World News

‘Rolling Thunder 2.0’ Biker Rally Being Planned for June in Ottawa

A year after hundreds of motorcycles rolled into Ottawa for a rally in support of veterans, an organizer says a second edition of “Rolling Thunder” is being planned for June 2023.

“We don’t want to be going up into Ottawa, up on Wellington Street. Just up around, rev our bikes, salute the people that went before us, and also the veterans that are still on the ground,” said organizer Neil Sheard, who was involved in the last Rolling Thunder rally.

On May 1, 2022, more than 350 bikes rolled through downtown Ottawa on a city-designated route. More than 1,000 people also assembled at the Ottawa War Memorial for a service organized by Veterans for Freedom, a group of retired and active Canadian Armed Forces members.

Sheard said due to the timing of last year’s biker rally, which came a few months after the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa, the city was “gun shy” about protestors coming into the city. In early 2022, hundreds of vehicles blocked the streets of downtown Ottawa to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers and public health restrictions.

“Honestly, I think [Interim Police Chief Steve Bell] had it out for anybody that wanted to try and demonstrate,” Sheard said.

During an interview with CTV News in April, Bell said the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) had learned lessons since the original Freedom Convoy and would have a “proactive” response. To prepare for the event, the OPS set up a “vehicular exclusion zone” in downtown Ottawa to prevent vehicles from once again occupying the area, and the OPS Board approved the appointment of up to 831 RCMP employees who could be made available as reinforcements.

Bell said while the OPS does not have the ability to prevent people from protesting, as that is a right enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, vehicles are prohibited for use in demonstrations or rallies in the downtown core, including around Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial.

Sheard called the response “overkill,” but said he was able to work out a deal with the OPS to make the event “absolutely beautiful.” Sheard said since the police chief and mayor of Ottawa have since been replaced, he hopes the event in June will go smoother.

Plan for 2023

Sheard said for the 2023 event, the plan is for the bikers to meet in Arnprior 65 kilometres west of Ottawa, drive into the city’s downtown via Highway 417, and loop around the Ottawa War Memorial. Sheard said the Ottawa Police Service in 2022 changed the organizers’ proposed route so the bikers would not ride around the war memorial, which he called “insanity.”

“The whole country would love to see this happen, but because there’s a bunch of lefties up there, they’re going to be going ‘no, no, no,’ but the rest of the country is going, ‘Well why can’t they ride around the monument?” he said.

Sheard, a Canadian Armed Forces veteran who was involved in protests against COVID-19 public health restrictions, stressed that the biker rally is not a convoy, nor is it an attempt at a second Freedom Convoy.

“I saw a couple of comments on the Rolling Thunder Ottawa [Facebook] page that ‘you’re trying to steal the truckers’ thunder.’ I was like, ‘no, that is definitely not it,’” he said. “Mine is a bike rally.”

Sheard said he believes Canadian veterans have been “steamrolled by the government over and over,” and mentioned how several veterans were offered Medical Assistance in Dying by Veterans Affairs “because they don’t know how to deal with them.”

“I just want people to know that we have not forgotten you,” he said.

“Long story short, we’re coming into Ottawa. And I hope the insanity stops, and the police and the mayor and the city councilors realize we are not a threat. We’re just coming in, drive around that monument, rev our bikes, and leave.”

The Ottawa Police Service did not respond to the Epoch Times’ request for comment before press time.

Source link


I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.