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Video of Italian feast celebration falsely identified as Canada truck protest

February 1, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows Italian truckers mobilizing in support of an anti-vaccine protest in Canada on Jan. 28.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows truckers taking part in the annual Feast of San Michele event in Turin, Italy, in 2021.

THE FACTS: As a convoy of truckers converged on Ottawa, the capital of Canada, to protest vaccine requirements, social media users recirculated videos from previous events held by truck drivers in other countries, falsely claiming they showed global solidarity.

One video with more than 500,000 views on Twitter showed a long line of tractor-trailer cabs moving slowly down a street, with horns honking. The 45-second clip, shot from a balcony, circulated with a caption claiming it showed Italian truckers in support of the “freedom convoy” in Canada.

Italian truckers now mobilising with Australian truckers,” one tweet said. “Joining forces #Together with Canada. No one is free until we are all free.”

While the video was shot in Italy, the truck protest was unrelated to what was happening in Canada. It was taken in September 2021 and showed an annual truck meeting during the Feast of San Michele celebration in Carmagnola, a town in Turin, Italy.

Elisa Pittavino, a spokesperson for the Carmagnola’s mayor’s office, confirmed to the AP in an email that the video showed the annual truck event for the festival. She noted that the truck event coincided with the first strike by Italian truck drivers against the Green Pass, which certifies that a person has been vaccinated.

“The person who recorded the scene thought it was a local strike against GP and posted it on local groups on FB sharing it as a video of drivers joining the protest,” she said.

Attempts to reach the person who filmed the video were unsuccessful.

Pittavino said it shows trucks passing along Via San Francesco di Sales in Carmagnola to reach the place of the truck meeting in San Michele. The 2021 festival ran from September 24 through September 26.

Thousands of protesters demonstrating against vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions descended on Canada’s capital over the weekend, Jan. 29-30, deliberately blocking traffic around Parliament Hill.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.