Nearly there! People's Convoy rolls into Maryland as it approaches final destination of DC 


After a nearly 2,500-mile journey from Southern California, the now estimated 30-mile-long People’s Convoy will reach Washington DC Saturday in a call for ‘freedom’ and the removal of ‘unconstitutional’ coronavirus mandates.

While the capital city is the last leg of the 11-day trucker rally, the group’s specific plans for DC remain under wraps. Some convoyers, while live-streaming their cross-country journey, have mentioned ‘blocking the Beltway,’ the 64-mile highway surrounding the city, however organizers have routinely claimed they do not intend to disrupt roads or bridges, like the Canadian Freedom Convoy protest did.

‘I can tell you now that there will be select trucks going to the White House,’ organizer Dan Fitzgerald revealed on his Friday morning livestream. ‘I don’t want people thinking we are invading D.C. This is not the convoy going into D.C. commons. This is a few select drivers.’

On Friday, the convoy arrived at Hagerstown, Maryland – the final stop before one last stretch to the nation’s capital on Saturday morning which is now around 75 miles away or about a 90-minute drive – and held a rally. At least 1,000 vehicles were parked at the speedway for the event.

During Friday night’s rally at the Hagerstown Speedway, convoy organizer Brian Brase, told supporters to celebrate the caravan’s journey, but noted they would have to wait longer for details about DC.

‘Well, we’re going to do something,’ he laughed and told the crowd. ‘What this is is yet to be determined. Please be patient.’ 

Organizer Mike Landis echoed Brase’s claims, telling the Washington Post Friday night: ‘We’re going to keep annoying D.C. … Just make them wonder a little bit.’

‘Look, we’re truck drivers; we’re very spontaneous,’ Landis added.

The group’s planned arrival in the capital city has prompted security concerns and placed authorities on high-alert. DC and Capitol Police have called on agencies from Maryland and Virginia, as well as the National Guard, to monitor the group. Officials say the fencing around the Capitol has been put back up ‘out of an abundance of caution’.

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 – a spinoff from a protest in Canada started by truckers upset at vaccine requirements to cross the Canadian border – 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. The truckers allege the government has infringed upon their constitutional rights with the mandates.

However, nearly every state in America has either lifted or relaxed indoor mask mandates, or has set a date to do so in the near future. The lone holdout is Hawaii, the island state that has had the strictest mandates of anywhere in the country throughout the pandemic. Additionally, only 19 states currently have vaccine mandates in effect, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy – but the mandates do not apply to all individuals and their requirements vary by state.

Some political 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.

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: After a nearly 2,500-mile journey from Southern California, the now estimated 30-mile-long People's Convoy will reach Washington DC Saturday in a call for 'freedom' and the removal of 'unconstitutional' coronavirus mandates

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: After a nearly 2,500-mile journey from Southern California, the now estimated 30-mile-long People’s Convoy will reach Washington DC Saturday in a call for ‘freedom’ and the removal of ‘unconstitutional’ coronavirus mandates

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: On Friday, the convoy arrived at Hagerstown, Maryland - the final stop before one last stretch to the nation's capital on Saturday morning which is now around 75 miles away or about a 90-minute drive - and held a rally. At least 1,000 vehicles were parked at the speedway for the event

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: On Friday, the convoy arrived at Hagerstown, Maryland – the final stop before one last stretch to the nation’s capital on Saturday morning which is now around 75 miles away or about a 90-minute drive – and held a rally. At least 1,000 vehicles were parked at the speedway for the event

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: Crowds of supporters waving and cheering the People's Convoy as drivers arrive at the Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: Crowds of supporters waving and cheering the People’s Convoy as drivers arrive at the Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 5: Some experts allege the group on Saturday will circle the DC beltway to protest vaccine mandates and mask requirements in the United States

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 5: Some experts allege the group on Saturday will circle the DC beltway to protest vaccine mandates and mask requirements in the United States

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The People's Convoy - a spinoff from a protest in Canada started by truckers upset at vaccine requirements to cross the Canadian border - 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

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The People’s Convoy – a spinoff from a protest in Canada started by truckers upset at vaccine requirements to cross the Canadian border – 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

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The truckers allege the government has infringed upon their constitutional rights with the mandates

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The truckers allege the government has infringed upon their constitutional rights with the mandates

The People's Convoy, which began its 11-day cross-country trek in California, will arrive in D.C. on Saturday, March 5

The People’s Convoy, which began its 11-day cross-country trek in California, will arrive in D.C. on Saturday, March 5 

The People’s Convoy is one of several convoys traveling to the greater DC 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 DC: ‘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 DC 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.’ 

