Truckers from California are on their way to the nation’s capital to protest COVID restrictions such as mask and vaccine mandates.
Mike Landis, The People’s Convoy organizer, planned to leave Wednesday with 1,000 other truckers.
The People’s Convoy is expected to arrive in the D.C. region on March 5. Other convoys are set to come by the time of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. The Pentagon released a statement that it is sending 700 unarmed National Guard troops to assist with traffic control.
The group plans to stop in Arizona, Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Ohio to pick up more truckers and supporters.
“It’s about our freedoms as Americans,” Landis said. “This is not just about us, truck drivers, or a certain group of people. It is about Americans.”
A smaller convoy from Pennsylvania, led by truck driver Bob Bolus, arrived in Maryland, February 24, later than planned after being delayed by two flat tires on Bolus’ truck.
“We are taking our country back. Without our trucks, you have nothing because if a truck doesn’t bring it, they’re not going to get it,” said Bolus. “If a truck doesn’t haul out of the ports, you’re not gonna get your containers off the ships.”
Bolus said there were 50 rigs at one point, but when the convoy arrived at its destination near the capital, not even a dozen vehicles were participating.
Despite more states lifting the COVID restrictions due to the decline of Omicron infections, the drivers want the federal government to drop all pandemic-related mandates. The president has issued an executive order requiring federal employees to wear masks and airline companies to require masks.