HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A group of truck drivers protesting COVID-19 mandates on roads and highways around the Washington, D.C., area in recent weeks will head to California next, an organizer announced Sunday night.
During a livestream of the People’s Convoy nightly rally Sunday, organizer Mike Landis read a list of measures aimed at controlling COVID-19 in California, The Herald-Mail reported.
“I think stopping those is more important at this point in time than getting the emergency declaration repealed because that’s already in place and we need to stop stuff like these bills from getting in place,” Landis said, “otherwise, the rest of us that don’t live in California are going to end up subject to the same situation.”
The convoy arrived in the Washington region in early March with plans to snarl traffic on the Capital Beltway to make their feelings known to lawmakers. The effort follows similar demonstrations by truckers in Canada upset at vaccine requirements to cross the Canadian border.
The group has stayed at the Hagerstown Speedway for the last three weeks, regularly traveling as a group of big rigs, cars and campers to the beltway and downtown Washington, D.C., to protest COVID-19 mandates and seeking a repeal of the pandemic state of emergency.
One image the group posted to social media three weeks ago shows more than 160 vehicles and calls on others to join them at the speedway.
On its website, the group said it was heading to California to protest bills coming up for votes soon.
“If passed, these bills set the stage for other states to introduce similar laws. We know that what starts in CA, spreads to other blue and purple states, and potentially at a federal level,” the group said in its announcement. ”This affects everyone!”
Landis did not say when the group would leave, but he invited people to convoy Monday to a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before they pack up and head West, and hinted at a possible return.
“We’re not done here,” Landis said. “We’ll go to California and raise awareness along the way and hopefully get more people like we did on our way here.
“And then, once we stop this, we’ll come back to finish this job.”
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