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: During the Hagerstown Speedway rally, convoy organizer Brian Brase (pictured Friday), told supporters to celebrate the convoy's journey, but noted they would have to wait longer for details about DC. 'Well, we're going to do something,' he laughed and told the crowd. 'What this is is yet to be determined. Please be patient'

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: During the Hagerstown Speedway rally, convoy organizer Brian Brase (pictured Friday), told supporters to celebrate the convoy’s journey, but noted they would have to wait longer for details about DC. ‘Well, we’re going to do something,’ he laughed and told the crowd. ‘What this is is yet to be determined. Please be patient’

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: 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

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: 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

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The group's planned arrival in the capital city has prompted security concerns and placed authorities on high-alert. DC and Capitol Police have called on agencies from Maryland and Virginia, as well as the National Guard, to monitor the group. Officials say the fencing around the Capitol has been put back up 'out of an abundance of caution'

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The group’s planned arrival in the capital city has prompted security concerns and placed authorities on high-alert. DC and Capitol Police have called on agencies from Maryland and Virginia, as well as the National Guard, to monitor the group. Officials say the fencing around the Capitol has been put back up ‘out of an abundance of caution’

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The convoy, modeled after the Canadian trucker protests, is one of several on the way to the nation's capital region in protest of COVID-19 mandates and a variety of other issues

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The convoy, modeled after the Canadian trucker protests, is one of several on the way to the nation’s capital region in protest of COVID-19 mandates and a variety of other issues

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: 'We are standing up for medical freedom, for all freedoms because we feel like our Constitution needs to be restored,' convoy participant Jennifer Wahrman (not pictured), of Missouri, said Friday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: ‘We are standing up for medical freedom, for all freedoms because we feel like our Constitution needs to be restored,’ convoy participant Jennifer Wahrman (not pictured), of Missouri, said Friday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 5: '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 (not pictured), of West Virginia, echoed Friday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 5: ‘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 (not pictured), of West Virginia, echoed Friday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: People greet Peoples Convoy of truckers as they enter Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: People greet Peoples Convoy of truckers as they enter Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: Bystanders are hailing the truckers as 'brave' heroes fighting for their freedoms

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: Bystanders are hailing the truckers as ‘brave’ heroes fighting for their freedoms

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The People's Convoy is demanding the federal government be held accountable for imposing on the freedoms of the American people with COVID-19 mandates

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The People’s Convoy is demanding the federal government be held accountable for imposing on the freedoms of the American people with COVID-19 mandates

However, according to extremism researcher Sara Aniano – who has spent the last month following the convoy’s chats on the Telegram messaging app – the group’s demands have expanded beyond COVID-19 and now focus on overall federal accountability. 

‘That could mean financial accountability. It could be physical accountability. It could be legal accountability. Their inability to distinguish what exactly that means is where the concern lies,’ Aniano told NBC News.

She also alleges the group has added ‘some of the most extreme QAnon adherents’ and claims the People’s Convoy channels are now focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The researcher argued that some members of the messaging channel have ‘seized on a false conspiracy theory’ that the ongoing war is a cover-up for a military operation backed by former President Donald Trump in Ukraine. 

Aniano claims that convoyers recited the QAnon slogan, ‘Where We Go One We Go All,’ at and rally stop. She also claims a Friday morning Telegram message stated: ‘We can’t fail. We are not GOING to fail. We are gonna fix this.’

The researcher notes that the Telegram messages are ‘vague and ominous,’ alleging the truckers are not sure exactly what they want.

‘In their fantasy, Trump comes back, and the military tribunals commence over Covid tests,’ she told the news outlet. ‘But I don’t think they know what they want. They are just mad, and they want a reason to express that.’ 

Despite Aniano’s claims, throughout their journey, People’s Convoy organizers have maintained their protest is focused on COVID mandates. 

A few participants, including semi-truck driver Chris Musey, of Washington, have cited additional reasons for joining the campaign. He told The Spokesman-Review that he decided to join the convoy because he believes the 2020 election was fraudulent. Courts have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.  

