American Truckers lead “People’s Convoy” Across the Country in Protest of COVID Mandates


Josh Klopp

In a movement inspired by the “Freedom Convoy” in Canada, caravans of truckers have organized journeys across the United States in protest against COVID-19 mandates. One group that has garnered notable support is the “People’s Convoy.” Hundreds of thousands of supporters have voiced their opinions on social media; however, changes in international circumstances have adjusted the nation’s priorities.

On February 21, the convoy truckers started on their way from Adelanto, California. Along with other convoys across America, their goal was to arrive in Washington D.C. on March 1 in order to protest during President Biden’s State of the Union Address. In a statement on their website, the “People’s Convoy” wrote, “With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to reopen the country.” They also cited economic reasons, stating, “The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy.”

This message resonated with many people. Reports from convoy organizers projected over 3,000 people to come together in the capitol. One spokesperson for the “People’s Convoy,” Brian Brase, said he expected the convoy to grow exponentially as it moved across the country. “We believe tens of thousands will join,” he said. Because of this, the Pentagon approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard troops, according to The Associated Press. Their role would be to prepare the National Mall for the arrival of the convoys and assist with traffic control. As the caravan passed through Oklahoma and Missouri, several “Overpass Events” took place where non-commuters could show their support. The loud cheers and large signs indicated the mission was off to a great start. 

Less than 24 hours after the “People’s Convoy” hit the road, Russian troops began invading Ukraine. Obviously, this diverted the attention of most of the world, including President Biden. Biden was prompted to shift the focus of his address away from domestic matters and toward the troubling escalation of violence in Europe.

Also, a few days after the convoy departed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance. This was in response to a nationwide decline in COVID-19 infections. In reaction to updated masking guidance, several governors have decreased COVID-19 safety measures. Some of those who were desperate for relief from restrictions were appeased by a move in the right direction. Others consider a war in Europe to be a more pressing issue. Regardless, a portion of public support has turned away from the movement. Some would say that this was made clear by the turnout to the “People’s Stage” in Washington D.C., which was set to host the thousands of protesters during the State of the Union Address. Only a handful of people came out in support of the “People’s Convoy.” This was not because the convoys disbanded, but because they had slowed their pace.

The “People’s Convoy” is currently posted in Indiana and getting set to restart their caravan to the capitol. The convoy has grown significantly from the 40 original members. The length has varied, but at times has been more than 30 miles long. Their numbers will surely continue to grow as multiple smaller caravans are planning to join in the coming days. This could work to the movement’s advantage as commotion about the State of the Union Address and the war in Ukraine could dwindle by the time the convoy arrives in D.C. Entering the capitol with miles of supporters and less factors to consume public attention, the publicity will undoubtedly increase the strength of their message.

Although unforeseen circumstances across the world muted the support for the “People’s Convoy,” the group has worked to spread its message and execute on its plan to wend across the country. We will soon see the impact that American truckers can make when they arrive in Washington D.C. and demand an end to COVID-19 mandates.