In January 2022, as hundreds of truckers drove across Canada in a “Freedom Convoy” to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates, a video started circulating online that supposedly showed truckers from South Carolina in the United States on their way to join the protest:
Freedom Convoy heading from South Carolina up to Ottawa to stand with us Canadians in ending Mandates! #freedomconvoy #FreedomConvoy2022 #UnitedWeStand #truckers #TruckersForFreedom pic.twitter.com/QQICGBPbDO
— Immortal Indigenous (@misscovurgurll) January 25, 2022
This video is unrelated to the freedom convoy.
This video was originally posted to TikTok by @Farminglife1973, the social media account for the trucking company Bottomley Enterprises, on Jan. 22. While the original post made no specific mentions of the freedom convoy, COVID-19, or vaccines, many people assumed the video was related to the trucker protest in Canada. But that’s not the case.
Here’s the original video:
@connorbottomley2 @legacy.102 @bottomleyenterprises.inc @billyjohnson6138 @troyjmassey @cattlecartelofficial @mayberrychromeshop
This video was actually taken in August 2021, and shows a truck convoy in South Carolina that was participating in an annual fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Michele Bryant, vice president of compliance for Bottomley Enterprises, told Reuters: “The video had nothing to do with convoys headed to Canada.”
At the 1:30 mark of the following video, Bottomley’s yellow truck can be seen participating in the South Carolina convoy for the Special Olympics. The video also appears to show the same trucks in the same order (Bottomley’s yellow truck, a maroon truck pulling a trailer, a black truck, and a white truck) as they are seen in the viral video.
The convoy in Canada involved hundreds of trucks driving to Ontario in order to protest Canada’s requirement to have cross-border truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The CBC reported:
The protest is being organized by Canada Unity, a group that opposes COVID-19-related measures. Its organizers want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to drop the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the Canada-U.S. border and do away with other public health protections.
“Convoy Opposing Trucker Vaccine Mandate Draws Large Crowd, Concerns over Comparison to Holocaust.” Winnipeg, 25 Jan. 2022, https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/convoy-opposing-trucker-vaccine-mandate-draws-large-crowd-concerns-over-comparison-to-holocaust-1.5754240.
Dubinski, Kate. “Trucker Protest against Cross-Border Vaccine Mandates Hits Southwestern Ontario | CBC News.” CBC, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/trucker-protest-convoy-southwestern-ontario-1.6329118. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.
“Fact Check-Video Does Not Show U.S. Truckers Travelling to ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada.” Reuters, 26 Jan. 2022. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-truckers-video-idUSL1N2U63FX.
“Trucking Companies Helped out Those in Need during 2021.” Truckers News, 23 Dec. 2021, https://www.truckersnews.com/life/article/15286676/trucking-companies-helped-out-those-in-need-during-2021.
“Video of US Charity Parade Misrepresented as Anti-Vaccine Mandate Convoy.” Fact Check, 26 Jan. 2022, https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.9X72TT.