Police have removed Freedom Convoy protesters from Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit in the United States and Windsor in Canada after a week-long blockade.
The Freedom Convoy was founded by truckers in opposition to Covid restrictions and vaccine mandates. Since then the movement has overwhelmingly consisted of far right activists and conspiracy theorists.
Around 12 vehicles and 200 protesters blocked the bridge—the busiest land crossing in North America. An Ontario judge granted an injunction last Friday to remove the protesters. Cops moved in on Sunday and made arrests. Protests in favour of the movement were held in cities across Canada last weekend, with some 4,000 turning out in the capital Ottawa and 1,000 in Toronto.
Protesters waved Donald Trump and Confederate flags and some fascist groups were present. The Freedom Convoy has sparked copycat actions in cities across the world. In New Zealand crowds gathered in the capital Wellington. In the US QAnon promoters have been encouraging actions, including an east to west coast convoy.
In Paris, France, a number of vehicles defied a police barricade to disrupt traffic at the Arc de Triomphe. Now around 1,300 vehicles are travelling to Belgium from France to a banned demonstration in Brussels.
Far right forces hope they could have a resurgence by trying to spread the movement.
Anti-Muslim hatred is spreading across India as hard right BJP supporters whip up a mood of fear.
Earlier this month a state school in the Udupi district of the southern state of Karnataka stopped women students from attending classes if they were wearing a hijab. Now the number of schools banning Muslim head coverings appears to be growing. A school in the city of Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, also joined the attack this week.
In Karnataka the move came after the state-wide education department banned clothes it said, “Disturb equality, integrity and public order”.
When Muslim students protested, they were set upon by far right thugs dressed in saffron scarves—a colour associated with Hindu chauvinists. They shouted, “Jai Shri Ram”—a religious slogan used as hate speech against India’s religious minorities. In the days that followed thousands of people joined protests in support of the Muslim students.
The attacks come as the BJP government struggles in state-wide elections after its deadly mishandling of Covid and the farmers’ movement that has galvanised the opposition.
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