HAGERSTOWN, Maryland – A large group of truck drivers opposing COVID-19 mandates circled two loopholes around the ring road around Washington on Sunday, deliberately moving slowly to influence traffic and communicate their feelings to lawmakers in the capital.
People crowded the overpasses, waving a “people’s convoy” and holding signs and American flags. The convoy had towed trailers with beeps, as well as some recreational vehicles and pickups that occasionally drove by, mingling with normal traffic on Interstate 495 in Silver Springs, Maryland.
The convoy was moving normally – albeit slowly – and although some congestion was noted, news agencies reported that traffic could flow around the convoy. Many cars had American flags, while some with “Don’t Step on Me” banners.
“We’re not even sure we can call it a convoy anymore because it’s so scattered among ordinary traffic at the moment,” Virginia Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told The Washington Post.
The protesters organized on the Hagerstown Expressway in Maryland over the weekend before heading down one lane of Interstate 81. Their plan was to take the capital’s ring road, surround it twice, and then return to Hagerstown.
The convoy follows similar demonstrations by truckers in Canada who are upset by vaccine demands to cross the Canadian border. The Washington Post also reported that convoy organizer Brian Braise intends to take protesters off the track every day for the next week until their demands are met.
A video posted on Twitter shows trucks passing under a large American flag raised in the air by two cranes. Fans stood along the road, waving their hands as drivers pulled off the track.
Maryland and Virginia police have said they will monitor the activities.
The District of Columbia authorities said Sunday that they are monitoring demonstration activities that are expected to disrupt traffic on and around roads in and around the region. It is expected that most of the activities will take place on the track. Travelers were advised to consider alternative modes of transport.
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