SWEET GRASS — Protests in Coutts, Alberta are entering a third week, and this weekend at the Montana port of Sweet Grass, some truckers in the U.S. are rallying in support of their Canadian counterparts, who want to end all COVID related mandates.
The rally took place at the U.S.-Canadian Border. Both American and Canadian citizens came together to exchange hugs, handshakes, and support for one another amidst the controversy regarding the Covid vaccine mandate for Truckers entering to and from Canada.
Patrick Kimmet organized the event: "I was just appointed by my Canadian counterparts as a leader down here in the Montana area, and it's kind of evolved into hosting this event here up in the Canadian border."
He explained his reasons for hosting the rally.
"This isn't about the vax itself, it's about the overreach of the government. Here, we just want the choice of whether we get the vaccine or not get the vaccine. We also want to be with our loved ones. There's been families that haven't seen each other for two plus years ... I found a long-lost cousin that I never even knew about.
He continued, "When we made this event happen, I advertised that if there's any Canadian families or American families that are struggling, that they haven't seen each other in a long time, I knew there was a spot here by the baseball fields where we can come together and we can get permission from the Border Patrol, local Sheriff's Department, and the Division of Transportation to be able to meet here.
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Kimmet also owns a trucking company in Shelby and said that the mandates have affected his business.
"Right now, I have a couple cars sitting in my shop in Shelby, Montana and they're being stored for Canadian customers. Unfortunately, Canadian customers cannot come south across the border because they're unvaxed. I can't go north because I'm unvaxed. We have to hire an expensive company to come from Calgary and Lethbridge to Shelby, and bring their vehicles back up, and it's a whole another step they have to take.
A Canadian citizen on the other side of the fence says everyday has been an emotional experience.
Nick Baker, a Canadian citizen who attended the rally said, "I've heard stories where a guy hasn't seen his wife and kid in two years, because he's over here, their over there, they don't want to get vaccinated. Today, they should be coming down here eventually to finally be able to see each other."
While Kimmet knows it's a controversial subject, he says his biggest goal is for everyone to come together and show support for one another.
"If you disagree with this, by all means, you have the right to your own opinions. Come on up and talk with us, talk with anybody. I'm not saying change your mind, but come on and talk and hear everybody else's opinion. Your opinion isn't the only opinion in the world, and every individual in this field has an opinion and we all stand by it. This is what we believe in. Live in freedom, we believe in freedom of choice, and that's why we're all here. We're here under solidarity."
Members of the rally said that they will continue to support their fellow American or Canadian counterparts and will also continue to show support for the protesters for as long as needed.