Many participants in the World Unity convoy claim to have been part of the freedom convoy in 2022, contrary to the health measures that were still in place at the time.
The protesters had caused major blockades, especially in downtown Ottawa and at several locations along the border with the United States.
According to World Unity convoy organizer Walter Hiebert, Manitoba’s 2023 convoy is different. Camp Hope has nothing to do with the anti-sanitation convoy. We want to bring people together and keep the peace, he says.
However, Walter Hiebert says he was part of the protests in Ottawa and twice sprayed with cayenne pepper. He argues that current events are about restoring hope to those who have lost them.
“Camp Hope is not here to attack the government or block roads. »
— A quote from Walter Hiebert, organizer of the World Unity Convoy
Organizers expect to welcome hundreds of people from across the country to the place they have dubbed Camp Hope.
Photo: Radio Canada
The 2023 Manitoba convoy was lined up near Winnipeg shortly after Judge Rouleau found the federal government was right to invoke the Emergency Act to end the 2022 protests.
In an email, the Manitoba RCMP notes that they are working with Winnipeg Police Department to ensure security around the crime scene and that authorities are preparing for a possible increase in the number of vehicles on nearby roads.
According to Walter Hiebert, the group is in constant contact with the authorities and the police visit Camp Hope on a daily basis.
We want to protect the police and let them protect us. We want to work with them to restore Canada.
Objections to the convoy
At a news conference Friday, Manitoba Attorney General Kelvin Goertzen said the provincial government would not accept any new blockades. People have the right to protest, but not to disrupt other people’s lives, he said.
In 2022, protesters settled in front of the Winnipeg Houses of Parliament and blocked the border with the United States at Emerson, 110 km south of the city.
On Thursday, a dozen Manitoba organizations joined forces to form the Community Solidarity Manitoba coalition, which opposes far-right movements and is concerned about the convoy that has formed near Winnipeg.
The Coalition encourages the government to protect Manitobans by stopping the World Unity convoy from spreading hate symbols and messages.
In the case of targeted intimidation, freedom of assembly does not apply, says coalition spokeswoman Diwa Marcelino.
According to Walter Hiebert, the event should end on February 21.
With information from Brittany Greenslade, Catherine Tunney, Steph Cram, Richard Raycraft and Joseph Tunney