A 'Trucker convoy" drives laps around D.C. Beltway

Since its cross-country trip last month, hundreds have joined the group.

A 'Trucker convoy" drives laps around D.C. Beltway

HAGERSTOWN, Md. HAGERSTOWN, MD. -- The U.S. branch of the Canadian " Liberty Convoy", reached the nation capitalSunday.

Trucker-led convoy group, organized using pro-Trump messaging channels on Telegram, drove around the Capital Beltway, which is located in metropolitan Washington, D.C. They planned to return to Hagerstown, Maryland, Saturday night, to regroup.


 

The convoy arrived at the capital with authorities in the area on high alert. The Defense department authorized the activation of up to 700 unarmed National Guard members for traffic control last month.

The "People's Convoy", inspired by protests in Canada over the past 2 years, travelled across the country protesting the mandatory vaccinations and masks that were required to combat Covid-19. Since its February 22nd departure from Adelanto in California, hundreds of people have joined this group.

Brian Brase, a convoy organizer, stated that he will take members of the protest group with him to meet with legislators Tuesday. NBC News has not confirmed any meetings planned with lawmakers.

At the end of February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that indoor masks are not necessary. In recent weeks, most major cities, including New York City, that used to require vaccinations for indoor-masking have relaxed these restrictions.

Brase acknowledged that many mandates across the country had been ended. He stated, "What the People's Convoy's seeking is, we're searching for an immediate end to the emergency state." "We don’t believe that there is an emergency anymore."

After the chaos caused by the Freedom Convoy, Canadian authorities issued emergency powers. They also filed for injunctions. For approximately two weeks, truckers and other protesters blocked the U.S.-Canada border crossings. They parked in residential areas and continued to do so for around two weeks.

Many tickets were issued, and many criminal incidents were reported. Canadians felt unsafe, and were targeted by protesters wearing masks.

Brase described U.S. convoys as "peaceful, law-abiding groups."

NBC News reported last Wednesdaythat, as Covid restrictions decrease and the group's demands are less pressing, some Telegram channel members have become more interested in Russia's invasion Ukraine. Many QAnon supporters have seized upon a false conspiracy theory that says the war is a cover to a military operation backed in part by Donald Trump in Ukraine.

Researchers from Extremism expressed concern that the overt QAnon messages could overtake the channels and spread the protest's original motivations.


 

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