There is a lot going on in the world right now as far as the pandemic. We’re now years into it, and tensions are running high across the many countries.
In Europe, COVID-19 testing sites have had to hire professional security, and vaccination centers are doing the same. In France, hundreds of vials of the COVID-19 jab were destroyed near Toulouse. In the Netherlands, a group of young people set fire to a testing center. In the UK, protestors entered a testing center and were filmed shouting at the medical staff.
People are protesting throughout the world because of COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination mandates. These protests have significant ripple effects as well.
Below we talk about some of the situations happening globally right now, particularly as far as protests.
Protest Planned for Brussels
There is talk about a potential coordinated convoy of anti-vaccine mandate protestors in Europe. The group is expected to head to Brussel’s on Valentine’s Day. Police say they are preparing for any violence that might occur, but they aren’t yet sure of the specific plans of the protestors.
A spokesperson for Belgian Interior Minster Annelies Verlinden told POLITICO local law enforcement was closely following calls for demonstrations. She said despite the monitoring, they don’t know what the exact plans are for the European Freedom Convoy or the size of the movement.
Tens of thousands of people are said to have been planning the event, often using Telegram and other encrypted messaging services. The groups are thought to come from all 27 member countries and have ties to similar movements in North America and Australia.
In France, there have been protests every weekend for months. The French are protesting to reject a law that would add more restrictions on people without a COVID-19 vaccine. The bill is being debated in Parliament currently.
Authorities in France are banning road blockades from being threatened by the above-mentioned protest. The Paris police department said it’s banning protests that aim to block the capital, and they said they will put measures in place to “protect roads and detain violators.”
Blocking traffic can lead to two years in jail, a fine equal to more than $5,000, and a suspended driver’s license, according to a recent statement from the police department.
Online chats in France have been calling for drivers to head to Paris before then moving onto Brussels. In Belgium, truckers are being called on to converge on the capital, which is home to the European Union government.
Organizers of the French convoy say their goal is to make their voices peacefully heard as a means to ending the health pass. The health pass requires that you have proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to go into public venues in France.
The protest that has gotten the most attention worldwide throughout the entire pandemic is the one in Canada. Currently, Canadian truckers have blocked access to three border crossings in Michigan, Montana, and North Dakota.
The Canadian government said it would send officers and resources to the protests that are taking place throughout the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the blockades are hurting jobs and the economy.
For weeks, the trucks have blocked the central downtown area of Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada. The demonstrators have parked their tractor-trailers in the middle of main roadways between Canada and the U.S.
Protestors are also blocking access to the Ambassador Bridge, connecting Detroit and Windsor. It’s the busiest point of international crossing in North America.
Semi-trailers and farm equipment also closed down the border that connects Emerson, Manitoba, to Pembina, North Dakota. The access point located between Alberta and Montana is also blocked.
These protests, like others worldwide, started as a result of truckers opposing a rule in Canada requiring vaccination when crossing the Canada-U.S. border. For unvaccinated border crossers, there is a mandatory two-week quarantine.
The Freedom Convoy, as it’s being called, has drawn others who are against COVID-19 restrictions.
Many of the protestors have spoken to the media, saying they won’t leave until all mandates are gone.
The blockades are slowing and disrupting the movement of goods and are leading to production issues at car manufacturing plants located along the border. Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors all say they are having production problems because of the blockade.
At the Ottawa International Airport, vehicles were disrupting traffic.
City leaders of Ottawa say they’re going to try and get an injunction against the protestors, and if they don’t move on, the mayor said equipment would be brought in to unblock the border crossing.
Article by Born Realist