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U.S.-based groups plan convoys in support of Canadian truckers By


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Trucks arrive in Canada from the United States at the Point Edward exit of the Blue Water Bridge, as nearby truckers and their supporters continue to protest against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in Sarnia, Ontario, Cana

By Brendan O’Brien

CHICAGO (Reuters) -A variety of U.S.-based groups are organizing convoys of trucks and other vehicles for this weekend and early next month, emulating the protests against COVID-19 mandates that have roiled Canada https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canada-protests-enter-third-week-sophisticated-demonstrators-dig-2022-02-11 and disrupted North American supply lines.

An organization dubbed “Convoy to Save America” said on its website that two separate vehicle convoys will converge this weekend at the Peace Bridge, a U.S.-Canadian border crossing in Buffalo, New York. One of the convoys will leave New York City on Friday and the second from Mount Juliet, Tennessee, on Saturday.

Pennie Fay, one of the group’s founders, told Reuters that the convoys will consist of sports utility vehicles and minivans filled with supplies such as water, food, gas cards and blankets for Canadian truck drivers who arrive on the U.S. side.

“This weekend is about the Canadians, about supporting them,” said Fay, who is leaving from Nashville, “while at the same time bringing attention to the fact that we want the mandates gone. Remove them from state to state. We want a free country.”

In Canada, the trucker protest is entering its third week. Beginning as a protest over a vaccinate-or-quarantine mandate for cross-border drivers, its scope has expanded to include a more generalized opposition to government rules set up to control the spread of the virus over the past two years.

Truck drivers have occupied the Canadian capital of Ottawa and now are blocking the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international land border crossing in North America and a critical lifeline for the automotive industry, between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan. Truckers have also blocked smaller border crossings in Canada’s Alberta and Manitoba provinces.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on Friday.

Calls for financial help for U.S. and Canadian truckers have been created on fundraising websites. A campaign on the Christian fundraising site Givesendgo.com has raised more than $8 million for Canadian truckers while another has raised more than $41,000 for truckers in the United States.

Some U.S. Republicans have vowed to investigate GoFundMe after it took down a page accepting donations in support of protesting truck drivers.

On Friday, during a protest against New York’s school mask mandates in Buffalo, demonstrators put money into cans that were passed around for donations for Canadian truckers. Demonstrators also rolled around a wheelbarrow that they filled with coins and bills for the truck drivers.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned law…


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