The Capitol Police Board has issued an emergency declaration over the People’s Convoy trucker protest that has arrived in DC.
House Sergeant at Arms William Walker announced the emergency declaration as the convoy arrived on Sunday.
“The Capitol Police Board has issued an emergency declaration to ensure that the US Capitol police are able to operate and respond as necessary,” Walker said in a letter to all members of Congress and staff, CNN reports.
Walker suggested people try to work remotely or take public transit while the convoy is protesting.
Walker also said the Committee on House Administration had “determined that extraordinary circumstances exist to permit use of official funds to reimburse short-term lodging expenses in the Washington, D.C., area for certain Members and staff,” per the report.
Washington County, Maryland, Sheriff Doug Mullendore has said that they have not had any issues with the convoy while they were in Hagerstown to rally earlier in the day.
“There are at least four convoys that have converged in Hagerstown and are staying at the Hagerstown Speedway,” he said. “There have been no problems and we are just monitoring things. We are working closely with the Maryland State Police.”
Mullendore added, “They have been very respectful and have caused no problems here.”
Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told CNN that the agency had “been in contact with various groups’ organizers to ensure their understanding of Virginia traffic laws.” Law enforcement’s goal, she said, was to “mitigate the impact of additional traffic volume on already congested roadways and Northern Virginia communities.”
In a press release about the convoy’s goals, organizers wrote that “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. 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.”
Imprisoned political leader Alexei Navalny on Wednesday called for his fellow Russians to protest the invasion of Ukraine every day.
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics, Navalny called him an “obviously insane tsar” in a statement posted on Twitter.
“I cannot, do not want and will not remain silent watching how pseudo-historical nonsense about the events of 100 years ago has become an excuse for Russians to kill Ukrainians, and for Ukrainians to kill Russians while defending themselves,” he wrote.
Putin has been promoting baseless accusations of Ukraine committing “genocide,” and said that the country must undergo a “demilitarization and denazification.”
Navalny urged citizens to not allow Russia to “become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane czar.”
“Putin is not Russia,” Navalny stated. “And if there is anything in Russia right now that you can be most proud of, it is those 6824 people who were detained because – without any call – they took to the streets with placards saying ‘No War.'”
The 45-year-old Navalny was almost killed in August 2020 after he was attacked with a nerve agent in Siberia, the BBC reported. He returned to Moscow in January 2021, and he has been impriosned ever since.
“It’s the third decade of the 21st century, and we are watching news about people burning down in tanks and bombed houses. We are watching real threats to start a nuclear war on our TVs,” Navalny stated.
He encouraged Russians to protest all over the world in “the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays.”
Those who are abroad should go to the Russian embassy, he said.
“But we must, gritting our teeth and overcoming fear, come out and demand an end to the war. Each arrested person must be replaced by two newcomers,” he urged.
Navalny concluded: “Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price. There’s no one to do it for us. Let’s not ‘be against the war.’ Let’s fight against the war.”
The largest truck convoy in the United States has grown in size since departing California and is attracting thousands of supporters as it makes its way to the East Coast.
The People’s Convoy started with around 150 vehicles and has grown to over 250 as it made its way through Texas and Oklahoma over the weekend.
More vehicles have joined for stretches of time. That, along with the length of the convoy, makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly how many participants it has.
“It varies. Let’s just say there are like 50 truckers that know the convoy is coming through and might have been going through this area. They’ll stop at an exit and they’ll wait for the convoy to come by, and then they’ll join it. They might join it for 200 miles or 100 miles, and then they keep going wherever they were going because they were heading in the same direction as us,” Maureen Steele, one of the convoy’s organizers, told The Epoch Times.
“And then there are cars that join … and some of them go for 30 miles, some go for 100, some for 200, and then they drop off.”
Collin Walters joined the convoy for about 25 miles.
“This is a movement that everybody should be supporting. This is a national event; this is making history,” Walters told The Epoch Times.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he added.
Kathy Walters, his aunt, said she opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates like the ones the federal government imposed. She sees them as violating Americans’ “free will.”
Convoy organizers say they are against vaccine mandates, the federal government’s continuation of a national emergency declaration over COVID-19, and other actions from President Joe Biden’s administration.
Convoy supporters in Texas on Feb. 26, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Truckers part of The People’s Convoy drive past an overpass with supporters in Oklahoma on Feb. 27, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Convoy supporters wave American flags by the side of the road in Oklahoma on Feb. 27, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Convoy supporters in Oklahoma on Feb. 27, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Convoy supporters in Oklahoma on Feb. 27, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Organizers have been sending drones up periodically to capture estimates of vehicles traveling with the group, which has drawn thousands of people to roadsides as the convoy passes by.
