The United States version of the “Freedom Convoy” trucker protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions is set to leave Los Angeles on Feb. 25 and arrive in Washington, D.C. on March 1 for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union Address.
“It’s Official! We start our Convoy on February 25th! We have finished the dates, times, routes, pit stops and have everything ready for the March 1st arrival on the National Mall, DC,” Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kyle Sefcik tweeted late Thursday. “I’ll be posting the detailed routes tomorrow! #freedomConvoyUSA2022.”
According to Sefcik, the convoy will pass through several major cities on its way to Washington, D.C., including Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; and Fredrick, Maryland.
Sefcik also tweeted details about the first leg of the trip, including rest stop locations in Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and Springville, Utah.
At the Defeat the Mandates rally late last month, Sefcik praised a crowd of protesters for “showing up” to fight for personal medical freedom when others won’t.
“You could make excuses about how cold it is or how far to travel it is, but you don’t. You’re here because you truly stand for something. Most of the world is not showing up. There are the people that talk about it, but they’re not showing up to these things. We know most people agree with us, but they’re not showing up. So the fact that you guys come out, it means a lot, not just to us, but to our families, and that’s why we’re here. Let’s keep that in mind today,” Sefcik said.
The “Freedom Convoy USA” announcement comes on the same day that police in Ottawa, Canada, began arresting demonstrators at the original “Freedom Convoy” peaceful protest.
Among those arrested on Thursday was one of the demonstration’s primary organizers, Tamara Lich, The New York Times reported.
Dagny Pawlak, a spokeswoman for the protest, said the arrest was “absolutely baseless and a disgrace to any liberal democracy, although not a surprise.”
Police began arresting protesters shortly after interim Police Chief Steve Bell told protesters during a news conference, “It’s time to go. Your time in our city has come to an end and you must leave.”
“I implore anyone that’s there: Get in your truck and we will navigate safe passage for you to leave our city streets,” Bell said, as reported by The Washington Post. “We want this demonstration to end peacefully. … There is a deliberate plan, there is commitment and there’s the resourcing that we now have in place to end this.”
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act in response to the protesters, who have vowed to keep the demonstration going until all pandemic-related restrictions are lifted.