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What is the Freedom Convoy 2022?

A GROUP of activists opposed to the Covid-19 vaccination mandate travel across the country to Washington, DC

The group began their journey in Californiaand as they passed through each state, more joined the procession.

The Freedom Convoy makes its way to Washington, DC

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The Freedom Convoy makes its way to Washington, DC

What is the Freedom Convoy 2022?

The 2022 Freedom Convoy was inspired by the Trucker protests in Ottowa, ontario in Canada Last month. The group consists of activists who are openly opposed Covid-19 Vaccination mandates, even as mandates are lifted across the country.

The convoy set off from California last week with the goal of blocking the DC Beltway. The Washington Post reported; but the leader of the convoy, Brian Brase, said that was no longer the plan.

They now intend to reach Hagerstown, Maryland this weekend and Brase said they do not intend to target Washington, D.C.

The convoy has updated its location and was welcomed at Salina on Thursday 3 March. Kansas by a crowd cheering and waving American flags.

“We support everything when it comes to truck drivers and their freedom,” said convoy supporter Chelly Menkhofm 13WIBW News. “And when it comes to freedom, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Another supporter, Dalton McDowell, said that the people gathering in support of the Freedom Convoy are “a great show of solidarity not only with the truckers but also with the general contractors and employees who are being forced to (COVID -19) to be vaccinated. And I stand by them.”

The Kansas Truckers for Freedom Facebook page encourages participation and is private except for those who have been accepted into the group.

The website’s front page reads: “Let’s stand up for our freedoms and fight these illegal mandates peacefully and effectively! The US is currently organizing a convoy similar to Canada’s,” the website said.

“If you’re from Kansas and want to be a part of this, or just want to support from home, please get involved! Truckers or not, we need to stand together and say NO to all these ‘health’ mandates!”

What is the Freedom Convoy planning?

The group intends to stage a “peaceful protest,” according to their Facebook page, and Brase said they have been invited to meet with US senators and officials upon arrival.

In a video posted to social media, Brase told the convoy that the plan for when they would reach the DC metro area was still uncertain.

“Tomorrow or tonight I’m going to tell you about some options that we have,” he said, adding, “I want to think more about it before I consider it.”

However, the Washington Post reported that a participant in the convoy posted a live stream youtube Friday, March 4, 2022, and said, “Select trucks will go to the White House,” but they would not target the city.

“I don’t want people to think we’re invading DC,” he said on the live stream. “This isn’t the convoy going into the DC Commons. These are a few select drivers.”

Despite the convoy’s claims that their trip was nothing more than a peaceful protest, Sara Aniano, a Monmouth University communications student who studies far-right rhetoric and conspiracy theories on social media, remains skeptical.

“Maybe people don’t want to listen to Brian (Brase). Maybe people want to defect and do their own thing. I wouldn’t trust anything,” she said.

Aniano has been following the Freedom Convoy’s responses and reactions via Telegram chats, social mediaand live streams, adding, “We still don’t know where and what the final is.”

People across the US cheered the Freedom Convoy as it made its way to Washington, DC

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People across the US cheered the Freedom Convoy as it made its way to Washington, DCPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

How is the region preparing for the convoy?

Officials from Maryland and Washington, D.C. have difficulty preparing for the convoy due to the difference in size of the convoy.

During the 12-day journey, some group members decided they had gone far enough and turned back, while others followed to take their place.

Sergeant Christopher Watson, a spokesman for the Illinois State police told the Washington Post that it was impossible to tell who would be arriving in the DC area as the convoy passed through his state.

“People reached a target point and decided, ‘Okay, I’m far enough’ and went home, and then more followed along the way,” he said.

“It was very different, so we had to adapt pretty quickly.”

In preparation for the convoy’s arrival, Washington County schools closed two and a half hours earlier on Friday, March 4, and both Virginia and Maryland police forces have arrived in the area, according to The Washington Post.

Heightened security still prevails in the country’s capital, and police are now stationed on the bypass and major exit ramps in case they need to divert traffic.

Though police in the area say they’re still not sure what will happen when the convoy arrives, DC police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said, “It’s fair to say we would look at all mitigation options” should the convoy enter the district.

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DevanCole

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