Alaska truckers show support for Canadians protesting vaccine mandates

 

February 9, 2022 | View PDF



Alaska truck drivers have rallied in support of their counterparts in Canada who oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

More than 100 truck drivers on Sunday drove the 10 miles from Anchorage to Eagle River to support truckers in Canada who have been loudly protesting in Ottawa against the mandates.

Truck drivers and other service providers since Jan. 15 can only enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated. A week later, the U.S. started requiring vaccinations from essential non-resident travelers at highway border crossings, including truckers.

“We have to have the shot stamps on our medical cards in order to go out of state, and we don’t want them,” said Jeremy Speldrich, a truck driver with GMG General, of Anchorage. “Mandates should be our choice, whether you want the shots or not.”

Another protest convoy took trucks from Eagle River north to the Wasilla area. Similar events were held Sunday in Fairbanks and late last month in Juneau.

On the same day as the Anchorage rally, the mayor of Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa’s downtown. Mayor Jim Watson said the declaration highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government.

Thousands of protesters descended in Ottawa again last weekend, joining a hundred who remained since last week. Residents of Ottawa are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment. They fear no end is in sight after the police chief called it a “siege” that he could not manage.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called it an occupation.

Many Canadians have been outraged over the crude behavior of the demonstrators. Some protesters set fireworks off on the grounds of the National War Memorial late Friday. A number have carried signs and flags with swastikas last weekend and compared vaccine mandates to fascism.

 

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