Much-Hyped D.C. Trucker Rally Turns Out to Be a Complete Joke

Zachary Petrizzo for The Daily Beast
Zachary Petrizzo for The Daily Beast

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Only a handful of protesters inspired by anti-vaccine mandate trucker convoys in Canada showed up in the nation’s capital Tuesday afternoon for the “Stage of Freedom” event near the Washington Monument.

Despite the initial hefty estimate that upwards of 3,000 attendees would show, only 12 rally-goers had actually assembled for the gathering just hours ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

The right-wing rally’s organizer, MMA fighter and Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Kyle Sefcik, opened the event—where press and police massively outnumbered protesters—by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before launching into a lengthy speech mixing shameless self-promotion with grievances aimed at the truckers who didn’t show up.

“I wanted to see with my own eyes what people were really about,” Sefcik said. “As you see, with the millions of hits and the hundreds of thousands of people that are behind the movement, there are still not people showing up and being about it!”

The rambling speech, which at times took oddly specific tangents, pressed forward with Sefcik wondering where the convoy of truckers—supposedly aiming to disrupt the Beltway area in protest of vaccine mandates, among other MAGA causes—actually were.

DC Trucker Protest Fizzles as Organizer Revises Permit Numbers Down to Below 500 People

“Where are the trucks?! Where are the trucks?!” Sefcik yelled at one point. “I know the ones that I had planned coming… they’re not even allowed in because they need a commercial license and have proof of a checkoff today because of the checkpoints, so they weren’t even able to stage and make it look cool here.”

“But I still showed up, even if none of you did,” he continued. “I’d still be right here because I keep my word.”

Near the end of his speech to a row of television cameras, Sefcik admitted he had “lost money” on the day’s activities.

The “Stage of Freedom” flop came after right-wing media stars had spent days hyping and praising the rally.

“Listen, this is how it’s done,” Fox News host Dan Bongino said last week. “They are making it clear from the start what their goals are, they are making everything transparent, so there is no guesswork… This, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done!”

D.C. Truck Convoy Organizer’s Plan Sputters Like a Busted Engine

Other oddities at the sparsely attended event included speakers who only went by their first names, including “Pastor Clark” and “Pastor Sermon,” and incomprehensible speeches full of tortured metaphors about cows, fences and about the need to understand God.

While speaking with The Daily Beast as a small group of guitar players replaced him on stage, Sefick acknowledged his poor showing.

“Bro, there are at least 11 [people], dude. Come on, man,” Sefcik joked about the rally, which wrapped up hours ahead of its planned 8 p.m. conclusion, before claiming that it “wasn’t about” turnout, actually.

“Just because the amount of people don’t show up,” he said, “it’s not about that, we are going to stick to what we are doing.”

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