Canada’s Trucker Protests And Eerie Echoes of January 6
Anti-vaccine demonstrations in Ottawa have been encouraged and promoted by some of the same right wing figures who loudly backed former President Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss.
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On Friday evening, American conservative activist Amy Kremer sent out two tweets in support of truckers who are protesting COVID vaccine regulations in Canada. The messages, which came one minute apart, included hashtags promoting the so-called “Freedom Convoy” and a video showing some of the crowds who have shut down streets in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, and a key message.
“Hold the line,” Kremer wrote in both posts.
It’s the exact same phrase Kremer, one of the key figures behind the protests against Trump’s election loss in 2020, used in the leadup to January 6, 2021. Kremer, who is the chairwoman of Women For America First, the group that planned the main January 6 rally on the White House Ellipse, used the “#HoldTheLine” hashtag to promote that event.
These echoes of language from events that precipitated the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 are a stark example of how the Canadian vaccine protests have been encouraged and promoted to U.S. audiences by some of the same right wing figures in this country who loudly backed former President Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss. These American voices in support of the Canadian convoy include fringe figures like Kremer and former One America News Network host Jack Posobiec along with congressional Republicans, Fox News hosts, and other politicians including Trump.
American support for the Canadian convoy has not been limited to tweets and broadcasts. The news startup Grid published a fantastic piece on Tuesday detailing how “a close look at several ‘Freedom Convoy’ groups and crowdfunding efforts online shows the involvement of anonymous actors, deep-pocketed non-Canadian donors and prominent U.S. right-wing political figures.” And there are increasing indications the convoy protests — which have included members of white supremacist groups, QAnon adherents, and instances of violence and vandalism — could make their way south.