Social media posts sharing a video claim it shows a trucker convoy heading toward Texas in January 2024 to protest the Biden administration's handling of the border with Mexico. This is false; the clip is from 2022 and shows a different group driving to Washington to protest pandemic health measures in place at the time.
"Truckers heading to the border to protest," says a January 28, 2024 TikTok.
In the video, several frames can be seen of trucks lined up with US flags driving down different highways as crowds of supporters cheer them on along the way.
They come amid a standoff between US President Joe Biden's administration and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, over immigration, a hot topic in the 2024 US election.
The state of Texas has continued to fortify the banks of the Rio Grande River despite a Supreme Court ruling that sided with the federal government, allowing Border Patrol agents to remove barbed wire barriers placed at points including the town of Eagle Pass.
The rising tensions inspired a new movement, the "Take Our Border Back" truckers' convoy. Backed by far-right figures, the group has primarily organized on Telegram and plans to visit several border states (archived here).
But the footage of multiple trucks rolling down the highway does not show this convoy.
A reverse image search yielded a Business Insider article, published on March 3, 2022, and features a two-and-a-half-minute video of trucks heading from Adelanto, California, to the US capital to protest Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, according to the report (archived here).
Most of the images match those of the video currently circulating on social platforms, but some sequences have been removed from the latest version, including interviews.
In addition, some scenes were zoomed in to hide the real context of the convoy, obscuring a view of banners with messages against vaccine mandates.
Additional reverse image searches revealed more images with elements that correspond to the events of 2022, including a local Fox station's footage the convoy passing through Missouri, and images before it departed from California (archived here and here).
Protests over Covid-19 mandates
Barbara Corbellini, Business Insider's deputy executive producer of news and documentary confirmed to AFP that the video was shot by a freelance cameraman "back in 2022" and that it followed the truckers' convoy "from California to Washington, DC."
"Most of the people in the convoy were protesting Covid-19 restrictions," Corbellini added in a January 29, 2024 email.
At 1:10 of the original video, a truck with the text "People's Convoy 2022" is visible.
One of the organizers of the People's Convoy explained in January 2024 Facebook posts that the group is not connected to the "Take Our Border Back" rally.