Convoys of truckers converge in Hagerstown, prepare to head to DC
Several convoys of truckers, from across the country, converged in western Maryland on Friday with plans to head to the DC area over the weekend.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Thousands of people gathered in Hagerstown, Md. on Friday to take part in a traveling convoy of truckers.
Truckers have been driving from different parts of the country to the DC area for more than a week to protest what they perceive as excessive interference by the federal government.
Truckers say they are concerned about everything from educational guidelines to mask requirements to religious freedom issues.
“I want to show my support for my country and let Canada know that we support it,” a trucker named Shawn from Arizona – who did not provide his last name – said in an interview with WUSA9.
On Friday, several convoys converged on Hagerstown Speedway. The roads to the north, south and west were clogged with traffic.
Hundreds of tractor-trailers are currently inside Hagerstown Speedway. Starting at 8 p.m., a two-mile-long line of cars and trucks could be seen on Route 40 trying to enter the scene.
It is still unclear where the truckers will go next.
Some truckers have announced plans to travel to the DC area as early as Saturday. Shawn said organizers told truckers to wait in Hagerstown for another convoy to show up on Sunday. Another trucker, Cliff Smith, said he was not told what would happen next.
“I understand that we need law and order, but the complete removal of freedom of choice from human beings is suffocating America,” Smith said.
Smith said the Convoys pit stop in Hagerstown has had the highest turnout so far.
The trucking convoy has already disrupted the routines of some area residents. On Friday, Washington County Public Schools decided to dismiss two and a half hours early so school buses wouldn’t get stuck in trucker traffic.
Several convoys said they did not plan to enter the district and would only hover around the capital‘s ring road.
Still, DC leaders say they have been planning for weeks with regional partners what they will do to keep convoys from inconveniencing residents.
“Some of these mitigation strategies will be seen by the public, some will not,” said Dr. Chris Rodriguez, director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
The National Guard has also been called in to help with traffic control until at least Monday. WUSA9 has also learned that the Metropolitan Police Department’s Civil Unrest Unit has been activated until March 13.