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Like many who gathered near the Alberta legislature to support a truck convoy that inched through the streets of downtown Edmonton for several hours on Saturday, Kyla Keulers has been to protests against travel restrictions before. COVID-19 health.

But there were so many people at Saturday’s event, and so many truck horns blaring, that he felt optimistic that things are about to change, that his protests will finally make a difference.

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Traffic jam: trucker convoy stretches through downtown Edmonton

“I think people are really waking up and we’re all coming together,” Keulers said, standing next to a stroller with her 3-month-old son inside.

“I want to be able to choose and I want my son to be able to choose, and it’s just ridiculous what the government thinks it can do.”

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Big rigs, passenger vehicles snarl through downtown Ottawa as the convoy of truckers parks in front of Parliament

The event, which according to a provincial spokesperson drew several thousand people, was one of numerous convoys held in conjunction with a national convoy against vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers that passed through Canada last week and arrived in Ottawa. Saturday.

“I think there are a lot of people who have been silenced because we have been bullied into being silent,” said Megan Crowther, who attended the Edmonton protest with her four children, their parents and friends.

“We cannot get on a train, a plane, a bus. We have lost our right to have a job. People are losing their houses,” he said.

Other protesters openly espoused debunked conspiracy theories about the virus and the vaccines used to combat it.

People gather in support of the trucker convoy protesting measures taken by authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19 and vaccination mandates at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Saturday, January 29, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jason Francon.

Click to play video: 'Calgarians Opposing COVID-19 Restrictions Join National Protest'

Calgarians Opposing COVID-19 Restrictions Join National Outcry

Calgarians Opposing COVID-19 Restrictions Join National Outcry

Further south, at the US border in Coutts, Alta., RCMP said several hundred, possibly as many as 1,000 vehicles, participated in another protest, eventually blocking Highway 4 to the US border crossing at both directions.

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Cpl. Curtis Peters, an RCMP spokesman, said there was no access to the border on the Canadian side and US officials were diverting traffic from the other side.

He said no arrests had been made as of Saturday afternoon, but Coutts was on lockdown in case emergency vehicles needed to enter.

“We’re engaging in a dialogue with them and encouraging them to rethink that,” Peters said from Coutts on Saturday afternoon.

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Protests in BC Held in Support of Anti-Vaccine Mandate Trucker Convoy

Vancouver police posted on Twitter shortly after 1 p.m. that heavy traffic across the city due to the “planned trucker convoy protest” could cause disruption.

Victoria Police also tweeted that a large protest was disrupting traffic around the provincial legislature, while videos posted on social media showed a group of trucks and other vehicles in Prince George honking their horns in support of protesters in Ottawa.

Nova Scotia issued a directive intended to bar those protesting COVID-19 measures from blocking the Trans-Canada Highway near the New Brunswick border.

The province said the directive also applies to people who have stopped or gathered alongside the highway in support of Freedom Convoy 2022, the Atlantic Hold the Line event or others organizing to interfere with traffic.

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Ultimately, however, a storm forced the highway between the provinces to be closed and traffic was diverted over the boundary at Amherst, NS.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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