Chuck Frantz showed up to display his support for the convoy in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
“This is getting people’s attention,” Frantz told The Epoch Times on a highway overpass. He described the mandates, some of which have been struck down by courts, as unconstitutional.
A spokesman for the Amarillo, Texas Police Department, which worked to make sure the convoy’s passage was smooth, told The Epoch Times that there were no issues.
KTUL-TV reported that several vehicles in the convoy were involved in a crash about 15 miles west of Big Cabin, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, told the broadcaster that the cause of the crash is under investigation.
The convoy stopped in Big Bend, Oklahoma on Sunday night and was prepared to travel to Missouri on Feb. 28. It is on track to arrive in Washington, where authorities are reinstalling fencing around the Capitol, on March 5.
OTTAWA—As police in Ottawa escalated operations for the second day in a row against the trucker protest opposed to the government’s COVD-19 mandates, a spokesperson for the movement, dubbed “Freedom Convoy,” called for a peaceful withdrawal, saying they are not going to be a “punching bag for law enforcement.”
Speaking at a press conference at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 19, retired Canadian military officer Tom Marazzo said many truckers feel that the best course of action for them and their families is to withdraw in order to avoid further harm.
“As a movement, we have chosen to peacefully withdraw from the streets of Ottawa. There is nothing to be gained by being brutalized by police,” Marazzo said.
Police began escalating their operation against the protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 18, announcing mid-morning Feb. 20 that they have thus far made 191 arrests and had 57 vehicles towed away. Mounted police and officers on foot advanced on demonstrators, with horses knocking down protesters in some instances.
Some police officers were heavily armed, including with assault rifles and what appeared to be rubber bullet launchers. Some wielded batons and pepper spray, while some smashed truck windows to remove truckers from their vehicles.
“It’s a dark day in our history,” Marazzo said. “Never in life would I believe anyone if they told me that our prime minister would refuse dialogue and choose violence against peaceful protesters.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to refuse to meet with the organizers of the trucker convoy, which arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 28 and 29.
The convoy began as a protest by truck drivers opposed to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for their cross-border travel. It turned into a much larger movement after many Canadians from across the country began joining in or voicing their support for ending the various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
Prior to the convoy’s arrival in Ottawa, at a press conference on Jan. 26 Trudeau dismissed the protesters as a “small fringe minority … who are holding unacceptable views.”
On Feb. 14, Trudeau became the first prime minister in Canada to invoke the Emergencies Act, aiming to use it as a means to quash the protest in Ottawa and similar ones in other parts of the country.
“The Emergencies Act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country. This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people’s jobs, and restoring confidence in our institutions,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Feb. 14.
“The police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, Ambassador Bridge, and elsewhere.”
Ottawa police called the protest in Ottawa “unlawful.”
Several of the Freedom Convoy organizers have been arrested, including Chris Barber and Tamara Lich on Feb. 17. Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was coordinating security for the protest, was arrested on Feb. 18 and later released without charge.
Marazzo, who isn’t aware whether there is a warrant for his arrest, said the protest in Ottawa has not engaged in any illegal activity.
“There was no damage. There was a little inconvenient noise, I’m sorry, but we’re here fighting for all the people that actually hate us too,” he said.
The retired officer criticized what he described as the “mainstream media” that has portrayed the protesters as being “anti-government,” noting that the convoy organizers have been trying to establish a dialogue with the federal government but have had no success.
“I want to be very clear that our intent has always been, and always will be, to talk to the official government of Canada,” he said. “I have stood at this podium, I have done other media events where I have outlined a plan, and I’ve said ‘I would like to talk to you.’”
“The response was, riot police—no discussion, no dialogue.”
During a press conference on Feb. 17, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino diverted his reply when a Francophone reporter asked whether the government has received intelligence that weapons were being brought to Ottawa or were already in Ottawa with the convoy, something the minister had been “insinuating for days,” according to the reporter
“I am not saying that there is an intelligence saying there are weapons in Ottawa,” Mendicino said. “There are public reports showing that there are indications that there [are] extremist ideological positions and there is a link between the blockades.”
He added that “there is a similarity in the rhetoric emerging in social media and elsewhere.”
At another press conference on Feb. 17, Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe, said Mendicino’s reply meant that the basis for the government’s actions was “rhetoric.”
“This is a government that has invoked an emergency statute on its own admission on the basis of something that somebody has said,” Pardy said. “They have no actual violence occurring. They have no intelligence about threats of violence occurring.”
Marazzo said the attempt by the federal government to “intimidate” the Freedom Convoy is futile as it is a grassroots movement, which if removed, “others will fill their roles.”
