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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A convoy of truckers protesting vaccine mandates has been rolling through the Midwest. They have made it to the St. Louis area and supporters are lining the interstates and overpasses.

Members of the Freedom Convoy gathered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada beginning in late January to protest COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates. The group was originally formed to contest vaccine mandates and quarantining for truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border but grew into a protest against all COVID-related mandates and restrictions in the country.

At the time, both the Canadian and American governments had granted brief exemptions for unvaccinated truckers crossing the border in order to keep supply chains running smoothly. Those exemptions ended in mid and late January, respectively, prompting unvaccinated truckers and others to protest.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Associations said more than 16% of the 160,000 big rig drivers who regularly cross the border would be affected by the vaccine-or-quarantine mandate.

The convoy received a warm reception from nearby residents who lined up near I-44 and Highway 19 Monday afternoon.   

The convoy stopped in Cuba, Missouri for the night and will travel through St. Louis Tuesday morning. Illinois State Police are cautioning drivers to beware of a planned trucker convoy that is expected to pass through the state this week to disrupt traffic. According to the convoy’s website, the plan is to travel towards the nation’s capital but not enter D.C. proper.