USA: Trucker protest breaks out towards Washington DC

USA: Trucker protest breaks out towards Washington DC

After weeks of protests in Canada’s capital Ottawa, the anti-vaccination movement in the United States is now also trying to take its protest to the streets. A trucker convoy set off from California for Washington DC on Wednesday

Since the beginning of the “Freedom Convoys” in Canada, high-ranking conservative politicians in the USA have been trying to bring the trucker protest to American streets. Both Donald Trump and his hottest opponent for the presidential candidacy, Ron DeSantis, have called for support for the trucker protests in recent weeks.

Corresponding groups on Facebook and Telegram had already tried in vain to block the Superbowl two weeks ago. On Wednesday, a convoy of 40 trucks left Adelanto, California, for Washington. A political organization that supports the right-wing populist MP and Trump confidante Matt Gaetz in his trial for sexual acts with a minor before the US Department of Justice had called for this. The truck caravan from California is to travel across the country and reach the American capital on March 6th. Some movements from other states want to arrive five days earlier for Joe Biden’s “State of the Union” speech.

Truckers call for end to national emergency

For almost four weeks, demonstrators blocked the streets of the Canadian capital Ottawa with trucks and other vehicles to protest against compulsory vaccination at the border crossing to the USA. In the meantime, the border crossings were even blocked. Canadian police began clearing the streets over the weekend. There is no such regulation for American truck drivers. On the contrary: most states have already relaxed the corona measures. Since last week, residents of California have only had to wear a mask in rare cases.

Nevertheless, the truckers are calling for the end of the national emergency caused by the Corona Pandemic, which was decreed by Donald Trump in March 2020 and recently extended by the new President Biden. In addition, all measures to contain the corona pandemic, in particular the wearing of masks, should be discontinued. The demonstrators are also critical of vaccinations.

Connections to the right-wing scene

Many of the participants have connections to the far-right scene, were involved in the violent attacks on the US Capitol, or supported the conspiracy theory that Trump legitimately won the 2020 election. So did the organizer of the rally at the starting point in California, Leigh Dundas. As a lawyer, she represents an anti-vaccination movement that has been shown to have taken part in the storming of the Capitol and called for the murder of alleged election fraudsters.

The leaders of the so-called “America Project” – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn – were also represented at the rally. The group advised Donald Trump last year to use military force to stay in office. Some Republican politicians were also on site in Adelanto, California on Wednesday.

National Guard to protect Washington

According to a spokesman for the movement, the nationwide protest should be peaceful. The demonstrations would end near the capital. A blockade of Washington, as in Ottawa, is not planned. The California Highway Patrol warned truckers in a statement Wednesday that any form of blockades or shutdowns would result in arrests.

The police in the American capital initially want to recognize the protests as lawful demonstrations. However, around 700 unarmed police officers are already stationed on site. Should the situation require it, hundreds of National Guard troops would also be on standby to defend the capital. A temporary fence is to be erected around the Capitol, as it was after the attacks last January.


Source: Stern

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