Dozens of right-wing groups are using Telegram to discuss staging US trucker convoys to protest vaccine mandates
- Dozens of groups are using Telegram to discuss organizing trucker convoys to protest vaccine mandates.
- Many of the groups want to protest in Washington, DC, and have debated routes and how to bring supplies.
Dozens of right-wing groups are using Telegram to discuss organizing trucker convoys to protest vaccine mandates in Washington DC, following in the footsteps of ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Canada.
Since late January, thousands of Canadian truckers have been protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures and cross-border vaccination requirements as part of the "Freedom Convoy."
Right-wing Canadians who oppose pandemic measures and their government's response to the crisis have clogged the streets of Ottawa in protest, leading the mayor to declare a state of emergency on Sunday.
Insider has identified a handful of groups that are debating how to set up similar convoy protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, inspired by the Canada protests. The discussions have been scattered; some users want to protest in Washington DC, while others suggest targeting the Super Bowl.
"Yes do the convoy to DC," one Telegram user wrote in a comment on Monday. "Let's follow the lead of Canada! We need this here!!"
Some users in a group called CONVOY TO DC 2022 said they are "ready to roll."
"Our nation needs a big bear hug right around DC," one user commented, adding that Insterstate 495 is "perfect for a slow roll bear hug" to disrupt traffic.
"Nothing moves without truckers and that's a fact!!" another person wrote.
In the various Telegram groups, users have been sending supply ideas for convoy attendees, suggesting what food, clothing, and safety items people should bring with them.
Some users have also posted fundraising information and opportunities to donate to the potential convoy.
One group, which appears to center around the Canadian protests but has referenced a potential US trucker protest in DC, is urging its members to "be prepared" by purchasing "4-Week Emergency Food Supply" kits that cost almost $300.
In one Telegram group,
"The convoy is coming no matter what... & so is freedom !" one user in the group wrote on a post on Tuesday morning.
Another user in the 444-member group posted the location of a "Let's Go Brandon" store in Massachusetts, referring to the popular anti-Biden phrase.
In a 3,229-subscriber group, US Convoy For Freedom 2022, users have posted photos and videos of the demonstrations in Canada as a means of inspiration.
Another Telegram user was a little more cautious, writing on Monday that "the Canadian truckers thought this out very well and planned for months" and urging US protesters to "think this out and plan for all contingencies."
It's not immediately clear when these demonstrations might happen in the US — or if they even will materialize — though some on Telegram have suggested organizing protests in March.
Insider was able to access multiple Facebook groups discussing how to organize trucker convoys to Washington. One group — The Freedom Convoy to DC — Northeast Route — has nearly 43,000 members in it.
"Our goal is to muster as many convoy participants as we can and also organize associated support teams to facilitate a smooth and safe trip, to and from DC," the group's about section reads.
Another Facebook group, The People's Convoy, has amassed over 53,000 members in the last week and a half since it was created on January 30.
In a comment to Insider, Facebook's parent company Meta said: "Voicing opposition to government mandates is not against Meta's policies."
They added: "However, we have removed multiple groups and Pages for specifically violating our policies prohibiting QAnon content and those run by spammers including in Vietnam. We continue to monitor the situation and will enforce against violations when they occur."
DC Metropolitan Police and the FBI did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about whether they were planning to address a potential protest.
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