Trucker Convoy Laps DC On Beltway To Protest COVID Mandates

WASHINGTON, DC — A group of truck drivers and others protesting COVID-19 mandates drove twice around the Beltway on Sunday, driving slowly to affect traffic and make their stance known to politicians.

The group, calling itself the "People's Convoy," consisted of several semi-trucks along with a large group of other vehicles. It started in Hagerstown, Maryland, merged onto the beltway and drove two laps around Washington, DC before returning to Hagerstown.

The convoy comes after a widely publicized trucker convoy called the "Freedom Convoy" forced the closure of Ambassador Bridge between Canada and Detroit last month, grinding several auto factories in both the U.S. and Canada temporarily to a halt. The truckers were protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Canada. The bridge was cleared, but similar convoy-style protests have started in the United States.

While congestion occurred on the Beltway, traffic was able to move around the convoy, according to the Associated Press.

Cars and trucks in the convoy honked at onlookers and supporters with signs stationed at overpasses along the drive to show their approval, according to CNN.

Brian Brase, an organizer of the convoy, has said the group plans to make the same loop every day until their demands are met, and a similar convoy on the roads on a weekday has the potential to be more disruptive, according to The Washington Post.

Brase told the Post the protestors will not enter the city but could increase the amount of loops they make around the beltway.

The convoy made a cross country trek to get to DC after starting in California on Feb. 23. Brase told the Post the group wants to end the national emergency declaration for the coronavirus and peel back vaccine mandates for health care workers and government employees.

DC authorities are monitoring the protests and activity and urge commuters to use different routes if possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the Washington DC Patch