A convoy protesting against the COVID-19 mandates makes the circuit of the ring road
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) – A large group of truck drivers who oppose COVID-19 mandates drove two loops around the ring road surrounding Washington on Sunday, deliberately moving slowly to impact traffic and make their feelings known to lawmakers in the nation’s capital.
People thronged the overpasses, saluting the “people’s convoy” and waving signs and American flags. In the convoy were tractor-trailers with horns and occasional RVs and pickup trucks passing by, mixed with normal traffic on Interstate 495 in Silver Springs, Maryland.
The convoy was moving normally – albeit slowly – and although some congestion was noted, news outlets reported that traffic could flow around the convoy. Many vehicles displayed American flags, while some displayed Don’t Tread on Me banners.
“We’re not even sure we can call this a convoy anymore because it’s so scattered in routine traffic at this point,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told The Washington Post. .
Protesters organized at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland over the weekend before moving down a single lane of Interstate 81. Their plan was to drive on the Capital Beltway, bypass it twice, then return to Hagerstown.
The convoy follows similar protests by truckers in Canada who are upset about vaccine requirements to cross the Canadian border. The Washington Post also reported that convoy organizer Brian Brase intended for protesters to travel the ring road every day over the coming week until their demands were met.
Video posted to Twitter showed trucks passing under a large American flag hoisted into the air by two cranes. Supporters stood along a road waving as drivers pulled out of the fast lane.
State police officials in Maryland and Virginia said they would monitor activity.
Authorities in the District of Columbia said Sunday they are monitoring demonstration activities that are expected to begin disrupting road travel in and around the area. The majority of activity should occur on the device. Travelers were advised to consider alternate modes of transportation.