Fox News host Sean Hannity has said that the Canadian truckers who are protesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s vaccine mandates might have to defend themselves as a result of emergency powers that have been invoked to increase police presence.
The self-styled “Freedom Convoy” began as a protest against Trudeau’s requirement for truckers to quarantine if they are unvaccinated and cross the border with the U.S. But as the protests have grown, they have also been rallying against wider COVID-19 restrictions, such as lockdowns and having to wear masks.
Commenting on the protests, Hannity said on Fox News on Monday: “The truckers have been peaceful. If this turns into something else because he’s sending people in there directly to confront them, I can’t guarantee at that point that people won’t defend themselves.”
“Is Trudeau that stupid? It doesn’t seem that bright to me,” he added.
Newsweek has contacted Hannity for further comment.
Hannity was responding to the Canadian Prime Minister invoking emergency powers for the first time in 50 years on Sunday. The government under the Emergencies Act took steps to reinforce provincial and local law enforcement with federal police. Trudeau’s government also vowed to freeze bank accounts of the truckers and declared that financial institutions would not need a court order to do so.
The government also threatened to suspend insurance on the truckers’ rigs and tow away vehicles that keep essential services running.
Trudeau has ruled out using the military to restore order, despite having power to do that under the Emergencies Act.
The Canadian leader said that the state was not trying to override the charter of rights and freedoms, nor stopping people from being able to protest legally.
Despite reports of violence and multiple arrests from the demonstrations, Hannity has previously described the truckers as “peaceful protesters”. He has accused Trudeau of “vilifying these truckers and calling them racist” and said that the protesters came from varying backgrounds and all have the same aim.
The protests started in western Canada in January, arriving in the capital Ottawa on January 28 and blocking the city’s main roads, causing chaos and disruption for the last two weeks. Protesters had also blocked the Ambassador Bridge, the vital trade route between Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, U.S, for almost a week. The bridge was re-opened on Sunday after the protesters were dispersed.
The Canadian protest movement has seen its popularity rise globally, and has spread to multiple countries including France, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.
A similar convoy is being planned to begin in Los Angeles on February 25 and make the journey to Washington D.C over a course of months.
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