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(LifeSiteNews) — Republican journalist and Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera drew criticism last week when he said the thousands of peaceful truck-drivers participating in Canada’s Freedom Convoy to protest coercive COVID policies were “thugs,” and that their moves to temporarily block a bridge was “like an act of war.”

In a segment on Fox News’ The Five, which aired on February 11, Rivera, who replaced liberal voice Juan Williams on the popular show last year, said he was “deeply embarrassed” by the “misguided affection” that the other Fox News hosts “are heaping on those truckers.” 

Calling the distinctly peaceful Freedom Convoy participants “thugs,” Rivera characterized the temporary blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, a crucial trade route between the U.S. and Canada, as akin to “an act of war.”

Rivera received immediate pushback for his remarks, with Fox Business host Dagen McDowell remarking, “To call closing some lanes on a bridge an ‘act of war’ is the height of idiocy.”

Rivera went on to point out that some automobile factories have been forced to temporarily shut down due to supply chain disruptions caused by the protests, accusing the Freedom Convoy of putting “people out of work.”

“How dare they?” Rivera said.

In response, The Five’s Jesse Watters retorted that the Canadian government itself has put countless people out of work over the past two years due to its COVID lockdowns.

Opponents of the convoy, like Rivera, have drawn sharp criticism for accusing the truckers of hobbling the economy and disrupting people’s ordinary lives. The convoy’s supporters have pointed out that the protest has brought attention to the crippling measures undertaken by government officials who have locked down their countries, shut down businesses, destroyed the economy, and now decry supply chain disruptions.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Freedom Convoy has generated the support of hundreds of thousands in Canada and across the world, sparking copycat protests as citizens call for an immediate end to liberty-crushing COVID measures in their respective countries. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded by invoking broad emergency powers, leading conservatives to accuse him of turning Canada into a “dictatorship.”