Anti-vaccine mandate protests spill over into other countries

Canadians who have occupied downtown Ottawa, disrupted travel and trade with the U.S. and inspired copycat protests from New Zealand to the Netherlands sound a common note when asked about their motivation: Decisions about their health shouldn’t be made by the government.

“We stand for freedom,” said Karen Driedger, 40, who home-schools her kids and attended protests in Ottawa and Windsor. “We believe that it should be everyone’s personal decision what they inject into their bodies.”

Paris police fired tear gas Saturday against a handful of demonstrators on the Champs-Elysees Avenue who defied a police order by taking part in a vehicle protest against virus restrictions inspired by Canada’s horn-honking truckers.

In the Netherlands, dozens of trucks and other vehicles — ranging from tractors to a car towing a camping van — arrived in The Hague for a similar virus-related protest Saturday, blocking an entrance to the historic Dutch parliamentary complex.

But a threatened blockade of Paris failed to materialize Saturday, despite days of online organizing efforts.

Public discontent with America’s pandemic-battered economy obscures the good news: Even after inflation, most of the country has been coming out ahead.

Red-hot demand for labor means lower-income workers can command wage increases that outpace rising prices. So can middle-income workers who switch jobs.