Warnings US copycat ‘freedom convoy’ pushed by QAnon could target Super Bowl

Conspiracy theorists want ‘freedom convoy’ to go global

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 10 February 2022 16:40 GMT
Aerial footage shows heavily congested Ambassador Bridge as truck convoy jams US-Canada border
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President Joe Biden may be forced to tackle trucker protests similar to those seen in Canada, potentially targeting the Super Bowl, according to warnings from the Department of Homeland Security.

In a memo shared with police partners and reported by The Hill, the DHS wrote that it had “received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates”.

“The convoy will potentially begin in California early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union address scheduled for 1 March,” the memo added.

Follow the latest updates on the Canada convoy

The news comes as QAnon adherents lead calls for a US version of the Canadian "trucker" convoy currently harassing the city of Ottawa.

QAnon boosters have been promoting an American rendition of the anti-vaccine mandate convoy on social media since the protest began, hoping that a state-side ride to Washington DC could dismantle coronavirus vaccine mandates.

The Canadian protest – largely organised by right-wing social media figures – is demanding the government roll back all coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates, threatening to shut down the nation's capital until they get their way. The protest ostensibly began in response to a mandate forcing cross-border truck drivers to be vaccinated.

However, according to Canadian officials, 90 per cent of the nation's truck drivers are vaccinated, and few of the leading figures in the protest are actual professional truck drivers.

It is no surprise that QAnon adherents have glommed onto the protest; the movement regularly incorporates other conspiracy theories into its mythos. While QAnon began as a Trump-focused, anti-"deep state" – a catch all term for Democrats, RINOs and others that adherents despise – conspiracy theory, it has grown to include anti-vaxxers, anti-Semites, numerology, and some who think individuals like JFK, JFK Jr and others are actually still alive and secretly supporting former President Donald Trump.

Some Republican lawmakers have even started weighing in on the trucker protest.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis complained that GoFundMe pulled a "freedom convoy" project on its site and redistributed the funds that were said, calling it "fraud."

US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called GoFundMe a "communist corporation" and Texas' Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into the company to determine if there had been "deception."

American right-wing media figures, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have praised the protests. He is selling "I love truckers" merchandise on his site, hoping to monetise the unrest.

A woman crosses the street in front of vehicles parked as part of the trucker protest, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 in Ottawa.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also tweeted out that "Canadian truckers rule" at the outset of the protest.

Even Mr Trump has weighed in, calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "far-left lunatic" in a statement praising the convoy.

Back in QAnon world, major figures like Michael Flynn and lawyer Lin Wood – both major pushers of the 2020 election fraud lie peddled by Mr Trump – have praised the convoy as well.

Less known but still prominent supporters of the QAnon movement, like John Sabal – who goes by QAnon John – shared a post with his followers at the end of January asking "who's ready for the truck convoy to converge on the hellhole of DC? Collectively, we will put so much pressure on the swamp that it forces all the demon creatures to break."

Other images shared by QAnon boosters showed potential truck convoy routes to Washington DC and various routes to European capitals.

Whether or not a US trucker convoy happens remains to be seen. While there is plenty of discussion about and excitement over a potential US convoy, QAnon has promised countless reckonings for the "deep state" that have never materialised.

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