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 5: Bruce Levinge, 52, who has been a trucker for 22 years, traveled from from Ohio to join the People's Convoy

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 5: Bruce Levinge, 52, who has been a trucker for 22 years, traveled from from Ohio to join the People’s Convoy

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 5: Extremism researcher Sara Aniano (not pictured) - who has spent the last month following the convoy's chats on the Telegram messaging app - alleges the convoy's demands have expanded beyond COVID-19 and now focus on overall federal accountability

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 5: Extremism researcher Sara Aniano (not pictured) – who has spent the last month following the convoy’s chats on the Telegram messaging app – alleges the convoy’s demands have expanded beyond COVID-19 and now focus on overall federal accountability

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 5: The researcher claims the group has added 'some of the most extreme QAnon adherents' and claims the People's Convoy channels are now focused on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 5: The researcher claims the group has added ‘some of the most extreme QAnon adherents’ and claims the People’s Convoy channels are now focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The researcher (not pictured) also argued that some members of the messaging channel have 'seized on a false conspiracy theory' that the ongoing war is a cover-up for a military operation backed by former President Donald Trump in Ukraine

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The researcher (not pictured) also argued that some members of the messaging channel have ‘seized on a false conspiracy theory’ that the ongoing war is a cover-up for a military operation backed by former President Donald Trump in Ukraine

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: Crowds of supporters waving and cheering the People's Convoy as they arrive at the Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland on Saturday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: Crowds of supporters waving and cheering the People’s Convoy as they arrive at the Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland on Saturday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The People's Convoy is parked in Hagerstown, Maryland Saturday night - the final stop before it reaches DC

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The People’s Convoy is parked in Hagerstown, Maryland Saturday night – the final stop before it reaches DC

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: A man is pictured raising his fist as the People's Convoy arrives at the Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: A man is pictured raising his fist as the People’s Convoy arrives at the Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday

The convoy – which has raised more than $1.5 million in donations made through its own website – started their journey in California last week on an 11-day trek to Washington, D.C. It remains unclear how many will attend Saturday’s rally in D.C. but a significant turnout is expected, given the large welcome the People’s Convoy has been met with nationwide. 

A rally was held in D.C. Tuesday – the same day as Biden’s State of the Union address – in honor of the truckers, but the event was poorly attended.

The trucker protests come as nearly every state in America either has lifted mask orders or has scheduled a day to do so in the near future, with the exception of Hawaii. 

Even the U.S. Capitol, which has had a controversial mask mandate since legislators returned in the summer 2020, lifted mask orders over the weekend. 

Vaccine mandates, possibly the most controversial COVID-related mandates, are starting to become a thing of the past, as New York City has dropped them for businesses like bars and restaurants.  

The policy changes are in response to virus case loads across the country having dropped precipitously since their early January peak, with the Omicron variant proving to be less likely than earlier strains to cause death or serious illness, especially in vaccinated and boosted individuals. 

The CDC also issued new coronavirus guidelines last Friday that resulted in the lifting of mask recommendations for 70 percent of Americans.  

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The convoy - which has raised more than $1.5 million in donations made through its own website - started their journey in California last week on an 11-day trek to Washington, D.C.

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The convoy – which has raised more than $1.5 million in donations made through its own website – started their journey in California last week on an 11-day trek to Washington, D.C.

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: It remains unclear how many will attend Saturday's rally in D.C. but a significant turnout is expected, given the large welcome the People's Convoy has been met with nationwide

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: It remains unclear how many will attend Saturday’s rally in D.C. but a significant turnout is expected, given the large welcome the People’s Convoy has been met with nationwide

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The trucker protests come as nearly every state in America either has lifted mask orders or has scheduled a day to do so in the near future, with the exception of Hawaii

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The trucker protests come as nearly every state in America either has lifted mask orders or has scheduled a day to do so in the near future, with the exception of Hawaii

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: Even the U.S. Capitol, which has had a controversial mask mandate since legislators returned in the summer 2020, lifted mask orders over the weekend

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: Even the U.S. Capitol, which has had a controversial mask mandate since legislators returned in the summer 2020, lifted mask orders over the weekend

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: Vaccine mandates, possibly the most controversial COVID-related mandates, are starting to become a thing of the past, as New York City has dropped them for businesses like bars and restaurants

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: Vaccine mandates, possibly the most controversial COVID-related mandates, are starting to become a thing of the past, as New York City has dropped them for businesses like bars and restaurants

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 4: The policy changes are in response to virus case loads across the country having dropped precipitously since their early January peak, with the Omicron variant proving to be less likely than earlier strains to cause death or serious illness, especially in vaccinated and boosted individuals

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – MARCH 4: The policy changes are in response to virus case loads across the country having dropped precipitously since their early January peak, with the Omicron variant proving to be less likely than earlier strains to cause death or serious illness, especially in vaccinated and boosted individuals

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