As it happenedended1646691603

Trucker convoy - ‘Freedom’ protest threatens to snarl traffic as it laps DC for second day

The convoy organiser said he wants to keep the convoy out of Washington DC to avoid arrest

Related Video: Trucker convoy protest in Washington DC fails as no-one shows up

The “People’s Convoy,” a US imitation of the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” that disrupted Ottawa and several border crossings last month, has entered its second day of protest in the Washington DC area. On Sunday, the convoy drove a lap on I-495 - commonly called the Beltway - which encircles Washington DC, though some ended up lost amid the highway’s substantial traffic. Organiser Brian Brase told his followers that every day their demands are not heard, they will circle the 64-mile Beltway an additional time.

The convoy left Adelanto, California, late last month, and picked up participants along the way before reaching its current staging area in Hagerstown, Maryland.

The group’s goals are nebulous. Organisers have said they want an end to the national emergency enacted shortly after the coronavirus hit the US, as well as the lifting of mask and vaccine mandates. However, as almost every state has rolled back or plans to lift their masking requirements and the federal government has lifted its own, the group’s aims appear to have shifted to a general protest of the Joe Biden administration.

In addition to general right-wing protesters, it has been confirmed that at least some QAnon influencers have joined in on the convoy as well.

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Welcome to the liveblog

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the US truck convoy protesting Joe Biden’s administration and coronavirus policies.

This is the second day of the Washington DC leg of the protest. Organiser Brian Brase claims the convoy will circle the city twice today, and will add laps to their drives each day their demands are not met.

Stay with The Independent for all the latest developments with the convoy.

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Convoy will try to occupy two lanes today

Brian Brase, a trucker from Ohio who organised the convoy, said that the truckers would continue driving laps around the Beltway today. He said the convoy would try to occupy two lanes of traffic, even though it struggled to maintain cohesion during its initial, single lane run on Sunday.

The current convoy is made up of hundreds of vehicles and extends for approximately two miles.

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Members of JFK-obsessed QAnon-adjacent cult among the truckers

At least one individual involved in a QAnon adjacent cult focused on the imminent return of former President John F Kennedy and his son - both deceased - is driving in the convoy.

Micki Larson-Olson said to a group of truckers that she is a “proud General Flynn digital soldier” and a “proud Protzmanian out in Dallas.”

A “Protzmanian” references Michael Protzman, aka Negative48, the Gematria-reading leader of the QAnon believers who thought JFK and his son would reappear in Dallas in November.

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Trucker convoy on I-270 in Bethesda

Fox 5 DC’s Allison Papson has posted footage of the trucker convoy as it passes through Bethesda, Maryland on I-270.

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DC rep briefed on trucker convoys

District of Columbia representative Eleanor Holmes Norton has been briefed on the trucker convoys by Capitol Police Chief J Thomas Manger.

“Chief Manger said there are two convoys in the area: one based out of Hagerstown and one parking at Dominion Raceway. Both are composed of vehicles from all over the country, totaling about 2,000 vehicles, including several hundred trucks. As of now, they apparently do not plan to disrupt regular business inside DC, instead planning to drive several laps around the beltway at 45-55 miles per hour and bus some representatives into the District to meet with members of Congress. Chief Manger told me that he was more worried last week, before the State of the Union, prior to making contact with the convoys, and he currently does not expect either of the groups to cause security problems in the area. As the situation could change, I will continue monitoring closely to ensure DC residents are kept safe.”

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Biden administration pumps millions into cleaning up worst polluters on America’s roads

Meanwhile, at the White House, the Biden administration has announced new limits for the biggest polluters on America’s roads including heavy trucks, the iconic yellow school buses, public transit, and delivery vans.

Louise Boyle reports.

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National Guard support extended

The Pentagon has extended National Guard support to Washington, DC, law enforcement following the emergency declaration issued by the Capitol Police Board over the weekend due to the protesting truck drivers, The Hill reports.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved requests from the US Capitol Police and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency “to extend previously approved National Guard support in the District, including around the US Capitol area,” according to a statement.

The guardsmen will provide support at traffic control points for two additional days through until Wednesday, Press Secretary John Kirby said.

Some 700 guards are deployed in the city.

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What happened on Sunday?

A bizarre scene played out along the Beltway highway encircling Washington DC on Sunday, as a small group of demonstrators angry about the Covid-19 vaccine and public health rules put in place to fight the novel coronavirus drove around the city, occasionally honking at gathered supporters.

What initially worried some last week as demonstrators gathered in Hagerstown, Maryland, turned out to be little more than an unnoticeable bump in the already sizable number of large trucks and smaller vehicles that take the DC Beltway every day.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

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Convoy to take one lap of beltway

Convoy to take one lap of the DC Beltway before heading back to Hagerstown organisers say.

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