'We are going all the way, whatever it takes': 'Freedom Convoy' makes its way through London, Ont.
Supporters showed up in droves, converging on highway overpasses and along roadways waving flags and signs, backing the 'Freedom Convoy' as it made its way through London, Ont. Thursday.
"We're just here to support the truckers, our freedom of choice, our freedom of rights,” said Jen Humphreys, who lined the Wellington Road overpass with her two daughters.
The group of truckers began a cross-country trip in British Columbia over the weekend and are headed to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
"We are going all the way, whatever it takes, we have food fuel and everything, and a ton of support behind us - we mandate freedom, that's what this is all about,” said Felipe Wiebe, a truck driver for over 25 years.
The protest was initially organized in response to a new rule prohibiting unvaccinated truckers from crossing the border without quarantining.
But participants at the demonstrations say that it is also about various other policies that they say infringe on their freedoms.
"This is not about vaccines, it's about choice. I’m in a free country, I am a free man, so I can do whatever I want to,” said Gurtek Singh, an independent truck driver who joined the protest at the Flying J Travel Center in London.
"Unfortunately now we're being forced to either vaccinate or lose our jobs, and not be able to go to church, so we're just here, we're fighting for freedom and standing together like Canadians do,” said convoy supporter Linda Koopman.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the protest during a press conference Wednesday.
"Small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, or are holding unacceptable views that they're expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians."
The Canadian Trucking Alliance has also made it clear that it has nothing to do with the protest.
Supporters also gathered at the Flying J, a gas station in London, Ont., waiting for the truck convoy to arrive.
"My great grandpa and my grandma fought for freedom in this country, and that's what Canada’s stood for and we've always fought for it for everybody else, so it's time to fight for it for us,” said Kelly Corneal, who came out with her parents to support truckers.
In social media posts, the Ontario Provincial Police warned drivers of potential delays along the major 400-series highways and issued alerts regarding emergency responders experiencing difficulty responding to calls.
Organizers say that the event in Ottawa will be peaceful and will follow all local laws, as Ottawa police plan for several days of protests.
As of Jan. 23, all non-Americans entering the United States at a land border must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including Canadian truckers.
- With files from CTV News Toronto
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