Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story. Keep checking back with TheTrucker.com for the latest updates and be sure to “like” The Trucker on Facebook to join the conversation.
A group of about 30 tractor-trailers donning American flags were making their way toward the rain-soaked I-495 inner loop of the Washington D.C. beltway early Friday to take part in the three-day protest “Truckers Ride For The Constitution,” Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told The Trucker newspaper.
“Really they’ve only had one incident and no tickets … It’s a nonissue,” Geller said shortly after 10 a.m. central time. “They’ve been broken to small groups … Traffic is thinning out now.”
The truckers began northbound from the Dumfries Scales on Interstate 95 at 7 a.m. At the Doswell truck stop in Caroline County, 15 pickup trucks with the hashtag “T2SDA” left to join the convoy, state police said.
At 8 a.m. eastern time, the tractor-trailers crossed into Maryland on I-495. Close to an hour later, four tractor-trailers were driving side-by-side on four lanes of traffic on the I-459 inner loop at 15 mph.
“Virginia State Police stopped the four tractor-trailers at the 53 mile marker (Fairfax County) and warned them not to impede traffic. No summons/ticket was issued. The tractor-trailers were then allowed to proceed on their way,” Geller said in a news release.
Earl Conlon, a Georgia trucker, said in recent interviews that he expected 3,000 trucks to participate in the strike.
The protest has been a grassroots effort through social media, which started with a Facebook page called “Truckers to Shutdown America,” created by Zeeda Andrews, who is a former truck stop singer. Her list of demands initially included impeaching President Barack Obama “for crimes of treason and misdemeanors” and removing “all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution.”
After Facebook took down the page, a new group took up the cause, calling themselves “Truckers Ride For The Constitution,” which had 163,398 likes as of early Friday.
Conlon organized the logistics of the strike and online radio host Peter Santilli, who has been investigated by the secret service for threats made to Hillary Clinton on his radio program when she was Secretary of State, went forward with hosting a similar strike in California.
Conlon said the group’s goals aligned with the original strike, but arresting congressmen was also a priority. However, he quickly admitted to media outlets he wanted to “sensationalize” statements like this to get the mainstream media attention and that truckers would not be arresting congressmen but encouraging them to resign.
The group also has claimed that the government “now support[s] Al Qaeda.”
Trucking interests including American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest trade organization for truckers, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have spoken out against the strike.
“We’re not a sponsor or a supporter, and we certainly don't condone it,” said ATA spokesman Sean McNally.
The Trucker Facebook page collected more than 100 comments throughout the past week about the strike.
Below are some of the most recent comments:
Gertrude Jackson Just stupidity.. We can't come together to seek change in our industry, but they can jump on such nonsense that has nothing to do w/ trucking … Not surprised Fox News would jump all over this story. Truckers are merely a pawn in all this. Once it's all said and done the 2 behind all of this have set it solely on the shoulders of truckers. Never mind all of our real issues we face in this industry. We can't come together to seek change in trucking, but the few can rise up to partake in such nonsense that could ultimately end bad for all truckers.. Calling this a trucker strike meant they have pulled our entire industry into something that most of us don't agree w/..
Robert Munts Hang in there guys.
Henry Latkolik 4 wow thats a massive convoy !
Benjamin Howard Yeah to hell with the first amendment and any and all other principles this country was founded on. I suppose that's what they would have done in the revolutionary war lol you idiot! These hard working people are fighting for the freedom of everyone
Debbi Ellsworth We as Americans have the right to peacefully assemble.....we do NOT have the right to assemble in a way that impedes interstate/intrastate commerce or travel, we do not have a right to assemble in a way that may infringe on the rights and welfare of others not involved. While changes need to come about in our industry, acting like spoiled children who don't get their way isn't the way to do it. The so called organizers of this have lured us in to get on the news and do the dirty work. You think they will pay those tickets???? Do you think they will employ the drivers who lose their job over this action?
Nikki SlsTruck Stewart None of this is about trucking or the Constitution...don't fall for it! … so they want to USE TRUCKERS to push their political agenda? None of it is about helping truckers!!!! Shutting down the government wasn't enough? The insidiousness of the Conservatives is beyond belief considering Big Business is what's truly ruining our country, not the federal government. SMDH
Mike Swearingen So you want more government regulation then?? You want government to set the rates and who can haul and where you can haul it!! That is regulation that is what truckers way before you fought to get deregulation for!! You really have no idea what you are talking about...
Don Lanier What hes saying is he a Right wing republican doesn’t like the ACA or President Obama, and what exactly does that have to do with the issues that face truckers...Pete Santilli, Zeeta Andrews and the General are all Birthers, hate Obama and think they know how to solve Americas Ills, and there going to use truckers to try and make that happen...sorry Ill be enjoying some baseball this weekend, and BBQ...This is why there on FAUX NEWS, the more you watch the less you know...
Becca Barton Cartwright you are wrong it does have to do with trucking issues which unless you are a trucker or own a trucking business you would understand why they are doing this, we need fuel prices droppe and we need our wages raised, we bust our buts to deliver your food and booze and your every need and when those prices go up we dont get the trickle down to us, our prices of running our businesses and truck bills have went way up and we dont get a wage increase, the laws and rules have made it so bad on the drivers that we are in a shortage for drivers doue to all the regulations and wages.
Oscar Begley Those people DO NOT REPRESENT THE AMERICAN TRUCKING INDUSTRY IN ANY SHAPE, FORM OR FASHION. You should REALLY take the time to inform yourself about the people that "represent your interests." You would have to be a first class idiot to be involved with these people. Now that I think about it, that describes every "trucker" in 'merica today. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
David Hawkins Reckless, irresponsible, misinformed idiots. The funny part is the person behind it hasn't EVER driven a truck in his life. This is illegal and in the end it makes us look like fools and the fines to those that do it will be huge and yes you will have to pay them because it is illegal to be involved.
To read more comments from truckers on The Trucker Facebook page and join the conversation, click here.
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