Freedom Convoy truckers showed Ottawa is 'authoritarian,' U.S. presidential hopeful says

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Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy thanked Canadian truckers for their “civil disobedience” during the Freedom Convoy protests of 2022.

Ramaswamy made the comments while announcing a campaign stop in a video posted on his official account on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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“Let me tell you something, truckers of our country are the backbone of this country,” Ramaswamy began.

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“It’s not just about moving things from place to place,” he said.

“That’s our entire supply chain. That’s how our economy runs. That’s how we’re able to live our modern way of life,” Ramaswamy added, calling truckers “people who’ve been on the frontlines of standing for liberty.”

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The 38-year-old former biotech executive then praised the anti-mandate protests in Ottawa led by truckers in early 2022.

“Remember that Canadian convoy of truckers who bravely stood up against the vaccine mandates? Well the Canadian government revealed how authoritarian they really are, silencing those truckers with censorship, even seizing or freezing their personal bank accounts,” Ramaswamy said.

“That was wrong, and I respect those who through their civil disobedience revealed civil overreach on the part of government, administrative overreach,” he said.

“Thank you to those truckers in Canada for doing their part,” Ramaswamy added.

Ramaswamy’s video was captioned with a note claiming the Freedom Convoy was “a valuable lesson about the power of civil protest against an out-of-control totalitarian government.”

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The Freedom Convoy protests brought massive crowds of protesters and scores of big-rig trucks to Ottawa in a demonstration against COVID-19 public-health restrictions.

The protest lasted for about three weeks, as participants blocked downtown streets with their vehicles and camped out next to Parliament Hill.

About 280 bank accounts of protestors were frozen using powers granted by the Emergencies Act, according to testimony from Michael Sabia, the deputy finance minister. The Act was invoked on Feb. 14, 2022, and withdrawn 10 days later.

Ramaswamy is expected to announce new policies aiming to retain truckers and improve safety when he makes a stop at a large Iowa truck stop on Interstate 80 on Thursday.

Latest polling shows him to be a long-shot candidate. Ramaswamy is polling at about five per cent, behind Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, both at 17 per cent, according to the latest InsiderAdvantage poll. The highly favoured Donald Trump led the pack, with 49 per cent of support.

Additional reporting from Canadian Press

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