Over a hundred big trucks, and hundreds of smaller vehicles turned out in Anchorage on Sunday for the convoy to Eagle River to show support for the Canadian truckers, who are protesting in Ottawa and at the U.S. border over vaccine mandates.
The convoy, organized by Anchorage Assemblywoman Jamie Allard and others, moved slowly from Cabela’s in South Anchorage, north to Dimond Blvd. and east to the New Seward Highway, joining the Glenn Highway that carried the participants to the Eagle River exit and on to the Lion’s Club parking lot rally location.
Truckers communicated to each other about the route conditions and breaks in the convoy or stoplight delays over their “Haul Road” CB channel. Nick Means, the pilot car driver and one of the organizers, kept a slow and steady pace to ensure everyone stayed reasonably together, and at one point the convoy stretched from C Street by Costco all the way to the Lions Club in Eagle River.
“We need this mandate gone even for what we do,” said Means. “It affects our heavy haul industry to the North Slope with loads that come from Canada and from the Lower 48 that get hauled up to Alaska for the lifeline of our industry. We depend on the oil fields for work.”
Means, who owns Scrap Alaska Pilot Car Services in Wasilla and employs five drivers, was among several who took charge of the event to ensure it went safely and was managed professionally.
Chugiak-Eagle River Assemblywoman Allard rode in a pilot car and spoke before the rally. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka also spoke at the Cabela’s rallying point to a crowd filled with flag-waving patriots, and she challenged Sen. Lisa Murkowski over her record. In Eagle River, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson joined Assemblywoman Allard on the flatbed truck stage to thank everyone for coming and to state their opposition to government-forced Covid vaccines.
Other organizers included Randi Matheson, a driver who also operates the Alaska Alaska Highway Conditions for Truckers and Pilot Cars Facebook page, which is popular with commercial truckers for real-time road conditions shared in a closed group.
An estimated 400 people took part in Sunday’s convoy, with many more on overpasses waving flags and signs to support the drivers.
Those wishing to financially support the Canadian truckers were encouraged to donate to the new primary site for the distribution of trucker aid at https://www.givesendgo.com/freedomconvoy2022. The group supporting the Canadian truckers has had to abandon the GoFundMe fundraising site because the GoFundMe corporate leaders refused to help the truckers and threatened to withhold the money from the donors. GiveSendGo is the new donation site the Canadian group is using to distribute the aid to help with fuel, food, and other expenses of the Canadian vaccine mandate protesters.
(With thanks to Jimmy Johnson Enterprises for providing bird’s-eye view transportation for Must Read Alaska.)