If you are anything like me, you likely read this title and have heard of the People’s Convoy and instantly felt at least some small measure of fear. In fact, if I’m being honest, I’ve felt that way since I first heard of the Freedom Convoy that took place last month in Canada’s capital of Ottawa.
To be sure, I was also excited and proud.
I mean, here in the U.S. and all over the world, really, people have been dealing with lockdowns, mandates, and what most of us would call unnecessary and far overreaching COVID rules. As a republic and democracy, our leaders need to know that we, the people, should have a very important voice on those matters, especially when science no longer backs what they are saying.
Therefore, I wholeheartedly encourage and support any cause that lets the people stand up for themselves and their rights.
However, as we learned by watching Canada’s version of the People’s Convoy and by experiencing our own Capitol incursion last January, things can get out of hand and extreme rather quickly, and not just for the truckers themselves. For most of us, I think it’s safe to say that we feared that another demonstration of the people’s First Amendment rights, especially one that ended in Washington DC, would end in chaos and possibly even tragedy.
Thankfully, that isn’t at all what happened when America’s response to the overreaching COVID protocols entered DC on Sunday.
According to The Washington Post, the convoy of truckers made it to DC this past weekend and let their voices and their horns be heard for more than four hours on Sunday by making two loops around the city, using the Beltway, also known as I-495. And all along the way, mostly supportive onlookers gathered to cheer them on.
But the increased traffic didn’t hold up the interstate or cause problems, of that the organizers made sure of.
As Brian Brase told the Post, “We do not want to impede traffic any more than necessary to get our message across.” And neither did they want to get in trouble for anything.
As Brase and others told the outlet, the idea was to get their point across but to be above reproach the entire time. Therefore, the 60-mile-long line of trucks only stayed on the Beltway, traveling at a steady 55 miles per hour speed. They didn’t enter DC Proper. They didn’t hold up traffic. Hell, they didn’t even cause any accidents, according to reports.
Brase said that at one point, there were concerns about people who wanted to stir up some trouble coming to join the group, but he and others made it clear that they would not be welcome. According to the Stars and Stripes, he said, “If your intention is to come down here and cause harm, violence, and disruption, and plain and simply cause division, then I’m sorry to say, but you don’t belong here.”
And as of Monday morning, no such instances involving the convoy had been reported.
Now that isn’t to say that local police departments and the entire city of DC weren’t on high alert.
As Just the News reported, long before the People’s Convoy reached the outskirts of the city, traffic advisories and alerts were issued in anticipation of the onslaught of truckers and their supporters. Inside the district, the National Guard was requested to be on standby.
Of course, they were already on site for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last week. However, they remained on hand until Wednesday to assist with any traffic needs potentially caused by the convoy.
In either case, their presence wasn’t needed.
The protest went off without a hitch and no incidents whatsoever. A perfect example of what our First Amendment rights should look like. Well, I take that back. A perfect example would be that the convoy wouldn’t fear protesting in the actual capital without severe repercussions. But with the current leadership, I guess we’ll take what we can get for now.