US truckers are planning a protest inspired by their northern neighbors
US truckers are reportedly planning to mimic the weeks-long protests that paralyzed Canada's capital.
Following the lead of the weeks-long protests that crippled Canada's capital of Ottawa, truckers in the United States intend to drive toward Washington to protest pandemic limitations.
They've termed the demonstration "The People's Convoy" and claim they want to "jumpstart the economy" and see the country reopen. According to statements, the 11-day trip will begin from California and will approach the Beltway encircling the US capital on March 5 but will not enter D.C.
According to the Pentagon Tuesday, 400 D.C. National Guard personnel will be available from February 26 to March 7 to "provide support at designated traffic posts, provide command and control, and cover sustainment requirements."
One of the organizers, Brian Base, divulged that he expected thousands, and maybe tens of thousands to participate, adding that "we're not going anywhere" until protesters' demands, which include ending the vaccine and mask requirements, are met.
Most states have already relaxed certain restrictions. In California, where the convoy begins, universal mask regulations were eased last week, with vaccinated persons only needing to wear masks in high-risk sectors such as public transportation, schools, and healthcare facilities.
Another trucker convoy is scheduled to depart Scranton, Pennsylvania – President Joe Biden's hometown – on Wednesday morning and arrive at the 495 Beltway (highway) in Washington later in the afternoon.
Bob Bolus, an organizer, told WJLA news that the convoy has no intention of breaking the law or blocking traffic but warned it may come to this if demands are not met.
Bolus said, "They are not going to intimidate us and they are not going to threaten us. We're the power, not them."
The north's example
On January 22, a mass protest in Canada's capital of Ottawa began against vaccine mandates.
The last trucks were towed out of Ottawa on Sunday and streets were quiet for the first time in over a month following a massive police operation that ended a trucker convoy by demonstrators rejecting COVID health restrictions.
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Federal Emergencies Act for the first time in history.
Base added that he hoped things would not escalate the way they did with "Trudeau with his disgusting government overreach."
The US economy has been suffering like most countries, due to the lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Strained supply chains and a 4 percent unemployment rate are causing Americans to lose patience.
In a statement, the protesters declared it was "time to reopen the country."
Omicron variant created a significant speed bump in America's recovery.