Freedom Convoy in Winnipeg planning for February reunion

Freedom Convoy in Winnipeg planning for February reunion

The potential reemergence of a Freedom Convoy to Winnipeg is concerning some folks in downtown who fear they may be facing another problem similar to a protest earlier this year.

Freedom Convoy in Winnipeg

The truck convoy outside the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on Feb. 6, 2022.

Francois Jordaan lives with his family near the Manitoba Legislature.

Normally a quiet neighbourhood, Jordaan says their lives were upended when the ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Winnipeg lasted about four weeks in February 2022, protesting pandemic mandates and COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

“It was a really bad experience, constantly noise pollution, and it just felt like our rights didn’t matter. We were living there and we didn’t have any peace whatsoever,” he told CTV News. “It was a horrible experience.”

Now Jordaan is concerned the convoy may happen again.

Freedom Convoy in Winnipeg

The organizers of Canada Unity, the group that gridlocked downtown Ottawa earlier this year, announced Winnipeg is its next destination on a Facebook live video this past weekend.

“We choose Winnipeg because it is the middle point in Canada. So people can come from the East Coast, the West Coast. We will be able to convoy across the nation,” Colin ‘Big Bear’ Ross, a co-founder of the group, said in the video.

Ross said the convoy will focus on finding solutions for the future, but didn’t give more details about the event.

“When I read the news that they were coming back, I kind of freaked out a little bit,” Jordaan said. “I know what is going to happen, all those nights when you couldn’t sleep and all you could hear was that constant horn honking. Every time I hear one now, I just kind of get a shock.”

Area Coun. Sherri Rollins said she has already fielded calls from worried Winnipeggers. She sent a clear message for those planning to participate in the convoy.

freedom convoy sign in Winnipeg

A sign displayed in last. year’s Freedom Convoy in Winnipeg that says “Mandate Freedom”

“Don’t come to Winnipeg. Figure out how to participate in political activity, and don’t occupy where people live and people sleep,” Rollins said. “They shouldn’t be allowed to enter the city. They shouldn’t be allowed to stay, and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to disrupt downtown like we saw.”

Winnipeg police said they are aware of the event planned for February and is assessing the information.

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