Senate

Sen. Rand Paul on trucker convoys protesting in US: ‘I’m all for it’

Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) expressed support for trucker convoys potentially protesting COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S. as they have in Canada.

“I’m all for it,” Paul said in an interview with The Daily Signal, a publication run by the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Civil disobedience is a time-honored tradition in our country, from slavery to civil rights, you name it. Peaceful protest, clog things up, make people think about the mandates.”

“And some of this, we started,” Paul said. “We put [COVID-19] mandates on truckers coming across the border from Canada so then they put mandates on, and the truckers are annoyed. They’re riding in a cab by themselves, most of them for eight, 10-hour long hauls, and they just want to do what they want to do. It’s their own business.”

“Freedom Convoy” demonstrations in Canada, which began as protests against COVID-19 mandates impacting truck drivers, have since spread to cities around the country and attracted support from some Americans.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned law enforcement partners earlier this week that U.S.-based truck drivers may stage similar demonstrations in support of the Canadian movement. The agency said it had received reports that a convoy is potentially planning to travel from California to Washington, D.C., and block roads in major U.S. cities to protest vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions.

“It’d be great, but the thing is, it wouldn’t shut the city down because the government workers haven’t come to work in two years anyway,” Paul told The Daily Signal of a potential convoy traveling to the U.S. capital. “I don’t know if it’ll affect D.C. It’d be a nice change. We’d actually have some traffic.” 

The Canadian protests have in the past week blocked three border crossings between the U.S. and Canada and caused disruptions in the American auto industry.

President Biden on Friday spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has condemned the protests, and expressed concern “that U.S. companies and workers are experiencing serious effects, including slowdowns in production, shortened work hours, and plant closures.”

Canadian police on Saturday moved to break up a protest on the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Canada and the U.S. 

“We urge all demonstrators to act lawfully & peacefully. Commuters are still being asked to avoid the areas affected by the demonstrations at this time,” Windsor, Ontario, police said.

Tags Canadian trucker convoy Convoy Freedom Convoy Joe Biden Justin Trudeau Rand Paul

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