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Fact Check-Video shows German farmers protest in 2019, not 2022 Freedom Convoy

A night-time video showing thousands of tractors that traces back to a farmers’ protest in Germany in 2019 has been miscaptioned online. Some social media users have claimed it depicts the 2022 Freedom Convoy in Canada against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

“This is what it looks like when we unite and stand up for what we believe in. Thanks Canadian Truckers for inspiring the world,” a Twitter user wrote on a Quote tweet with the clip that had been viewed 215,800 times as of the writing of this article. ( here )

“The SMALL FRINGE of truckers,” another user wrote ( here ) , in apparent reference to a statement from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who previously said the convoy represented “a small fringe minority” who do not represent the views of Canadians. ( here )

Other iterations can be found ( here ) ( here )( here ) ( here ).

The clip has been circulating since at least Nov. 26, 2019 , as previously explained by Reuters in Dec. 14, 2021—when the footage was miscaptioned as a COVID related protest in Germany— ( here ).

It was shared on Twitter ( here ) alongside hashtags related to a farmers demonstration against the government’s agricultural policy: “#Bauerndemo” (farmers demonstration), “#LandSchafftverbindung” (land creates connection) and “#Sternfahrtberlin” (rally Berlin). ( here ), ( here ).

In a subsequent tweet, the same user @RemptRene said the video depicted tractors on their way to a rally at the Brandenburg Tor in Berlin ( here ). Footage of the protest at the Brandenburg Door by AFP can be seen ( here ).

German radio station Antenne Thüringen also published the video on its YouTube channel at the time ( here ).

In November 2019, news outlets like the Associated Press ( here ) , the Berliner Morgenpost ( here ) and Euronews ( here ) said around 10,000 farmers and 5,000 farm trucks had demonstrated at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate against the government’s agricultural policy - seen as too restrictive.

The so-called "Freedom Convoy" started out as a rally of truckers against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers, but turned into a demonstration against government overreach during the pandemic with a strong anti-vaccination streak ( here ).

Reuters has previously addressed miscaptioned videos and images online with users falsely claiming that they are related to the Freedom Convoy ( here ), ( here ), ( here ), ( here ), ( here ), ( here ).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. This video shows a farmers’ protest in Germany in November 2019.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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