The trucker convoy begun in Canada is planning protests in the United States and around the world. That is, if they can stay on track.
To organizers’ great chagrin, some of the main Telegram channels for the convoy protests keep getting overrun with conspiracy theories, including QAnon. Administrators repeatedly post warnings not to discuss various conspiracies and ban those who do—but they keep showing up.
The trucker convoy protests converged on Ottawa, Canada last month. Originally a single-issue protest of COVID-19 restrictions on cross-border truckers, the movement quickly evolved to apply to all pandemic rules, then to government overreach in general.
Some organizers have embraced the shift, which attracts supporters and donations.
The administrators of some convoy channels on Telegram aren’t so sure that all the expansion is a good thing. They’ve grown concerned that the conspiracy theories that keep clogging up their channels are distracting from their purpose and undermining their legitimacy.
The admins of the People’s Convoy (Official) Discussion Group and the Official Freedom Canada Convoy 2022 have attempted to tamp down on the conspiracy theories by establishing rules against posting about them. Nevertheless, the channels, both of which have roughly 50,000 subscribers, are struggling to keep abreast of the flood of conspiracies.
Their frustration has grown palpable in recent days.
“Q AND QANON TALKS STOPS NOW. EITHER VIEWPOINT WARRANTS AUTOMATIC BAN,” an admin of the People’s Convoy channel posted on Tuesday.
“PLEASE TEST ME,” they added when people didn’t heed the warning to stop posting about a cabal of cannibalistic pedophile Satanists controlling the world.
Another conspiracy theory the People’s Convoy has banned concerns the United Nations. In recent days, a conspiracy emerged that the U.N. had troops in Canada.
“UN foreign troops occupy Canada,” wrote one subscriber in the People’s Convoy channel. Another opined that the authorities hoped the convoy would “give them an excuse to enact martial law after which the UN will be given powers to police the country.”
Subscribers piled on with additional U.N. conspiracies.
The conspiracy about U.N. troops was incited by a photo of a U.N. plane on a tarmac and false rumors that Ottawa police who cleared the protest area were actually from the U.N.
As the People’s Convoy admins and several subscribers explained, the U.N. doesn’t have troops in Canada. The vice mayor of North Bay, Ontario, where the plane was photographed, told CNN that the conspiracy was “so stupid.” “Totally nuts,” added the spokesperson for the Canadian Public Safety Minister, per CNN.
In an effort to get things back on track, on Monday, People’s Convoy administrators posted a blanket warning telling people to stop posting about the U.N.
“No UN talk please that was overplayed the last two days we are done with it,” the warning states. “Posts will be deleted.”
The rule against posting about the U.N. and various other topics is pinned to the top of the channel. It’s been posted several times a day since Monday.
The warnings haven’t been particularly effective.
People continue posting conspiracies about pedophiles, cannibals, and the U.N.
It probably isn’t helping matters that one of their sister channels, TruckersforFreedom, has been blasting the conspiracy about U.N. troops to its 100,000 subscribers for nearly a week.
TruckersforFreedom most recently repeated the conspiracy about U.N. troops on Wednesday morning.
The American convoy departs from Southern California at 10am local time today. They plan to arrive in the Washington, D.C. area on March 5.
According to a press release, the truckers expect to be joined by others who oppose pandemic restrictions and mandatory COVID vaccinations.
“The message of The People’s Convoy is simple,” the release states. “…it is now time to re-open the country.”
The release doesn’t mention pedophiles, cannibalism, or the U.N.