Will America experience her own “Freedom Convoy?” Apparently, the White House thinks so. Security officials are planning to reinstall fencing around the Capitol next week just before President Joe Biden gives his State of the Union address, according to Fox News.
The United States Capitol Police are getting ready for a potential protest similar to Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” truck protest. They believe that there may be a convoy headed to Washington, D.C. for the March 1st speech.
Canada’s convoy has seen truckers protesting for several weeks now. They are taking a stand against the rigid COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates in the nation. They caused a temporary blockade of the busy Ambassador Bridge border that crosses between Windsor and Detroit.
According to the Capitol Police, they have been made aware of similar protests coming to Washington, D.C., and they are preparing to facilitate safe expression of the nation’s First Amendment rights in protest. But they are also preparing to work with law enforcement agencies along with the D.C. National Guard to prepare for Biden’s State of the Union speech.
The Capitol Police put out a statement on Friday saying, “The United States Capitol Police and the United States Secret Service have been closely working together to plan for the upcoming State of the Union. Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, D.C., around the time of the State of the Union.” Just like with any public demonstration, the USCP plans to do what it can to enable a lawful First Amendment activity.
The Great American Patriot Project is a group of truckers from the United States. They have begun trucker convoys in protest against COVID-19 related restrictions and vaccine mandates in several American cities. The group is encouraging truck drivers to join three convoys heading to the Capitol next month.
All of this activity is reminding people of the significant fencing that was put up on the Capitol grounds following the January 6th, 2021 riot at the Capitol. With the fencing came increased policing and even a military presence.
Prior to these moves regarding fencing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to limit attendance at the president’s first State of the Union address, according to a report from Axios. That report stated that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republican leaders that Speaker Pelosi told him that she was going to put a 25-member attendance cap on President Biden’s State of the Union Address. Another updated report stated that all members of Congress will be allowed to attend the address, but there will be no guest tickets made available to members. And all who attend will be required to give a PCR test before the event and wear either an N95 or KN95 medical mask for the duration.
Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, is downplaying the impact of the possible protests and convoy during Biden’s speech. She simply said recently that “everybody can peacefully protest.”
But once again you may see the razor-wire-topped barrier that stood 7-foot-tall around the Capitol. It was installed after the January 6th, 2021 riot and removed in July. It was reinstalled in September just before a planned rally but was taken down after just one day. And now it may be put back up again.
The potential demonstration may depart from Barstow California on Interstate 40. Maureen Steele is the national organizer of the effort. She said that approximately 1,000 trucks are expected to begin the trip and more may join them in the process.
Steele said, “This is about our rights, as well as the freedom of future generations. It’s not about political parties, but more so about a government that has forgotten its place and has no regard for our founding fathers’ instructions.”