The Canadian truck-and-trailer convoy organizers say that protesting truckers across Canada, already part of the longest convey in world history, plan to arrive in Ottawa by Jan. 29.
According to some associated with the protest against Covid vaccine mandates, there are also 62,000 American truckers who have joined the protest, some who cannot cross the border, but are waiting at border crossings.
The convoy has created a groundswell of support across Canada and the USA, so much so that Facebook took one of the main organizing pages down from its social media site. The page had grown to nearly 600,000 followers, and has since moved to the Gab social media platform. Other support pages are still on Facebook.
A GoFundMe site raised nearly $6 million in just 10 days to support the truckers and their cause, and Canadians have come out by the thousands to stand along the roads in support of the truckers as they pass through their communities. GoFundMe has now frozen the account while it determines how the funds will be spent.
“Our goal is to protect the generosity of donors and ensure that every dollar donated on our platform reaches the right place,” a GoFundMe spokesperson said in a statement. “We require that fundraisers be transparent about the flow of funds and have a clear plan for how those funds will be spent.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has characterized the truckers as a fringe group of extremists and said that 90 percent of Canadian truckers have been vaccinated for Covid.
The rolling protest to Ottawa started after the Trudeau administration imposed a vaccine mandate on truckers crossing the border from the United States. The U.S. has also implemented a vaccine mandate for foreign truckers.
The convoy protest was announced Jan. 15 in a press release, which set the start date for the convoy as Jan. 23:
“On January 15th a small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing Covid-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country. it is time for these vaccine mandates and surveillance tracking software to end,” the group wrote in its press release.
“Our goal remains the same, to encourage the government of Canada to repeal its cross border Covid tracking passport, phone app, and ALL Covid-19 vaccine mandates,” the group wrote.
The initial convoy was to be just 1,600 trucks, but the number now estimated to be taking part is close to 50,000 the group said. Many of the trucks have more than one person in the cabs.
“Any statements made indicating that we are in some way ‘separatism’ or ‘terrorists’ are categorically false and an attempt to smear this movement. It is saddening that this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a document that was ironically signed into law by Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Justin and his government seeks to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians,” the group said.
Due to the massive participation and support from Canadians, the group says that it realizes people are going to be inconvenienced by the convoy.
“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” they wrote.