Following Canadian truckers' 'Freedom Convoy,' U.S. 'People's Convoy' ready to roll on Wednesday
The U.S. trucker convoy has taken extra precautions in preparation for counterprotests and the possibility of donations being frozen.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
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."
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