Canadian Trucker Protest Videos Go Viral As 'Truckistan' Meme Spreads Online

Dozens of photos, videos and memes on social media showing the Canadian truckers protest have gone viral, including one that depicts the country as "Truckistan," as thousands remain in the capital Ottawa in opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

After a week-long drive across Canada, a huge "Freedom Convoy" of big rigs arrived in Ottawa over the weekend, causing chaos and bringing the whole city to a standstill. Truckers are protesting a vaccine mandate for the industry brought in by Trudeau. Under the measures, unvaccinated cross-border truckers have to quarantine when they return home.

Despite the majority of the protests being peaceful, the police said it had opened several investigations into violence and threating behavior around the demonstrations.

A GoFundMe campaign to support the truckers has raised, as of Monday, more than C$9 million ($7.1 million) from over 112,000 donors.

About 90 percent of Canada's 120,000 cross-border truckers and 77 percent of the country's entire population have had two COVID-19 vaccination shots. CBC reported on Saturday that Trudeau and his family left their downtown Ottawa home due to security concerns.

One meme that has been spreading quickly online is a map of North America with "Truckistan" in place instead of "Canada." Among sharers of that meme were Jenna Ellis, former adviser to President Donald Trump, and Jack Posobiec, a host on Human Events, a conservative political news site.

Posobiec shared a video of protesters dancing in central Ottawa, which was viewed more than 480,000 times, receiving more than 25,300 likes and nearly 7,000 retweets.

Another video shows Ezra Levant, publisher of Rebel News, a Canadian far-right news outlet, speaking to a crowd of protesters in the country's capital.

"It is cold today; it is cold today. Almost as cold as Justin Trudeau's heart," Levant said in the video.

He urged the crowd to "keep speaking truth to power" before declaring that the mainstream media "is a subsidiary of the liberal party," and that demonstrators should record the event on their phones to spread the message.

"The government says you're racist, the government says you're sexist, the government says you're violent. In the meantime, I've never seen a more diverse group of Canadians. Justin Trudeau says you're extreme, but he is the one who has violated our civil rights," Levant said.

"The point is the convoy itself to show that you're not alone, to show that you're not the crazy one they are, to show that you're not the un-Canadian one, they are. You have already achieved your goal just by being here and the fact that millions of dollars came into the GoFundMe for the truckers, even if they would have canceled that, it was still a success because it was a measurement of how much people cared. You have succeeded just by being here."

The video was viewed over 917,000 times, garnering more than 30,400 likes and over 9,300 retweets.

A video shared on Twitter by populist news site Election Wizard shows hundreds of truckers driving towards Ottawa in the snow with the country's national anthem, "O Canada," being played in the background. It received over 850,000 views and more than 23,300 likes.

Another post by Levant, which received more than 1,400 retweets and over 2,800 likes, shows a large police presence outside Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where thousands of protesters gathered.

Police in Ottawa have started investigations into several incidents relating to the protests, including the appearance of Nazi swastika flags and footage of a woman dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some of the investigations are relating to charges of a violent nature, Ottawa Police said in a Twitter post.

"Several criminal investigations are underway in relation to the desecration of the National War Memorial/Terry Fox statue, threatening/illegal/intimidating behaviour to police/city workers and other individuals and damage to a city vehicle," the post said.

"Illegal behavior will not be tolerated and will be fully investigated. We have investigative and evidence-gathering teams in place to support the management of the demonstration."

The Canadian defense minister condemned the incidents as "beyond reprehensible."

Canadian truckers protest
Supporters of the Freedom Convoy protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in front of Parliament on January 29, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. Dozens of videos on social media showing the Canadian truckers protest have gone viral, as thousands remain in the capital Ottawa to protest President Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Lars Hagberg/Getty