Trucker Convoy Leaving Washington DC En Route to California After Weeks of Upping Traffic Hurdles
19:25 GMT 31.03.2022 (Updated: 19:46 GMT 31.03.2022)
© REUTERS / STEPHANIE KEITHA written message reading "follow me to D.C." is seen on the back of a truck as hundreds of vehicles including 18-wheeler trucks, RVs and other cars are parked as part of a rally at Hagerstown Speedway after some of them arrived as part of a convoy that travelled across the country headed to Washington D.C. to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related mandates and other issues in Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S., March 5, 2022.
© REUTERS / STEPHANIE KEITH
En route to the Golden State, participants of the "People's Convoy" are expected to take their cause to the US' West Coast as part of a larger effort to gain new supporters as the movement saw a variety of factors contribute to their dwindling numbers.
The so-called “People’s Convoy” is leaving Washington, DC, and heading to California, without accomplishing much besides adding slightly to the already congested traffic that plagues the capital region.
Maybe someone should have told them DC drivers are used to sitting in traffic.
Organizers said that the convoy will be moving to California to protest proposed vaccine bills. They hope that the move across the country will inspire more people to join the protest.
Cold weather, a lack of funding, and infighting among leaders of the group have been cited as some of the reasons why the group camping in Hagerstown has been dwindling overtime. One of the de-facto leaders, Brian Brase, left the camp last weekend, further hurting morale.
The Speedway’s season also begins this Sunday, so organizers would have to find a new place to camp if they planned to remain in the region.
By the time the convoy arrived in Washington, DC, on March 6, the vaccine mandate had already been lifted. The mask mandate was removed soon after. They did meet with some conservative lawmakers - the fully vaccinated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a ride in one of their trucks - but their stated goals of repealing the pandemic emergency declaration and an investigation into the government’s COVID-19 response were left unfulfilled.
Co-organizer Mike Landis said that they plan to come back to the nation’s capital after they are done in California, but with dwindling numbers and COVID-19 restrictions being dropped in most of the country, that looks unlikely.
“So what I want to know is, what do you think about going to California?” Landis asked the crowd to cheers. “Then, once we stop [the bills in California], we will come back to finish this job.”
The protest was inspired by the “Freedom Convoy” that shut down downtown Ottawa for three weeks over regulations that required truckers to be vaccinated in order to cross the US-Canada border. In contrast, the much smaller People’s Convoy camped out in the small town of Hagerstown, MD, at the Hagerstown Speedway, and then drove an hour and a half daily in an attempt to create gridlock on the Capital Beltway, and occasionally inside DC itself.
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