Twitter Bans Freedom Convoy Account From Platform

The official Twitter account of the Canadian truckers protesting over COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions around the pandemic was suspended by the social media network on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Twitter told Newsweek: "The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on ban evasion."

The rules include user not being allowed to circumvent permanent suspensions. This include making a new account to serve the same purpose as an account that has been spending.

According to Twitter's website, it may choose to suspend accounts that violate the network's rules. These include rules around safety, which prohibits threatening or promoting violence, terrorism, child sexual exploitation on a profile. There is a ban on abuse and harassment, hateful conduct, suicide or self-harm, as well as other "sensitive media."

Thousands of truckers are protesting a vaccine mandate for the industry brought in by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whereby lorry drivers will have to be vaccinated to cross the Canadian-U.S. border. The self-styled "Freedom Convoy"—comprising big rigs and protesters—first arrived in the capital on the evening of January 28, clogging up the city's main streets and bringing it to a standstill.

Disgruntled residents have also reported finding it hard to sleep due to loud music, fireworks going off and truck horns tooting.

Newsweek also contacted Trucks For Freedom for its reaction on the ban.

Trudeau on Monday demanded that the truckers stopped protesting. Just the day before, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson warned that "someone is going to get killed" by the protest. He also declared a state of emergency in the city on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the movement had raised nearly $6 million in fundraising, despite GoFundMe taking own an original page accepting donations to support the truck drivers in the convoy.

The international support for the truckers has been growing, with protests taking place from the UK and the Netherlands to the U.S. and New Zealand.

A small number of the movement's supporters have been accused of being involved in violent, racist and conspiracy theory-baiting actions. The Ottawa Police Service has condemned some of their actions as "extremely disruptive and unlawful behavior."

They have made several arrests, and seized fuel and vehicles over the weekend. The police force have also opened several criminal investigations into what they described "threatening" and "illegal behavior" by some of the protesters.

Former U.S. president Donald Trump has come out in support of the protesters. On Friday 4 February, Trump welcomed the truckers to his new alternative social media platform, Truth Social, which is set to launch later this month.

Canadian truckers
A man holds a Canadian flag near Parliament Hill as demonstrators continue to protest the vaccine mandates implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 7, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. The official Twitter account for the Canadian truckers protesting over vaccine mandates, “TruckersForFreedom”, was suspended by the social media network on Tuesday. Dave Chan/Getty