In Europe, Freedom Convoys head to Paris and Brussels.
The Canadian-style Freedom Convoy protests are going global as people in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe join the grassroots protest movement.
On Saturday, thousands turned out for the “Convoy to Canberra” rally outside Australia’s Parliament House. The Australian “Police said up to 10,000 demonstrators gathered as part of the “Convoy to Canberra” rally where the large majority were protesting against coronavirus mandates,” the Sky News Australia reported Saturday.
A Freedom Convoy also got underway in New Zealand’s capital Wellington, where hundreds of motorists took part in the protests inspired by the Canadian movement, and demonstrators camped outside the country’s parliament demanding an end to the coronavirus restrictions.
The weekly Spectator Australia covered the “Canberra Freedom Convoy” on Friday:
Although they have been in Canberra for nearly two weeks, today’s rally grew to an extraordinary size with the lawn outside Parliament House filling to hold tens of thousands.
Trucks – adorned with banners, messages, and flags – meandered slowly through the pedestrians. Their playful horns had to compete with cheers and wolf-whistles from a crowd in high spirits.
‘No more mandates!’ read one sign. ‘End tyranny. Free Australia!’ said another. ‘Freedom convoy to Canberra. Since 2020 I’ve lost my business.’
And there it is – the heart of the issue. People have joined the Canberra Freedom Convoy because they have lost more than they can tolerate. It is not a piece of clever political incitement, or some kind of alt-right witchcraft.
Organic movements like this rise for the same reason Australian politics is awash with minor parties – Labor and Liberal have lost touch.
Quiet Australians not so 'quiet' anymore…pic.twitter.com/VdPvo6btvV
— Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly) February 12, 2022
New Zealand’s capital Wellington witnessed similar protests. “The protest, which began on Tuesday and was designed to replicate the “Freedom Convoy” action by Canadian truckers, attracted demonstrators from all corners of [New Zealand],” Australian public broadcaster ABC reported Thursday. “Hundreds of vehicles plastered with messages such as “give us back our freedom” were parked in streets surrounding parliament,” the news outlet added.
The NBC reported Freedom Convoy protest movement gaining ground in New Zealand:
Police in New Zealand’s capital made more than 100 arrests as they moved to clear a protest camp outside the country’s parliament where thousands had gathered to rally against Covid-19 restrictions.
Inspired by “freedom convoy” protests by truckers that have paralyzed the Canadian capital, Ottawa, since late January, demonstrators in Wellington have pitched tents and parked vehicles to block major roads surrounding the legislature since Tuesday.
The New Zealand protests are the latest sign of the truckers’ growing influence beyond Canada’s borders, as others mimic their strategies to oppose coronavirus laws in their own countries.
The spark of rebellion ignited by the Canadian truckers has crossed over to the other side of the Atlantic, as freedom convoys head to French capital Paris and the European Union’s de facto capital Brussels.
Belgian authorities have banned the pan-European Freedom Convoy from entering Brussels, which houses the EU parliament and the bloc’s other key offices. “Brussels authorities have banned a pan-European ‘freedom convoy’ of motorists protesting COVID-19 restrictions from entering the Belgian capital,” French TV network Euronews reported Friday. “Protesters set out from southern France on Wednesday in what they called a ‘freedom convoy’ that will converge on Paris and Brussels to demand an end to COVID-19 restrictions, inspired by demonstrators who have gridlocked the Canadian capital Ottawa.”
France, where President Emmanuel Macron’s COVID restrictions and mandates have triggered popular protests, has become the epicenter of a Canadian-style Freedom Convoy movement in Europe—as thousands of French motorists make their way to Paris.
The French government has responded with force against the emerging popular movement. “Police fired tear gas at demonstrators on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris on Saturday shortly after a “Freedom Convoy” protesting against Covid-19 restrictions made it into the French capital,” public broadcaster France24 reported.DONATE
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