe stated. He had his daughter with him. She was wearing a sign around her neck that reads, “My future is in your hands.”

The “Freedom Convoy” participant also told the media outlet that he wants to stay until he gets his freedom back. “I want all the mandates to end.”

Along with Lapointe, other “Freedom Convoy” protesters revealed to the media outlet that they have lost their jobs or have trouble finding a new job because they are not vaccinated for COVID-19. Other protests notably share their objections to the Canadian government’s policies beyond the vaccine mandates. This includes a federal carbon tax and housing unaffordability. The majority of the protesters then discussed losing their rights to autonomy. 

Meanwhile, the “Freedom Convoy” protest has shut down Ottawa’s downtown core. The protesters also had horns that were bothering city residents nearby. Fortunately for the residents, a court granted an injunction against using horns on Monday (February 8th). But Ottawa police have been unable to move the protesters. 

While the protesters are demanding for him to resign, Trudeau has shown support for their rights to protest. He tweeted, “Canadians have the right to protest; to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard. We’ll always protect that right. But let’s be clear: they don’t have the right to blockade our economy; or our democracy; or our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop.”

Inspired by ‘Freedom Convoy,’ Anti-Vaccine Convoy Has Formed in France

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, an anti-vaccine convoy has formed in France that reportedly mimics the Canadian “Freedom Convoy.”

According to the New York Times, dozens of trucks and vehicles left Southern France on Wednesday (February 9th) and are heading to Paris as part of a convoy that is opposing France’s vaccination pass program. The movement is named “Convoi de la Liberté,” which is a direct translation of Canada’s “Freedom Convoy.”

The media outlet reports that the French version of “Freedom Convoy” is expected to arrive in the French capital on Friday (February 11th). However, some of the protesters will be continuing on to Brussels, which is the headquarters for most of European Union (EU) institutions. It was also revealed that the movement has attracted the support of some of the country’s political opposition in France. The includes far-right and far-left groups.