D.C. Law Enforcement Braces For Trucker Convoys

Mackenzie Bunn, News, Opinion, & Media Editor

Since Jan. 23, Canadian legislation restricting travel has prompted protests. Alberta, Windsor and even the capital Ottawa saw traffic congestion for over a week, encouraging the nation’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enact emergency powers.

While law enforcement up north has now seemingly controlled demonstrators, a similar situation appears to be brewing for Washington D.C. 

The morning of Feb. 23 in Adelanto Stadium, California, the People’s Convoy began their drive to our nation’s capital. 

Alongside seeking to, “restore our once perfect Union, re-establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense of all, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty,” the group has also emphasized their desire to lift the continued declaration of national emergency around COVID-19. 

The group’s journey to the east coast is expected to take 11 days, marking March 5 as their arrival date, stopping at eight major cities as they go. 

Meanwhile, a separate convoy departed March 1 from Washington State. The American Truckers Freedom Convoy is anticipated to arrive March 6, with motives ranging from reopening the Keystone Pipeline, to fighting against censorship, to securing the Southern Border. Though, their website’s heading featuring the slogan “End The Mandates” insinuates the two groups aren’t too different.

DC’s Police Chief Robert Contee noted how both convoys set a precedent for a situation similar to I-95’s shut down in January, which many described to be a complete standstill in traffic.

 “A snowstorm with two or three tractor-trailers made for a terrible situation there,” Contee said to ABC. “We’re going to plan as best we can to do whatever we can to mitigate it.”

While both of the convoys’ websites have underscored their desires for, as the American Truckers Freedom Convoy put it, “Freedom, liberty, and the American Way,” officials have expressed concern.

With over 500 members of the National Guard deployed and fencing being restored outside the Capitol, DC continues to brace for over 1,000 truckers this weekend.

“There is a possibility that some may come to our city with the intent of going beyond what is allowed as a constitutional right and seek to engage in unlawful acts or acts of civil disobedience,” Contee said. “I want to be very clear that we are prepared to take swift law enforcement actions for violations of our local and federal laws, if necessary.”