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Explainer: How has the 'freedom convoy' spread?

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Blaring horns, impassable streets... all the work of a new movement calling itself 'Freedom Convoy.'

Truck drivers demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates have disrupted major Canadian cities and clogged key U.S.-Canada border crossings.

And now, copycat protests are spreading around the world.

How did this all start?

After vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers were imposed in January by Canada and the United States, a so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ was organized in protest.

Truck drivers traveled across Canada to Ottawa… then parked themselves downtown in a show of solidarity.

The protests have expanded to oppose government restrictions more generally against unvaccinated people, with signs like: "Vaccines don't save people, Jesus saves people" and "No I won’t back down."

What impact are the protests having?

Two border blockades – one in Ontario and one in Alberta - are disrupting hundreds of millions of dollars in Canada-U.S. trade ranging from cattle to car parts.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to meet with protest organizers while butting heads with opposition lawmakers over coronavirus restrictions.

"We're going to stay focused on keeping people alive, and safe, and healthy and indeed prosperous..."

Some provinces have eased COVID-19 measures since the start of the protests, but have denied there's a connection.

How has law enforcement reacted?

A court granted an interim injunction this week preventing people from sounding horns in downtown Ottawa.

Protesters say they are peaceful but some Ottawa residents have reported being harassed, and some protesters have waved Confederate flags and swastikas.

Police have generally avoided aggressive efforts to end the blockade… and hope a combination of criminal charges, traffic tickets and the prospect of losing access to fuel will disperse demonstrators.

Police say they’ve arrested at least 23 people.

How is the Canadian-born protest spreading?

The protests – which were recently praised by Former U.S. President Donald Trump – have since sprung up in Australia, New Zealand and France...

Like in the city of Perpignan on Wednesday, where some 200 people gathered en route to Paris in a ‘freedom convoy’ of cars, some camper vans and one heavy-goods vehicle.

Truckers in the United States have said they are planning similar demonstrations.