Thousands of Canadian truckers are continuing to occupy the nation’s capital, defying orders from the Government to disperse.
The ‘freedom convoy’ which left for Ottawa on January 23 is led by a self-confessed conspiracy theorist and Canada Unity leader, James Bauder.
Bauder has endorsed the QAnon movement, a group described as a far right cult with ideology that fuels violence.
Since arriving in Ottawa, neo-Nazi and Confederate flags have been seen flying, while both Donald Trump and Elon Musk have given their support to the truckers.
Pat King, a prominent figure in the protests, laid out his plan for direct action: “What we want to focus on is our politicians, their houses, their locations,” he said in a Facebook stream.
The occupiers have made it almost impossible to travel around Ottawa’s downtown in the shadow of the nation’s parliament, with trucks sounding their horns throughout the day and into the early hours.
At night, the truckers hold raucous dance parties and have a DJ booth.
Protesters are communicating through walkie-talkie app Zello, making evading police barricades simple, while supporters in other cities are using a secure messaging app called Telegram to share coordinate demonstrations.
The group are backed by big money after raising C$6million (US$4.7m) on various crowdfunding sites, but were removed from GoFundMe after earning C$10m in donations. It remains to be seen who actually sees this money.
Similar ‘solidarity convoys’ have taken place at the Canadian-USA border between Alberta and Montana. Meanwhile, groups in Helsinki, Canberra, London and Brussels have all ‘taken note’ according to reports.
Why are Canadian truckers protesting?
The group are protesting against what they believe are ‘crimes against humanity’ perpetrated by the Canadian Government, because of Covid-19 vaccine requirements.
Protesters, without proof, have accused Canadian leader Justin Trudeau of corruption, fascism and demanded the Senate to “go after the prime minister”.
The anti-vax demonstrations have seen calls for people to stop taking the vaccine and instead, embrace ‘freedom’.
Committed to occupying downtown Ottawa until the country’s vaccine requirements and Covid-19 measures are lifted, they have described the virus which has killed nearly six million people as “the biggest political scam in history”.