As many as 1,000 truckers are expected to make the journey to Washington, D.C. this week as part of a massive protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions. With several trucker convoys forming nationwide, at least two groups are planning to reach D.C. in time for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address.
One of the trucker groups, dubbed The People’s Convoy, said in a statement on Sunday that hundreds of truckers will launch “a peaceful and unified transcontinental movement” from Southern California on Feb. 23 and drive thousands of miles until they reach Washington, D.C. The group expects approximately 1,000 truckers will arrive in D.C.
“The message of The People’s Convoy is simple. The last 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans to travel: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least – financially. With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to re-open the country,” the group said in a statement.
While the People’s Convoy isn’t scheduled to arrive in D.C. until March 5, a Pennsylvania-based Save America Freedom Convoy DC convoy plans to “shut down” the Capital Beltway – a 64-mile highway that surrounds D.C. – later this week. Separately, Freedom Convoy USA, which was organized by Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kyle Sefcik, is scheduled to arrive in the capital on March 1 for Biden’s first State of the Union Address.
“We will be along the Beltway where the Beltway will be shut down,” said Bob Bolus, owner of a truck parts and towing business in Scranton, Pa., who helped organize one of the convoys through his Bob Bolus Towers & Truckers for America Group.
“I’ll give you an analogy of that of a giant boa constrictor,” he added. “That basically squeezes you, chokes you and it swallows you, and that’s what we’re going to do the D.C.”
The People’s Convoy argued that elected officials must work with “the average American” in order to “restore accountability and liberty.” The path forward, the group said, is to lift “all mandates” and end “the state of emergency” so Americans can “get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner.”
“[The] fact is we have a government that tries to push us around,” trucker Mike Landis told the Los Angeles Times when asked about the People’s Convoy. “At this moment, we are living without our Constitution. Our Constitution means nothing right now.”
The group said the People’s Convoy is about “freedom and unity,” and said truckers taking part in the peaceful protest are of “all colors and creeds – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Mormons, Agnostics, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Republican, Democrats.”