Truckers May Seek to Mimic Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests at Super Bowl LVI: Report

by Matthew Memrick

This week, a federal agency said that American truckers could seek to imitate Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” protests at Super Bowl LVI.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo saying that truckers may block roads to protest vaccine mandates at significant events.

The memo says Sunday’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium is a prime target. Another key target is President Biden’s March 1 State of the Union address in the nation’s capital.

Yahoo! first reported on the memo with Deadline and other news media outlets also putting out stories.

 No Violence, Just Gridlock Ahead For Nation’s Cities

Similar to Canada’s trucker protests, law enforcement agencies do not expect violence in America’s “Freedom Convoy.” We’re talking about traffic issues for emergency routes and federal government operations.

The memo references Canada’s Freedom Convoy protests as the primary source for influencing American truckers through social media. Once heralded as pandemic heroes, many say they’re harassed over vaccine mandates along with other pandemic restrictions.

Earlier this week, an anonymous trucker post had instructions on disrupting the Super Bowl’s security operations. The flier, titled “Shut Down the Super Bowl,” mentioned a “medical freedom demonstration” near the SoFi Stadium on Sunday. Maps with directions from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. also hit online social media groups talking about protesting.

The Department of Homeland Security claims more than 500 people will work security at the Super Bowl.

Freedom Convoy Movement Goes Global

The Los Angeles Times reported trucker protests in France, New Zealand, and Australia.

In the United States, states like California have talked about dropping mask mandates. The truckers, however, have not.

The newspaper said truckers had voiced their grievances on social media, mainly about government overreach, while talking about logistics of food and other supplies on their routes for these city-clogging protests. Some have likened these Freedom Convoys to “mobile Jan. 6 insurrections.” Cities worry that the blockades could disrupt supplies and emergency services.

Former senior Southern Poverty Law Center official Mark Potok told the Los Angeles Times that these “lawless convoys are engaging in tactics” that are “patently illegal.” Potok also said they “have a very real potential to escalate into a direct challenge to democracy itself.”

But the truckers say it’s more than about vaccines. Clark Freight Lines executive Danny Schnautz told the Los Angeles Times that he hopes to join the convoy.

“The idea behind it is bigger than a vaccine or COVID,” Schnautz said. “It’s the frustration.”

Some California truckers interviewed said they were unaware of the convoy plans and didn’t know what a convoy would do. Driver Harjinder Singh paid about $5 a gallon while fueling his truck recently.

Singh, a truck driver with 32 years of experience, said he was less concerned with vaccine mandates than he was with fuel prices, the cost of insurance, and the rising cost of food.

“I’m worried about everything right now,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “It’s scary.” 

According to Bloomberg News, only 50 to 60 percent of American truckers got vaccine shots. The website got their figure from an estimate from several American Trucking Associations. According to Our World In Data, there are 210 million fully-vaccinated people in the United States.