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Inspired by Canadian convoy, U.S. truckers are headed to Washington

The ‘People’s Convoy,’ a convoy of anti-mandate truckers, is headed towards Washington, D.C.

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Pennsylvania businessman Bob Bolus drives his semitruck leading a “Freedom Convoy” on Interstate 81 southbound in Pittston Township, Pa on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The Pentagon has approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard troops to the nation’s capital as it prepares for trucker convoys that are planning protests against pandemic restrictions beginning next week.

Christopher Dolan, The Times-Tribune via Associated Press

A series of truck convoys are headed towards the Washington, D.C., area with the goal of creating a gridlock on the Beltway, according to ABC 7 News.

The truckers have left Scranton, Pennsylvania, and are expected to arrive at the Beltway on on Feb. 23. Another convoy starting from California, who are calling themselves the “People’s Convoy,” are expected to arrive on March 5. Per the news source, there may be two more convoys planned in the D.C. region

According to CNN, the Pentagon approved two separate National Guard deployments to help control, command and support traffic points. These guards will not be armed and will not conduct law-enforcement or domestic surveillance type of activities. They are also not approved to use any aircraft.

  • The first troop, requested by the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, will consist of 400 guards accompanied by 50 tactical vehicles, per Reuters. The mission will start on Saturday and is approved to continue until March 8.
  • The second, requested by the U.S. Capitol Police, consists of 300 guards posted outside D.C. to help assist traffic

Brian Brase, one of the organizers of the protests, said that the groups hope to have their demands met regardless of where they camp out.

  • “We’re not going to camp there. Let me put it that way,” Bolus replied, per the report. “We’re not camping on the Beltway. We’re gonna have our voices heard and let them understand this is only the tip of the iceberg.”
  • Their demands include the end of COVID-19 vaccine and mask requirements, similar to what the Canadian truckers, also known as the “Freedom Convoy,” are also demanding in Ottawa.