Trucker Convoy due to arrive in Washington DC on Tuesday, March 1

Following the recent Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protests in Ottawa, truckers across the US have organized multiple Facebook groups aimed to choke the US capitol ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

Why are Truckers Protesting?

Although the groups initially focused on anti-COVID measures such as mask mandates and vaccine requirements, other topics of contention range from jobs to the economy to anti-freedom sentiments around the Emergency Powers Act. However, with mask mandates being dropped quickly across the US, the timing of the protest may be tardy. DC’s mask mandate and proof of vaccination requirements are already set to expire on February 28th as COVID cases have already dropped by 90% since the peak of the omicron wave.

How many are protesting?

Due to the fractious nature of the various groups and their different arrival times, it is difficult to predict how many will participate. While some groups have already canceled their convoys as turnout dwindled with only a handful of participants, they have urged the remaining participants to continue to join some of the larger convoys heading east.

What is Washington DC doing to prepare?

The Department of Defense already approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard personnel following requests from the US Capitol Police and the District of Columbia. With the current crisis surrounding the Russian war with Ukraine, the US capital is already on high alert. Many convoy organizers already anticipate that they may not even be able to enter downtown DC and call on participants to anticipate remaining on the outskirts of the city.