Group of protesting truckers begin trip to DC area this week

Inspired by the trucker convoy in Canada, a group from California says it will now head to D.C. to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

It is one of many planned convoys of truckers that is planned to come to the D.C. region next month. But they don’t plan on entering the District; instead, they will “terminate in the vicinity of the DC area,” according to a release from the “People’s Convoy.”

The convoy will start Wednesday at Adelanto Stadium in Southern California. They will make about 10 stops on the way to the Beltway area, including in Arizona, Ohio and Hagerstown, Maryland.

According to a release from the group, it is protesting to end the COVID National Emergency that was extended by President Joe Biden on Feb. 18 and end vaccine and masking mandates.

According to a statement, the “People’s Convoy” will abide by agreements with local authorities, and they are being assisted by retired military and security “in order to ensure a 100% safe, lawful, and peaceful journey.”

In response to planned convoys, Virginia State Police and Maryland State Police said they are monitoring trucking convoys that will go through the states and that they will work with other law enforcement agencies to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.

And while the People’s Convoy has stated they will not enter the District, other convoys that plan to be in the D.C. area at similar times have not made that clear.

A group called the American Truckers have planned a similar convoy.

D.C. police Chief Robert Contee said it is unclear what they plan, but he is prepping law enforcement for possible disruption.

“I think we have to be realistic about, you know, what we could potentially see,” Contee said Friday at a news conference. “There will be disruptions to traffic, that kind of thing. And I think we need to be very candid with the public about what some of the expectations (are) based upon what we’ve seen in Ottawa.”

The convoys may also interfere with Biden’s State of the Union scheduled for March 1, and discussions about security measures are ongoing, including erecting more fences around the Capitol.

“The United States Capitol Police and the United States Secret Service have been closely working together to plan for the upcoming State of the Union. The temporary inner-perimeter fence is part of those ongoing discussions and remains an option, however at this time no decision has been made,” Capitol Police said in a statement.

WTOP has reached out to organizers of the People’s Convoy for comment.

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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