“You could say that we inspired people to actually take action, but we certainly were not giving any direction,” he said. “These movements are just organic. They pop up where people want to get up and do something because they’re fed up after two years of being treated like this.”
Marazzo said legal counsel and support for those injured and those being arrested by police is currently being organized. He added that “the truckers will be initiating a charter challenge seeking to have the court strike down the unconstitutional vaccine mandates that discriminate against us all.”
“I never thought I’d see the day when law enforcement officers would be arresting citizens for the crime of exercising their charter rights and freedoms to free assembly and free speech,” he said.
Marazzo also confirmed that his bank account has been frozen and credit cards cancelled. His spouse’s credit score also dropped 109 points on Feb. 18 even though she was not with him in Ottawa, he said.
At a press conference on Feb. 14, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that under the Emergencies Act, the government has authorized banks to cut off services to both individuals and business clients who they suspect are aiding the blockades.
In a media briefing on Feb. 19, Interim Chief Steve Bell of the Ottawa Police Service said the Ottawa police will pursue the protesters even after the protest is over.
“If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely. This investigation will go on for months to come,” he said.
Marazzo said the grassroots movement will regroup and plan their next move. “This is one battle in a larger war for our freedoms,” he said.
He added that all members of Parliament at the federal level have “failed us.”
“We elected these people to represent our best interest, but not to lord over us like kings and queens,” he said.
“Can you hear democracy? Democracy is dead now. It rings louder than the truckers’ horns.”
Limin Zhou and Noé Chartier contributed to this report.
The “People’s Convoy,” a U.S. trucker protest against COVID-19 mandates, is set to begin on Wednesday in California.
Inspired by the Canadian truckers’ “Freedom Convoy,” the People’s Convoy is expecting about 1,000 trucks to start the journey east, with more joining along the way.
“We’re going to be starting the convoy out of Barstow, California,” Maureen Steele, the national organizer of the movement, told Newsmax, explaining that the exact location will be announced closer to the start of the event because of the “paramount” concern for operational security.
“The Canadian convoy was pretty organic when it happened,” Steele said. “Ours, they had a month’s notice, so our concern is disruptive groups coming in. We’re trying to just prepare for counter-protests and to take safety precautions for that.”
Truckers can register with their license plates on the organizers’ website “so we know exactly who is in the convoy and to make sure that it’s going to be a safe ride,” she explained.
According to the website, the organization is calling for the “declaration of a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic be lifted immediately and our cherished Constitution reign supreme.”
The website has its own donation link instead of using GoFundMe or other crowdfunding services. Steele clarified that donations for the convoy will be held with a private bank to prevent them from being frozen by governmental opposition.
“So our funds should not be able to be frozen or hijacked, and all the money is being held by this third-party firm, so we can assure that it absolutely gets to the truckers and it’s clean,” she said. “That’s why it took so long. We have such an infrastructure built for this operation. It took us a while before we could come out.”
The towns where the convoy plans to stop will be announced about 24 hours prior to their arrival for precautionary purposes, Steele said, but she did confirm that they will stop in Arizona and Texas.
A few trucks will be ahead of the convoy “just to check in with law enforcement in towns ahead of the convoy, that if we’re going to be marshaling there that evening, to make sure they’re prepared for a massive convoy to roll into town,” Steele said.
She also noted that people from all walks of life are joining the convoy, from mothers to LGBTQ groups.
“This is everybody,” Steele said. “This is the entire country, every walk of life, every nationality, every facet of community that you can imagine is on board for freedom. We deserve nothing less.”
The CBC reported that Sloly resigned due to accusations of bullying and volatile behaviour. The police chief made a public announcement later Tuesday.
“It has been a difficult journey, but I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished,” said Sloly in a statement.
“Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and put an end to this unprecedented and unforeseeable crisis,” he said.
Last week, Sloly said that there was “absolutely [no]” plans to resign as police chief, telling Newstalk 580 CFRA that he “came here to do a job.”
“I came here to do a job and I’m going to get that job done all the way through,” he said, according to CTV News. “Absolutely committed, have a great team here, great officers, we’ve got great partners in the city. We’re going to get this done.”
Sloly was chief of police with the Ottawa Police Service since October 28, 2019
The police chief was criticized last week by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms’ John Carpay, who highlighted the police force’s efforts to work with GoFundMe to remove funds from the Freedom Convoy truckers.
“Chief Sloly publicly accuses the truckers of engaging in ‘unlawful’ and ‘harmful’ activities, and of promoting ‘hatred’ and ‘violence,'” but provides no examples, facts, or arrests to support his accusations,” wrote Carpay.
