On January 23, 2022, a convoy of trucks set off from Vancouver, Canada. Objective: drive 4,400 kilometers due east, to the federal capital Ottawa to challenge the compulsory vaccination against Covid-19, necessary to cross the border with the United States. Called the “Freedom Convoy”, they arrived in the federal capital on Saturday January 29. A mobilization accompanied by impressive images on social networks … and several poisonings.
50,000 trucks have paraded in recent days ? A figure hard to believe
The total number of trucks making up the Canadian convoy is difficult to determine, as some vehicles only made part of the journey. On Facebook and Twitter, pro-trucker users claimed several thousand trucks were in the convoy, with some organizers claiming the figure as high as 50,000 trucks in an online statement, speaking of a set world record speak Guinness Book memories.
Regarding the 50,000 vehicles, the figure is disputed. The police authorities of the city of Kingston (Ontario), through which the convoy passed, counted 104 semi-trailers, 17 trucks, 430 cars and 6 camper vans. On the spot, and in support of police sources, journalist David Akin redid a count by adding the demonstrators who joined the trucks when they arrived in Ottawa. It resulted in a total of 230 trucks, 725 “personal vehicles” ainsist that “2,000 pedestrians”.
In any case, it is not a world record. Guinness Book, as claimed on social media. According to the Book of Records website, “the largest parade of trucks, consisting of 480 vehicles, was carried out by Thaya Misr Fund, in Egypt, on November 20, 2020“. The total length of this convoy was 7.5 kilometers.
An image showing hundreds of thousands of people mobilized in Canada ? A photo taken in Moscow
As is often the case with such events, images are the backbone of a war in which the battle of appearances must be won. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok were flooded with videos of mile-long truck lines and large protest crowds. This is especially the case with this photo of a massive, compact crowd.
This image has nothing to do with Canada or protesting sanitary measures since it was taken in Moscow in March 1991, a few months before the fall of the former Soviet Union, as also noted by the AFP Factual. It was a demonstration to demand the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, then head of the former USSR. Between 300 000 and 500 000 people demonstrated that day.
Another image shared on the networks suggests that “10 000 american truckers” join the “Rangs of Liberty”. Reuters has traced the origin of this photo to an event organized by a heavyweight magazine that took place in Nisku, Alberta, in 2019.
According to dozens of messages on Twitter, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, would have been forced to flee in the face of the scale of the mobilization. A thesis relayed in particular in France by Florian Philippot, leader of the party Les Patriotes.
— Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) January 30, 2022
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were actually escorted out of their home on Saturday to an undisclosed location this Saturday, according to AFP relaying information from Canadian media.
The head of government reappeared around noon – local time – during a press conference given remotely from the residence where he is isolated, after the announcement of his Covid-19 infection.
He announced his return to Parliament in the afternoon. “Later today, I will take part in a question and answer session with the parliamentarians. This afternoon we will present a bill to ensure that we continue to provide the greatest number of rapid tests to municipalities and territories.“, did he declare. “I will be working from home this week and continue to adhere to public safety guidelines”, concluded the Prime Minister.