“There is no convoy [going into D.C.], Group organizer Brian Brace said from inside the front truck. “The convoy is going to continue its normal operation. This truck will go into DC ”
Although many of the epidemic-related restrictions at the federal and local levels were blocked or revoked, the convoy organizers rallied supporters claiming the orders violated their independence.
“You can’t ignore a senator riding in a front truck,” Brace previously told a crowd at Hagerstown Speedway. “It’s basically an endorsement of what we do.”
“Your voice is being heard,” Cruz told the crowd as truckers, drivers and supporters grabbed their phones and cameras to film his speech. “The men and women here want the government to leave you in hell. … that’s the American feeling you can imagine. “
Brace said the convoy would continue to protest until orders were issued to health workers, federal staff and military personnel, but he warned the convoy against moving to the capital.
“If you leave the project and you decide to break the rankings and bring your happy bits right to DC … you are not representing a convoy of people in doing that,” he said. “Don’t do that. Stick to the plan … it works. They’re coming here now.”
Brace insisted the group would not leave the region until the orders were lifted. A convoy of large rickshaws, rivals and pickups began circling the Beltway on Sunday, repeating the protest on Monday and Tuesday. The team rested Wednesday due to rainy weather and safety concerns on the roads. Thursday is the fourth day of the struggle in the Beltway.
Brace and other convoy leaders Cruz and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Met at the Capitol on Tuesday morning to discuss their demands and grievances. Although there was no direct response from the crowd, Brace said he saw a step in the right direction.
The convoy leadership met with some Republican members of the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday afternoon to discuss their shared concerns about the epidemic-related orders. Concluding federal decrees, convoy members are calling for President Donald Trump to first issue a declaration of national emergency in March 2020 and then extend it to President Biden.
The group leaders have called on Congress to hold an inquiry into the government’s response to the epidemic, and urged people across the country to begin organizing in their state capitals.
The group came to the DC area over the weekend with some members from Atlanto, California, and set up on Hagerstown Speedway for over an hour outside the city.
Law enforcement officials in Virginia and Maryland said there had been no incident since the convoy circled the Beltway, except for a few minor jams. The convoy said another 150 cars and trucks had joined when it reached Hagerstown Speedway.
Authorities said there were no arrests, towed vehicles or violations as a result of the convoy.
It is not clear exactly when the convoy plans to leave the DC region. Trucker, 37, of Ohio, said at one point he planned to stay in Hagerstown until at least Saturday, but that they could stay longer to get more meetings with politicians.