The Pentagon approved the deployment of hundreds of National Guard troops to Washington D.C. ahead of the American Freedom Convoy, which has plans to shut down the Beltway outside of the capital.
In a move reminiscent of the National Guard presence in the capital following the January 6 breach of Capitol Hill and the walls constructed around the Capitol complex ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration in early 2021, 700 troops and 50 “large tactical vehicles” will be on the ground to maintain order once the trucker convoys arrive in early March, Axios reported.
Speaking with The Epoch Times earlier this week, Freedom Convoy organizer Bob Bolus confirmed they plan to shut down the Beltway as part of their protest against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates, handling of the crisis on the U.S. southern border, and other policies.
Bolus said that they plan to ensure that emergency vehicles will be able to pass their protest so that lives are not endangered, but that they do intend to disrupt traffic outside the capital.
“It’s too bad if it disrupts traffic,” he said. “[People] should stay home then, because it’s going to be disruptive. I don’t care if it was considered an accident on the Beltway, and traffic got backed up. It is what it’s going to be. We have every right to be on the Beltway and on every other road in the interstate system of the United States.”
Several convoys have been departing from cities across the U.S. to convene on the capital beginning March 5.
Organizers of the largest convoy, The People’s Convoy, say they “will abide by agreements with local authorities, and terminate in the vicinity of the DC area” and clarified that they will “NOT be going into D.C. proper.”
Organizer Brian Brase told The Epoch Times that they have a “plan in place” for the convoy’s arrival in the vicinity of the capital, but did not share further details.
Another organizer, Leigh Dundas, said that the truckers have no plans “to obstruct” and will be “abiding by the rules of the road.”
The Canadian Freedom Convoy, a record-smashing train of semi-trucks and other vehicles that arrived outside Parliament Ottawa earlier this month after traveling together across Canada, was recently dismantled after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers.
Over 100 people were arrested and 100 vehicles were towed.
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