Convoy Leaves DC for California

Organizer says group will protest COVID regulations, then return to capital
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2022 4:45 PM CST
Updated Mar 31, 2022 5:20 PM CDT
Trucker Protest Reaches Beltway
Trucks and other vehicles with the People's Convoy of Truckers, protesting mandates and other issues, head south on Interstate I-270 on Sunday in Frederick, Md., toward the Washington Beltway.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Update: The convoy that's been circling the District of Columbia in protest for three weeks left Thursday for California, where truckers will oppose pending state legislation. About 100 vehicles left the group's base at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland, the Washington Post reports. "We’re not done here," Mike Landis, an organizer, told the group Sunday. "But we’ll go to California and raise awareness on this along the way and hopefully gain more people like we did on our way here—and then once we stop this, we will come back to finish this job." He didn't say what that would involve. The "People’s Convoy," which was demonstrating against vaccine mandates and other issues, snarled traffic but didn't achieve its objectives. The California bills would give the state the nation's strictest COVID-19 rules, per CalMatters. Our story from March 6 follows:

Trucks and cars took laps around Washington, DC, on Sunday as part of a protest of COVID-19 restrictions. WRC reported some congestion on Interstate 495 but no major delays in the District suburbs. Organizers said that the group didn't plan to enter the District, but that the convoy would circle Washington at least twice before returning to Hagerstown, Maryland, for the night. News video showed the convoy consisted of dozens of vehicles, including some eighteen-wheelers, per CNN. Banners reading "Thank you" and "End tyranny" greeted them along their route, though there also were signs saying, "Go home."

The protest's goal is to be a "huge pain," organizers said, per the Washington Post. The vehicles were going about 45mph on Sunday afternoon, though traffic around them was moving at 55 mph. "We're not even sure we can call it a convoy anymore because it's so dispersed among routine traffic at this point," a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said. But organizer Brian Brase said the protest isn't just a Sunday thing. He said the group will repeat the drive every day this week, increasing the number of times it circles Washington each day to add pressure on government officials. (More convoy stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.