“The Chief calls for ‘order’ to be ‘restored’ even though ‘order’ has not been lost. His fact-free rhetoric includes mention of an ‘increasingly volatile’ and ‘increasingly dangerous situation’. As though speaking for an oppressive regime, Chief Sloly has repeatedly called for an ‘end’ to the exercise of the fundamental Charter freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly by Canadians in their own capital city,” he wrote.
A ‘People’s Convoy’ of 1,000 US truckers is reportedly gearing up to head from California to DC.
According to a report on Newsmax, the protest against COVID-19 mandates is scheduled to begin before the end of the month — but the exact start date was not provided.
Eric Bolling spoke to convoy organizers Brian Brase and Maureen Steele who announced that the protest will not rely on big tech companies for fundraising, as GoFundMe shut down the fundraiser for the Canadian convoy and GiveSendGo was hacked after hosting it.
“We have been able to really garner some of the best and brightest on our team to make sure that this convoy goes off without a hitch. We have a logistics specialist, tacticians, we’re ensuring we have fuel. We’ve brought on Exemplar Financial, which has seven offices throughout the country with lawyers and accountants that are overseeing our fundraising to make sure that’s buttoned up,” Steele said.
The organizer added, “our funds are not going to be able to be frozen or hijacked.” The group intends to protect the funds by having them placed in an escrow account.
Pilot Josh Yoder also appeared in the segment as organizers say that airplane pilots will also be participating in the convoy.
The organizers claim that they have 1,000 truckers ready to participate “right out the gate,” but that it will likely grow as it moves from California to DC.
“I think you’re going to see it grow as we move across the country,” Brase said. “Initially, we’ve projected potentially a little over a thousand trucks right out the gate to start.”
According to a Rasmussen poll published this week, the majority of Americans say that they would support a trucker protest in the US.
Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich had a message for Justin Trudeau, after reports that the prime minister would be invoking the Emergencies Act: “We will hold the line.”
Lich said that the protestors would remain “peaceful and planted at Parliament till the mandates are removed.” Lich was speaking during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, addressing Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement that he would use the Emergencies Act to clear the protestors from the city.
The Freedom Convoy organizers have previously said that they would remain in Ottawa until the vaccine mandates were lifted. Fellow protestors who blockaded the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, Mich., were cleared over the weekend.
Four premiers have stated their discontent with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reported decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. Premier Scott Moe (Sask.), Jason Kenney (Alb.), Francois Legault (Queb.) and Heather Stefanson (Man.) voiced their displeasure with Trudeau’s move.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made an announcement on Monday to lift Covid-inspired restrictions earlier than previously planned.
Trudeau intends to speak to the nation on Monday afternoon.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains the author’s opinion.
On Sunday, the Canadian military was sent in to assist law enforcement officials as they forcefully cleared out the Trucker Convoy protest from the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.
Armed with a court order granted the day before, officers arrested dozens of protesters and towed away any vehicles that remained in the area.
Several peaceful protesters are now facing serious punishment, including possible fines of up to $100,000, imprisonment for up to a year, and even the “permanent” loss of their driver’s licenses.
Police handed out fliers on Saturday night, detailing the punishments for continuing to blockade the Ambassador bridge.
Notice the last bulletpoint: “these measures will be permanent.” To add insult to injury, Trudeau and his stasi Goons are openly mocking the protesters for challenging his tyranny and demanding a ‘permanent’ end to mandates.
Seriously, screw this guy. F*ck Trudeau.
Despite the warnings, the brave Canadians remained, ready to take whatever punishment was coming to them.
Videos from earlier in the day on Sunday show police forming a perimeter around the main protest after they had announced they would begin making arrests at 11AM.
From Windsor police:
“Enforcement continuing, individuals who are located within the demonstration area are subject to arrest. People are advised to immediately vacate the area.”
Following the establishment of the initial police line, Riot squads and SWAT teams were dispatched to provide additional assistance. This appears to be when law enforcement began making the initial arrests.
As the crackdown ensued, members of the Canadian Military also arrived on scene to facilitate the arrests.
In one video, military members can be seen flanking the police as they progress towards the crowd of protesters.
“SHAME! SHAME!” The convoy participants can be heard shouting.
In another video that compiles several arrests, a handful of military members are seen marching into the protest area.
Police can also be seen manhandling an old man as they arrest him and pull others out of their trucks.
This was a sweeping effort that was coordinated by all levels of law enforcement.
“In a collaborative effort between police at the local and national levels, authorities moved in and “peacefully” arrested multiple protestors while seven vehicles were towed just after dawn, Windsor police said.”
This is tyranny, plain and simple.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson