The movement that gathered nearly 75,000 followers in its one-week existence came to a halt as the person who started it all backed away from calls for a work stoppage, saying, “Now is not the time.”
In an appearance on the video blog “The Post Trip with James Rogers,” Stop the Tires 2020 creator Jeremy Rewoldt discussed how the overwhelming growth of the Facebook group took him by surprise and thrust him into a position of leadership he had not anticipated.
“I am no leader,” he said. “But I am a believer. What I am asking for next is for you to NOT stop your tires. Now is not the time.”
Rogers, the show’s host, referenced and then read much of an article published last week by The Trucker, “Stop the Tires 2020 founder hopes to gain understanding, support of trucking industry issues from government,” about Rewoldt and his group.
Rogers said he had reached out to Rewoldt after reading The Trucker’s story to give him a chance to change course.
“You made an emotion-based decision based on a presumed result of the election that hasn’t been certified yet,” he told Rewoldt in the interview. “I did,” admitted Rewoldt.
During the interview, Rewoldt discussed how the administrative team he had assembled had ultimately fractured over disagreements about the purpose of the group. Rewoldt favored a work stoppage only, with no action taken that might harm trucking’s image, such as slowing or blocking traffic and not interfering with shipments of medical supplies.
Rewoldt also posted his request on the Stop the Tires 2020 page, saying, “When this group was made the intentions were to talk and BS amongst a few, if not a couple hundred, people, my friends and others included. What I though was going to be a few hundred turned into 75K people who I now had to voice for.”
The group’s profile photo was changed to now include the words “Canceled, stand down, do not stop, now is not the time.”
One person that Rewoldt referred to as the “workhorse” of the group created pages on other social-media sites, as well as a standalone website, and had begun soliciting funds for the group — all, Rewoldt told Rogers, without his knowledge or approval.
“When I first started the group, I made it clear that I want no boost like money or profit coming into my group,” he explained.
Hours before Rewoldt appeared on “The Post Trip,” Cara Carroll, who initially referred to herself as a “co-founder” of the Stop the Tires 2020 group, posted in another Facebook trucking group that she was no longer associated with Rewoldt’s group due to “different visions for the movement moving forward.”
Other members have moved on to a variety of trucking groups on Facebook, expressing a desire to become more active in protesting conditions faced by drivers and owner-operators. Some are still concerned about policies president-elect Joe Biden could enact upon inauguration, such as restrictions on fracking and the Green New Deal; others voice more traditional trucker complaints, such as overregulation, taxes and insufficient pay.
In any event, the scheduled Nov. 26-29 shutdown scheduled by the Stop the Tires group has been called off. While some continue to claim in other groups that they will shut their trucks down anyway, no group has come forward to claim leadership over any such movement. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much agreement on a cause or what actions will be taken in its support.
Cliff Abbott is an experienced commercial vehicle driver and owner-operator who still holds a CDL in his home state of Alabama. In nearly 40 years in trucking, he’s been an instructor and trainer and has managed safety and recruiting operations for several carriers. Having never lost his love of the road, Cliff has written a book and hundreds of songs and has been writing for The Trucker for more than a decade.