The truck convoy is becoming a real problem — for Canada's conservatives

On Friday, VICE News reported that the Canadian "Freedom Convoy" using trucks to blockade major roads in protest of vaccine mandates is risking serious political damage to the Conservative Party as it tries to find a message to fight Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"For two weeks, hundreds of devoted members of the anti-vax trucker convoy have paralyzed Ottawa’s downtown core, blared their horns incessantly, and harassed residents," reported Anna Zoledziowski. "Convoy members have flown flags with swastikas, taken a shit on a lawn adorned with a pride flag, and are allegedly responsible for 200 reported hate crimes. Ottawa is currently under a state of emergency. Elsewhere, convoyers have shut down two of the busiest ports of entry on the US-Canada border. All of this, under the guise of 'freedom' and getting the economy running."

Conservative Party leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre has directly praised the convoy, calling them "Bright, joyful, and peaceful Canadians championing freedom." So have many other members of Parliament, per the report: "Conservatives, who are already “badly split,” might be scared to speak out against the convoy because they don’t want to lose voters who are tired of the pandemic and believe the trucker convoy is really about freedom, [Toronto political science professor Eric] Merkley said."

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All of this comes at a moment when a recent poll shows 62 percent of Canadians oppose the convoy — which has been disavowed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance. 90 percent of Canadian truck drivers are already vaccinated and in compliance with the rules for international crossing. Worse, the report notes, "Far-right organizers and conspiracy theorists have been attached to the convoy movement since its inception" — creating the possibility of violence.

Some right-wing activists have proposed a similar convoy in the United States to disrupt the Super Bowl — although the mayor of Inglewood, California is warning any vehicles that attempt it will be "immediately towed."

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