Smattering of Protest Trucks Arrive in Washington Area
October 11, 2013
An anti-government protest that organizers had said would bring "thousands" of truckers to Washington, D.C., appears to have attracted only a few dozen at most, according to reports from local media.
According to the Washington Post, no major traffic delays were reported on the Beltway around DC during morning rush hour as a protest of about 30 tractor-trailers and pickup trucks made its way into the city.
The local CBS station, WNEW, said the effort only had about 10 participants as of 8:30 a.m.
At one point, both reports agree, four tractor-trailers started driving side by side across all four northbound lanes of the inner loop, causing traffic to slow to 15 mph, but state troopers pulled them over and warned them not to impede traffic.
“The tractor-trailers were allowed to proceed on their way,” said VDOT spokesperson Corinne N. Geller in a statement.
“At this point, there have no major incidents reported as a result of the convoys,” Geller said at mid-morning.
She said that authorities counted some 30 protest trucks entering the area.
Police also told the Post that in parts of the Beltway, the group stood out because they had American flags draped on their vehicles, along with signs that said "#T2SDA" (Truckers to Shut Down America).
(The effort was renamed “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” after the original T2SDA Facebook page was removed by Facebook.)
Geller told the Post that the organizers of the protest plan to take shifts and drive around the Beltway throughout the Columbus Day holiday weekend.
The group aims to voice its complaints about a wide array of issues, from what it believes are excessive regulations on trucking to broader right-wing complaints, including the accusation that President Obama is not an American citizen, that he should be impeached, and demands to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, often nicknamed "Obamacare."
Earlier this week, major trucking organizations issued statements disavowing the protest, saying it makes more sense to work within the system.
Truckinginfo will follow developments throughout the day.