The Freedom Convoy’s protest against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions has spread across the border to the United States on late Monday, sparking traffic delays as a massive convoy of trucks settled to blockade the Ambassador Bridge. They do not plan to move.
The bridge, which connects to Windsor, Ontario from Detroit, Michigan, was eventually shut down by nightfall according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The bridge is a key route for freight transportation between Canada and the United States, prompting concerns among transportation leaders that it will have a massive impact on the supply chain and on Michigan businesses that rely on transported goods.
"Any delay or disruption in the supply chain creates problems, not just for agriculture but the state economy," said Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association to the Detroit News.
Lippstreu estimated that 30-50% of truckers became ineligible to cross the border following the imposition of the vaccine mandate.
"We are very concerned frankly that these policies are threatening international trade and commerce with our No. 1 partner," he said. "We urge governments on both sides to rethink some common sense exemptions."
Windsor police stated on Twitter that the exit from the span onto Huron Church Road was temporarily interrupted and warned drivers to avoid the area: "Officers are working to restore the orderly flow of traffic in the safest manner possible."
“We urge those involved not to endanger members of the public, jeopardize public peace or participate in illegal events. Those found committing crimes will be investigated & charged,” police said.
The new blockade follows days of Freedom Truck protests, which remain ongoing, in Ottowa that have paralyzed the city’s downtown core. Protesters have said that they do not intend on leaving until freedom is improved and the mandates are lifted by the Trudeau federal government and provincial governments.