New Protests Over COVID-19 Mandates May Impact U.S. Cities, Major Roadways
Tensions over COVID-19 mask mandates and vaccinations have led truckers and other protesters across Canada to block roads amid a push to get lawmakers to roll back their restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. Now, after more than two weeks of protesting, the Department of Homeland Security has released an assessment regarding similar potential demonstrations taking place in the United States.
Support from multiple encrypted messaging channels show that discussions around logistics, fundraising and food for a similar convoy of truckers and protestors may hit the U.S. between February 13 and March 4. The Canadian mobilization has disrupted many major cities, province borders and even sparked lawsuits over the around-the-clock noise from the large semis and other protestors. Similar issues are to be expected if a similar situation unfolds across the U.S. No specific cities or roadways have been reported as specific locations for the protests. Meanwhile across several social media platforms, posts have been shared promoting various convoys starting in California according to the political news site POLITICO.
In addition to disrupting traffic, such a demonstration could also bring about additional criminal activity such as vandalism, acts of intimidation and hate crimes like that which has been present in the Canadian protests. There is also concern over counter-protests gathering in defense of the country’s mask and vaccine mandates, leading to standoffs between the two groups and additional violence. Any type of protest, especially in a public location, can become cause for concern to the safety of those who live or are visiting the area. This includes individuals who may use such a protest event as a cover to commit acts of violence despite having no affiliation with the protesting party.
Titan Security is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updated information regarding confirmed demonstrations in the area if they do materialize. There are many precautions you can take to ensure you stay safe if one of these protests takes place near you.
Safety Tips Near or During Protests
- If you see something suspicious, report it
- If you find yourself in the middle of the protest, move to the edge of the crowd and look to seek refuge in a nearby building if tensions begin to rise
- Carry water and stay hydrated
- Choose a landmark to meet at in case you are separated from your group
- Utilize the buddy system
- If a protest is taking place outside a hotel or your apartment complex, ask management for updates and safety guidelines for what you should do
- Remain alert and be observant of surroundings
- Leave any valuables at home
- Avoid areas where police or security is actively engaging protestors
- Do not jump any barricades
- Never attempt to drive through a crowd or protest
- Secure handbags and wallets
- Stay calm and pleasant
- Always report your whereabouts to family and/or friends
- Follow your own instincts
- Leave yourself room to move quickly
As always, if you “See Something, Say Something.” For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 855-RPRT-2-S4 (855-777-8274).