The National Guard Bureau is prepping for at least three separate truckers convoys heading for Washington DC, with President Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approving requests on Tuesday for 700 National Guard members to be stationed in the city.
The National Guard Bureau said Austin approved the request ahead of plans for traffic to be disrupted by these convoys as early as Wednesday, according to ABC News.
The group will be comprised of around 400 members of the DC National Guard, and 300 members from outside the district.
They will be stationed in the city to support traffic control, and will not be carrying firearms "or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities," according to the National Guard Bureau.
The protests are expected to continue through early March, both before and after Biden’s State of the Union address to be given on March 1.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department in DC will be increasing patrols of the District on February 22 through March 5, shortly after Biden given his address, according to an internal MPD message obtained by ABC News.
The MPD will also have two rapid response teams ready.
District residents received an alert from district officials on Tuesday warning for potential traffic disruptions this week. According to ABC News, fencing around the Capitol is expected to be raised on Wednesday.
Bob Bolus Towers & Truckers for America, The People’s Convoy, and The American Truckers Freedom Convoy are three truckers' convoys that have announced their intentions to travel to DC.
The Bolus convoy plans to leave from the Scranton area of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
"These are people that have put their whole lives to buy a truck, drive a truck, live in a truck. When people are home sleeping nice and snug as a bug in a rug, these guys are pounding up and down the highway," Bolus told WBRE/WYOU.
Bolus said that the truckers are protesting a number of issues, including the vaccine mandates, restrictions on the trucking industry, and fuel prices.
"They’re overregulated, the fuel charge operation expenses are out of mind, out of sight. And we’re asking this to be brought back where it was before Biden took office," Bolus said.
"We’re not blockading anything off. We’re peaceful, we’re going down the road, we’re not looking for a fight. We’re looking to be recognized, we’re looking to be heard, and we’re looking to be supported because it’s not just about us, it’s about every family in America," Bolus said.
"I hope 10,000, but it’s all up to who shows up and joins us on the way," Bolus said in regards to the number of people in the convoy. "We have food, we have beverages for our people that are going. We’re gonna just enjoy it, it’s our outing to let Washington know they work for us, we don’t work for them."
The People’s Convoy intends to leave from Adelanto, California on Wednesday, starting with a rally.
In a press release, the convoy states: "The message of The People’s Convoy is simple. The last 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans to travel: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least – financially. With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to re-open the country."
"The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years, and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy," the press release continued.
"To that end, it’s time for elected officials to work with the blue collar and white-collar workers of America and restore accountability and liberty – by lifting all mandates and ending the state of emergency – as COVID is well-in-hand now, and Americans need to get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner."
The press release notes that the convoy will abide by agreements with local authorities, and will terminate in the area of DC, not within DC itself.
The American Truckers Freedom Convoy, supported by the Great American Patriot Project, wrote: "Freedom convoys are peaceful, non-violent, demonstrations by those who wish to express their constitutional rights."
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