Peoples Convoy enters Washington D.C. causing massive traffic delays

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


For the first time since they began driving laps around Washington D.C. on March 6, the People’s Convoy left the Beltway and entered the city, causing major traffic jams along Interstate 395 on Monday. Police responded by closing exits down to prevent the trucks from entering further into the city.

“Today we’re getting right next to their walls,” said convoy co-organizer Mike Landis, adding, “We’re not going to go in and throat-punch them just yet, even though I know we would all love to do that.”

When the People’s Convoy departed from their usual course and onto the 14th Street Bridge, they added hundreds of additional vehicles into already crowded early afternoon traffic. The escalation in protest strategies meant that the convoy clogged up major arteries heading into the nation’s capital including Interstate 395 and Interstate 695, before they returned to the Beltway.

Brian Brase, another co-organizer, said in a Monday interview that the convoy “would not be stopping” or “blocking” anything. Instead, the decision to enter the city was a strategic move to gain attention. The sheer size of the convoy caused a 4-mile long traffic jam on the eastbound lanes. Traffic slowed to a near-standstill from the Potomac River to the Anacostia River.

This caused police to block exits ahead of the truckers to prevent them from leaving the interstate. An alert from D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management said, “These rolling road closures are occurring in real-time as they are needed, and will be lifted as soon as they are no longer necessary.

The People’s Convoy was also recently denied a 2-week protest permit at the National Mall that could have potentially gathered up to 500 trucks, 1,000 cars and campers, and 100,000 people in protest to pandemic restrictions. According to the National Parks Service the permit was only partially denied due to prior events booked at the mall.

Brase withdrew the entire application on Sunday, however, because he did not like the “strain” it would put on law enforcement. He had previously considered lowering the participating numbers of trucks and people. According to Brase, the decision was his.

They never told me I had to cut it down at all. They were totally willing to facilitate that. It’s a First Amendment right protest. But I was trying to, I guess, make it easier on them.

A video posted on March 12 purportedly shows some of the vehicles in the People’s Convoy, claiming that trucks filled up towns “in a 30-mile vicinity.”

As FISM previously reported, the People’s Convoy is a trucker-based protest against COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and mandates inspired by the Canadian Freedom Convoy from earlier this year. Since their arrival near the city on March 6, the Convoy had only driven laps on the Beltway that surrounds Washington D.C. prior to Monday.