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Bitterroot 'rallies' with Freedom Convoy in protest of COVID mandates

Bitterroot Freedom Convoy
Bitterroot Freedom Convoy
Posted at 10:07 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 12:01:50-05

HAMILTON — MTN News has continuing coverage on the "Freedom Convoys" that have been protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Canada and the US.

We have been covering the story from near the border — and on Sunday the rallies came through the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.

There were about 50 vehicles decorated with American, Canadian, and political flags at the K-Mart parking lot in Hamilton — as well as signs saying "we love truckers" and supporting those truckers as they rally against mandates.

Bitterroot Freedom Convoy
Supporters of "Freedom Convoys" gather in Hamilton on Feb. 20, 2022.

“The point of all of this is just freedom of choice," said event organizer David Bethman. "We don't care if people get the vaccine or don't get the vaccine. That's a personal decision.”

On Sunday a crowded parking lot was filled with decorated pickup trucks and big rigs protesting COVID-19 mandates.

“We're all just hard-working Americans and Canadians and we just we just want to get rid of the mandate,” said Montana trucker Steve Smith.

The rally was in reaction to vaccine requirements for truckers to work across the northern border with supporters expressing mixed emotions and explaining why they came out to participate.

Bitterroot Freedom Convoy
Dozens of vehicles gathered in the K-mart parking lot on Feb. 20, 2022, to support "Freedom Convoys".

“I don't like people sitting here telling me what to do, how to do it,” said retired trucker Bobby Tucker.

“Elated, happy you know, it's it's a good feeling,” added Enrique Cruz a trucker from Hamilton.

Cruz added that he came out to support what he calls a brotherhood, "you know so we can come together for this we can come together for a lot more,” said Cruz.

They weren’t alone; along the route to Missoula, supporters on the side of the road waved and cheered.