MONUMENT • Several truckers from Colorado’s Front Range and other truckers passing by the Monument’s Pilot truck stop on Wednesday voiced their support for truckers protesting vaccination mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.
Wednesday marked the 12th day of ongoing protests in the capital, Ottawa, where 400 trucks remain parked in the middle of downtown streets while three points along the Canada-US border were clogged with protesters, disrupting traffic and potentially creating business disruption, according to a New York Times report.
“I totally agree,” said Jacob Meece, a trucker from Massachusetts. “I think the warrants would be extremely disruptive to the industry and the economy as a whole here. I would say 90% of these drivers here don’t want to get one.”
But truckers like Ervin Ruiz, a local driver who hauls loads in the Front Range, said he was vaccinated but believe drivers in Canada should have the right to protest. He also pointed out that while U.S. drivers don’t have a federal vaccination mandate, those entering Canada should be vaccinated.
“We had to obey the law across the border,” Ruiz said.
Dustin Lowe, also a local driver, supported the protests.
“I think it’s great that they have the time to stand up and speak out and try to speak for everyone else,” Lowe said.
Despite disruptions from protests in the city of Ottawa, where residents’ lives have been turned upside down, in his eyes, the warrants were more disruptive.
“Hopefully he declares these warrants to be bulls—-,” Lowe said. “They’re closing businesses, they’re just closing businesses so people get shot.”
Lowe also expressed pride that the protests were making people consider blue-collar workers.
“Let them blow,” Lowe said, referring to the trucker horns that sounded in Ottawa. “Finally they’ve got something loud enough for them to hear. They gotta watch out for the little guy, we’re the ones that make the world go round.”
Don Blair, a trucker who traveled from Arizona to Michigan via Denver, also showed his support for workers like him and those in Canada.
“The drivers in Canada, they’re going to push,” Blair said. “And people here might learn that there are two things you can’t live without – truckers and farmers. If you don’t like truckers, then don’t buy anything, because we’ve touched it.”
Blair said he caught and recovered from COVID-19 once during the pandemic, but was not in favor of masking.
“Government is spiraling out of control everywhere,” Blair said. “Let them sit there and turn it off. Let everything blow up, then maybe everything will be fixed.”
But Blair acknowledged the backlash the protests could unleash on truckers.
“It’s going to be less loads, big loads,” Blair said. “It’s not the drivers who are going to hurt, it’s the American people – so who are they going to blame?”
Blair also expressed support for a US convoy that could take place in March. Until then, truckers like Blair, Meece and the others hope people listen to concerns raised by protesters in Canada.
“It’s bad and that’s how it is, but they have to do what they have to do,” Meece said. “If they move, then it’s all for nothing.”
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