These anti-vax truckers resent Ukrainian victims of Russian invasion for receiving more media coverage
Some of the silliest messaging from right-wing media in recent weeks is the assertion that the convoy of anti-vax truckers, who have been protesting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vaccine/testing order, represent a profile in courage. A real profile in courage can be found in Ukraine, where everyone from President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Ukrainian military to civilians have vowed to keep fighting the Russian troops that are invading their country. And according to Vice News reporters Mack Lamoureux and Tess Owen, some of the anti-vax truckers resent the fact that Ukrainians have overtaken them in media coverage.
Lamoureux and Owen explain, “Even the ‘Truckers for Freedom’ Telegram channel, with its 96,000 subscribers, can’t decide if it’s more interested in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or their very own convoy puttering across the U.S. of A. As many involved in the so-called Trucker Convoys — the vast majority of vehicles taking part aren’t big rigs — enter the final stretch of their long haul, the group, aiming to end COVID-19 health measures, are disappointed by the lack of eyes on them, particularly after the Canadian version captured the attention of right-wing Americans for weeks.”
As Russia's invasion dominates headlines, some freedom convoy "truckers" are desperately trying to figure out how to make it about them.https://trib.al/jrDV9TO— VICE (@VICE) 1646161226
The so-called “Freedom Convoy” of anti-vax truckers originated with protests in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, and has also included protesters clogging up U.S./Canada border crossings. And American anti-vaxxers in the MAGA movement have responded with protests of their own.
But those protests, according to Lamoureux and Owen, are being overshadowed by coverage of the fighting in Ukraine — and some “Freedom Convoy” participants are feeling resentful and envious.
“While the convoy was big news initially, promoted heavily by both GOP and Fox News personalities, and covered heavily by the mainstream media, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has mostly wiped the group off American television screens and websites,” Lamoureux and Owen observe. “Even the organizing pages are being peppered with conversations about the war, updates on Russian advancements, and brainstorming on how to make this about their protest…. A few ‘truckers’ are upset that people think what the Ukrainian people are going through is as bad as being asked to wear a mask or vaccine mandates.”
One “Freedom Convoy” supporter, for example, posted, “People now say: Well, those ‘Freedom Truckers’ sure picked a bad week to try and get attention for being victims of tyranny. They are starting to twist the events by saying oh our suffering is somehow much less. NO IT IS NOT!”
Some supporters of the U.S. edition of the “Freedom Convoy,” according to Lamoureux and Owen, “want to believe that Putin’s invasion is a conspiracy by the globalists to distract the world from the convoy's message of freedom.” And the organizer of the Truckers for Freedom channel on Telegram is insisting that the anti-vax truckers are the truly courageous ones — not Ukrainians who are trying to dodge bullets and bombs from Russian troops.
“What we see (in Ukraine) is not bravery, it's adrenaline and rush,” that Truckers for Freedom organizer wrote. “Real bravery comes from a good dose of wisdom. The people fighting in wars are not brave but pumped with adrenaline and lacking wisdom…. This is bravery. Support the truckers.”
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