With the prospect of COVID-19 vaccines being imposed as a condition of employment, travel, education, and more, truckers in the United States joined their peers from other countries in a protest that involved not driving their rigs.
This movement was started by French truckers in mid-August in response to a nationwide requirement of so-called "COVID passports" to enter commercial establishments such as banks, restaurants, shops, and even bakeries.
An American truck driver who became popular on the TikTok social network was the first to call widespread attention to similar protests taking place in Australia, but his account was eventually removed by moderators for ostensibly speaking out against unreasonable vaccine mandates.
“On August 31st, on Tuesday, we’re asking that everybody not go to work,” disrespected trucker explained. “If they’re out on the road, shut your truck down. There are guys that plan on putting their trucks across the road. There’s guys who plan on parking on the side of the road, parking at home, and at truck stops.”
“I’m not telling anyone how to do it or what to do,” he continued.
“I’m just telling people to shut your trucks down, and nobody go to work at least for Tuesday. Maybe for the rest of the week. Until we get their attention in DC, we’re going to have to keep putting up with bulls**t mandates. What’s going on with the nurses and the military right now isn’t right. So, we’re going to stand up for Freedom.”
On Friday, The Disrespected Trucker tweeted a video of him putting his money where his mouth is.
Well, I guess it’s time for me to put up, or shut up, right? This truck is shut down officially. I’ll see you guys in St. Paul tomorrow, at the capitol. I will be getting back in the truck to drive it up there to help stand with you healthcare workers at the capitol. Other than that, this truck ain’t movin.
— The Disrespected Trucker (@DisrespectedThe) August 27, 2021
The Trucker magazine reported on this matter, which was promoted online as the 24-Hour Global Commerce Shutdown on August 31.
Drivers reported seeing less trucks on the road than usual in North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas. Some American truckers posted videos on TikTok to call attention to their colleague who was previously banned.
The truckers strike was most prominent in Australia, where the Toll Group reported up to 7,000 drivers not showing up to work on August 27; independent contractors and drivers at other companies joined the protests in subsequent days by shutting down roads.
French truckers blocked weigh stations overnight, and Paraguayan truckers protested by means of "tortuguismo," which involves disrupting traffic by driving well below the speed limit.