Truckers in North America, Europe Continue COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Protests

Headline Roundup February 11th, 2022

Taking after Canada's 'Freedom Convoy', truckers in the U.S. and Europe are reportedly forming mass protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, officials declared a state of emergency and threatened protesters with fines and jail time as anti-vaccine mandate protests by truckers and others continue to shut down parts of Ottawa and Windsor's Ambassador Bridge, a key US-Canada trade link. On Friday, bridge protesters opened a lane of traffic for U.S. vehicles entering Canada. In France, dozens of truckers drove to Paris to protest the country's vaccination pass program. And in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security is warning that American truckers are planning a similar protest convoy, which could start as early as this weekend at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles before heading east to Washington D.C. in time for President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech on March 1. 

The protests, especially those in Canada, made headlines across the spectrum. Right-rated outlets highlight the purportedly massive size of the convoys and groups of protesters, and reports of Biden and other Democrats working with Canada to clear out protesters on the bridge. Many left- and center-rated sources focused on Ontario's state of emergency declaration and the extent of the traffic and economic disruptions caused by road blockages.

From the Center

Ontario has declared a state of emergency in response to two weeks of protests against Covid-19 restrictions.

The order came as demonstrations continue to shut down parts of Ottawa and Windsor's Ambassador Bridge, the most important US-Canada trade link.

Blocking crucial infrastructure would be made "illegal" under the order, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.

Protesters could face up to a year in jail and C$100,000 ($79,000; £58,000) in fines, he added.

Mr Ford said the order would apply to anyone impeding the movement of goods, people and services along international...

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From the Right

Mayor of Windsor, Ontario, Drew Dilkens, said in a press conference Thursday that Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered to help remove protestors blocking the Ambassador Bridge for the past several days.

The bridge is a key border between the U.S. and Canada currently occupied by convoy truckers in protest of Canada’s COVID-19 mandates. The protest, called the Freedom Convoy, began in Ottawa and has since gone international.

“The State of Michigan and the governors’ office directly have offered to send over heavy equipment to help remove vehicles, to provide security, they’ve offered to...

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From the Left

Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on Friday and said he'll use all government resources to end a two-week protest by Canadian truckers over Covid-19 rules.

Ford said the trucker protest amounts to a "siege" of downtown Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor and Detroit.

"It’s an illegal occupation," Ford told reporters. "This is no longer a protest."

Ford told protesters to go home and threatened heavy fines — but stopped just short of saying he’s ordering immediate police action to clear streets.

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