Australian truck drivers plan to block the highways in protest of COVID-19 vaccines and how the governments have handled their COVID-19 responses.
According to social media posts, the protests are planned for Aug. 31 across the country, separate to the upcoming Transport Worker Union (TWU) backed protest over a pay dispute.
“Block every hwy [highway] entering into every state all at the same time & take back Australia,” one post on Facebook said while warning people to stock up on enough food for a couple of weeks while truckies aim to block supply routes across the country.
In videos on Twitter, truck drivers also expressed their frustration with vaccines and the government orders around them.
One man said he would join the protest and was “willing to go to jail to save my country” by shutting the country down.
Another truckie expressed his anger at the Queensland government for requiring truck drivers crossing the Queensland-New South Wales border to show proof of vaccination.
He said the long-term effects of the vaccine were unknown, adding that truck drivers had a large chance of developing clots due to the nature of their job where they are required to sit for long periods of time.
“Block the highway, man. Park her up,” he said. “See how good Queensland goes without freight going in and out.”
New South Wales police have said that they are aware of the planned protest.
“NSW Police will continue to conduct Operation STAY AT HOME to ensure compliance with the public health orders,” an NSW spokesman told Yahoo News Australia.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said it was “no wonder” that truck drivers were angry given the numerous snap border decisions and health orders that have affected their work.
However, while the union understood the anger of the truck drivers, Kaine said they did not endorse this protest.
“All I’m saying is that there is a whole series of issues that are facing truckies,” Kaine told 2GB radio. “Underlying that anger are serious issues that the government has to address.”
TWU has organised their own protest with logistics giant Toll, a move supported by thousands of truck drivers who voted in agreement for strike action as a last resort.