Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) has made quite the name for herself in the far-right, Big Lie corners of the Republican Party in the last year. As a key figure in the state’s phony election “audit,” Rogers knows how to aggressively captivate her audience.
She’s injected herself into several election-overturning causes in recent months. In the waning days of the sketch audit of 2020 election results in Arizona’s Maricopa County, Rogers suggested imprisoning members of the Republican-majority board of supervisors when the county rejected the state Senate’s subpoena for additional election-related materials. The Trumpian state lawmaker has since proposed legislation that would make it easier for the governor’s office to investigate so-called instances of election “fraud,” setting state Republicans up to try to Big Lie their way out of any 2022 disappointments for the party.
Now, she’s getting involved in the Canadian anti-vax trucker protests in Ottawa that have devolved into a reckless display of Big Rig power over the course of the last 12 days with thousands of protesters flooding the area surrounding Ottawa’s Parliament building.
Kate Riga has a good rundown of what’s going on here. But in short, the protest, initially coined the “Freedom Convoy of 2022,” started as a response to a new restriction in Canada that requires truckers crossing into the country from the United States to present proof of vaccination upon reentry. The movement has been labeled as an occupation at this point, forcing the mayor of Ottawa to declare a state of emergency on Monday — a move only escalated by truckers blocking off a major throughway between the United States and Canada on Tuesday.
Further, in recent days it’s attracted the attention of far-right Americans opposed to vaccine mandates. And Rogers is doing the most to capitalize on this momentum, while also making the whole ordeal extremely racist for no reason.
In a tweet on Monday, Rogers seized on some right-wing efforts to somehow organize protesters into disrupting the Super Bowl game this weekend. She suggested the move would be “payback” for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s efforts to raise awareness about police brutality and racial injustice at NFL games. The man has dealt with plenty of “payback” for his activism.
It’s a largely befuddling leap, even for Rogers. But she’s not the only right-wing American to seize on the protests besieging a city in our cousin to the north.
Last week, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) repeatedly pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fleeing to the United States to weather out the protests. He retweeted a photo from some anonymous Twitter account that claimed Trudeau was hiding in the United States. The photo in question was from 2016. Roy hyped the conspiracy theory a few times, tweeting that Trudeau should be deported. In reality, the Canadian prime minister is actually just working remotely in isolation because he has COVID.
A slew of other Republicans and conservatives have demonstrated support for the protesters in recent days, including former President Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Eric Trump and Franklin Graham.
“The Freedom Convoy is peacefully protesting the harsh policies of far-left lunatic Justin Trudeau, who has destroyed Canada with insane COVID mandates,” Trump wrote in a statement.
If anything, Rogers is in friendly company, albeit just a bit late to the game.
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