U.S. truckers inspired by Canadian truckers’ protest against vaccine and mask mandates are expecting 1,000 participants in their departure on Interstate 40 toward Washington on Wednesday, Newsweek reported.
According to Maureen Steele, the national organizer of the effort, the U.S. truckers, mainly from California, is demanding an end to the pandemic-era Emergency Powers Act and to “restore our nation’s Constitution.”
“The Canadian convoy was pretty organic when it happened,” Steele told Newsmax. “Ours, they had a month’s notice, so our concern is disruptive groups coming in. We’re trying to just prepare for counter-protests and to take safety precautions for that.”
“Americans love our freedoms and love the Constitution of The United States of America, the group’s official mission statement reads. “This convoy aims to bring back our freedoms, our civil liberties, and bring an end to all unconstitutional mandates. This is about our rights, as well as the freedom of future generations. It’s not about political parties, but moreso about a government that has forgotten its place and has no regard for our founding fathers instructions, The Constitution.”
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said it plans to deploy civil disturbance units from Feb. 23 to March 1 in preparation for trucker convoys, according to ABC’s WUSA 9.
The news of a U.S. cross-country convoy comes after police in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, began cracking down on the protest there.
Two key organizers, Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, were arrested on Thursday evening on charges of aiding and abetting mischief, The Washington Post reported.
By 3 p.m. Eastern time Friday, at least 70 people had been arrested in Ottawa on various charges, and 21 vehicles had been towed, according to CNN.