FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Over 1.5 Million Cars Supporting The Freedom Convoy In Australia?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows over 1.5 million cars supporting the Freedom Convoy in Canberra, Australia.

Verdict: False

The image shows a 2019 festival in the U.K., not a 2022 protest in Australia.

Fact Check:

Thousands of protesters gathered in Canberra, Australia over the Feb. 12 weekend to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the country, according to Reuters. Protesters were warned by police to leave by the end of the day on Feb. 13, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook, showing what appears to be thousands of people and vehicles in a grassy area, claims to show an aerial view of the protest. “Canberra, Australia,” reads text included in the image. “The freedom convoy is much bigger than expected. Over 1.5 million cars were counted at the rally.”

The “Freedom Convoy” protest began in Canada with a group of truckers who opposed COVID-19 vaccine requirements for truckers crossing the U.S-Canadian border, according to CNN. It quickly inspired similar protests in countries around the world, including Australia, SBS News reported.

The image shared on Facebook does not show a protest in Australia, however. A reverse image search revealed the image is actually from the Glastonbury Festival, a performing arts festival that takes place in Somerset, England. It can be found on the stock photo website Alamy, where it is credited to photographer Aaron Chown and dated June 26, 2019. “An aerial view of the Glastonbury Festival site at Worthy Farm in Somerset,” reads the image’s caption.

Similar images of the festival were published by the Daily Mail in 2017. (RELATED: Did CBC Report Canadian Truckers Are Being Condemned For ‘Giving Away Free Food’?)

Check Your Fact found no credible media reports that stated or suggested over 1.5 million cars were gathered for the recent protest in Canberra. Police in Canberra confirmed up to 10,000 people showed up to the demonstration, but fewer than 1,000 remained by Monday morning, according to News.com.au. Authentic images of the protest can be found on Getty Images.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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