After a nearly 2,500-mile journey, the People's Convoy will rally in Maryland Saturday before heading to D.C. for the final leg of its protest against COVID-19 era restrictions including mask and vaccine mandates. It is unclear what the truck caravan, estimating to span 30 miles, will do when it reaches the capital city on Sunday morning. Organizers have said they have plans for the DC protest, which includes 'select trucks going to the White House,' but have not publicly disclosed what their protest plans are. There has been mention of 'blocking the Beltway,' the 64-mile highway surrounding DC, however organizers have routinely claimed they do not intend to disrupt roads or bridges. The group's planned arrival in the capital city has prompted security concerns and placed authorities on alert. DC police spokesperson Dustin Sternback has called the convoy a 'fluid situation' and noted Friday: 'Any sort of response strategies will be implemented in real time'. The People's Convoy is demanding that President Joe Biden end the national emergency originally declared at the start of the pandemic, as well as scrap any remaining coronavirus mandates. Some analysts allege the group is also taking calling for over-arching federal accountability and addressing additional political issues such as the alleged 'fraudulent' 2020 election and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The People's Convoy is one of several convoys traveling to the greater D.C. area this weekend.
As the caravan rallied across the nation, more truckers and protestors joined in its rank, resulting in the once eight-mile-long cavalcade now spanning a distance of 30 miles, according to Times-Reporter journalists following the group.
All throughout its journey, the group was met with waves of supporters decked out in red-white-and-blue attire holding signs and flags on interstate overpasses.
'It's a high, seeing all the people on the overpasses and the sides of the roads,' Idaho-based freight trucker Craig Brown, 53, told the Washington Post. 'All these people treating us like we are heroes.'
'The American people have supported these guys so much,' Nevada resident Trish Glatter, who wrecked her pickup truck in Oklahoma, said in an interview with the Times-Reporter Friday. 'It cost about $800 to fill one of these trucks up with gas and this is being paid for by the American people.'
Glatter said her fellow convoyers wouldn't let the accident deter her mission and instead offered for her to ride with them to D.C.: 'This is a group of truckers of men and women that are so together. Everyone is a peaceful family on a mission that they will not step back from.'
Similarly, bystanders are hailing the truckers as 'brave' heroes fighting for their freedoms.
'I think our country is being taken over by people that don't have our best interest at heart and we are just here to wave our flags and support the truck drivers that are brave enough to do this,' supporter Sharon Hanning, of West Virginia, said.
'I have a lot of Canadian friends. I watched the Canadian convoy,' echoed Susan Johnson, of Tennessee, who also ventured to D.C. for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
'I love it,' she added. 'I felt that it was really important that we support the USA, the Constitution the Bill of Rights.'
The People's Convoy is demanding the federal government be held accountable for imposing on the freedoms of the American people.
'We are standing up for medical freedom, for all freedoms because we feel like our Constitution needs to be restored,' convoy participant Jennifer Wahrman, of Missouri, said.
She told the Times-Reporter her son was dishonorably discharged from the Kansas National Guard for refusing a direct order to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Her sister, a teacher in St. Louis, was also fired for refusing the shot.
'He has made a choice to not take it after doing his own personal research and he is entitled to that, we feel,' she said. 'Originally he was going to get a general discharge which is still not OK but they have decided that since the command directed it he would be disobeying a direct order and will be dishonorably discharge. That's the reason we are here.'