OTTAWA—The Parliament Hill area is filled to the brim as legions of truckers and other demonstrators protesting COVID-19 mandates and restrictions converge in Ottawa, their final destination after driving throughout the week in a convoy from all parts of the country.
“It’s vibrating here,” said Terri Haydar, a retired corrections officer who traveled to Ottawa from Toronto.
Haydar said on the way to Ottawa, every overpass was filled with people waving the Canadian flag as trucks passed by.
“It’s been an absolute bedlam,” she told The Epoch Times.
There is a festive mood on the Hill despite the frigid -20°C weather, as people of all backgrounds from across the country continue to arrive to support the call for an end to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.
“It’s like a Canada Day, but for the real reason that we celebrate Canada,” said Andrew Broe, a truck driver of 20 years from Trenton, Ont., who parked his rig by Parliament Hill.
“This is a day we’re going to reunite and come together and have freedom.”
Broe said he’s in Ottawa to ask politicians to listen to people’s demands.
“I’m here to fight for the freedom of not just the truckers, but for everybody that lives and resides in Canada.”
Berdj Papa, a truck driver from Laval, Que., said it’s important to rally together in order to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “to listen to the people.”
“We’ve been in lockdown for too long… we needed a voice from the people,” he said.
Sylvain, a military veteran wearing his uniform who would only give his first name, said he joined the protest to “liberate my country.”
Freedom Convoy 2022 began as a protest against the federal government’s vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the Canada-US border but has since expanded in scope, with many joining the movement to protest various COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.
The first convoy started from the West Coast on Jan. 23, with more trucks joining from different parts of the country, coming together to protest in the nation’s capital this weekend and into next week.
A GoFundMe page set up to support the convoy had collected close to $8 million as of the morning of Jan. 29.
GoFundMe has temporarily put a hold on the withdrawal of the funds pending a review of how the money will be distributed.
But organizers said in a statement on their GoFundMe page that the crowdfunding platform released the first batch of $1 million, which will be used to support drivers with costs of fuel, food, and lodging.
Jared Gnam contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times