While most of the world sits on the edge of their seats as Vladamir Putin continues his invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the Freedom Convoy truckers are preparing to commence their protest in our nation’s capital. Unfortunately for the truckers, who made their name with protests in Canada over masking and vaccine mandates, the landscape has changed, and they seem to be flailing for any way to keep their “movement” relevant.
In recent weeks, many of the masking mandates have gone away or are scheduled to. Some major cities, including New York City, are dropping vaccine mandates for indoor dining and other indoor events. Many concert venues around the country are no longer requiring “health checks” or mandates for attendees, though some remain.
Some Freedom Convoy truckers are trying to say that they are responsible for such things, but that hardly seems to be the case.
So, some Freedom Convoy truckers are now embracing and spreading a conspiracy theory involving Ukraine, Donald Trump, and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The theory goes something like this — The Ukraine invasion is really about Dr. Fauci, who is supposedly manufacturing biological weapons in Ukraine. Putin and Trump are working together to stop Fauci from his heinous scheme. The theory goes on to claim that Putin is not really targeting civilian neighborhoods but actually targeting Fauci’s secret laboratories, which are hidden among the Ukrainian population.
If one thinks that this conspiracy theory coming from the Freedom Convoy sounds like one of those Qanon conspiracies, that would be about the most believable thing about the outlandish, and baseless story. It is said that the tale comes from the extremist group.
Pair with that, at a recent rally on the way to the D.C. protest, speakers ginning up the crowd were heard chanting the Qanon slogan — “Where We Go One We Go All.”
People have been divided about the Freedom Convoy so far. Some support it for the causes, like being against mandates which help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and/or just their right to speak out against the government in the form of a peaceful protest
Others stand against the truckers, pointing out that in addition to many restrictions being eased, the country needs truckers to “do their job” at a time when Americans need them to get goods to America’s stores to mitigate supply chain issues that have left some shelves bare, and contributed to rising prices for many goods and services.
Others have pointed out how the truckers look kind of pathetic with their protests about “freedom” when Ukrainians are fighting for their lives. Memes like the ones below have popped up and gone viral all over social media:
How does this conspiracy theory claim that the story will end? According to extremist researcher Sara Aniano, “In their fantasy, Trump comes back, and the military tribunals commence over Covid tests.”
Of course, another Qanon prediction that never came to pass would have to come true — the one that says Trump will be re-installed as president, for those military tribunals to happen. And whether one comes from a Constitutional perspective or one that is just based in reality, that is not going to happen.
Whether the Freedom Convoy is now being invaded by Qanon assets, or they were there all along and just now rearing their ugly head, is irrelevant. Most Americans will probably see this as a dealbreaker when it comes to their support of the convoy. It wouldn’t be the first time radical fringe groups have overwhelmed legitimate protests that Americans do have the right to participate in or support.
It will be interesting to see if the main elements of the Freedom Convoy remain as Qanon takes over the cause and the messaging.