More than a thousand large trucks, recreational vehicles and cars are gathering on the outskirts of Washington as part of a protest against Covid-19 restrictions that threatens to roll on the US capital in the coming days.
The so-called “People’s Convoy”, which originated in California and has drawn participants from around the country, is calling for an end to all pandemic-related restrictions. It was inspired by demonstrations last month that paralyzed Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.
The convoy’s message has been undercut in recent weeks as major US cities have rolled back mask mandates and other measures against Covid-19, which has led to more than 950,000 deaths in the United States but has been mitigated with vaccines and therapeutics. Joe Biden, a Democrat, signaled in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday that the country was entering a new, more controlled phase of the pandemic without business lockdowns or school closures.
Still, more than 100 18-wheeler trucks amassed with other vehicles on Friday evening at the Hagerstown Speedway, a racetrack about 80 miles (129km) from downtown Washington, according to Reuters witnesses. Drivers continued to stream into the parking lot on Saturday morning, one witness said.
A website for the protest said they did not plan to enter “DC proper” and social media posts suggested they could remain at the racetrack on Saturday. But one participant who described himself as the lead trucker told a cheering crowd at the racetrack on Friday night that he would drive his truck into the heart of the American capital.
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SOURCE: The Guardian,