Tractor-trailer drivers will intentionally clog the inner loop of the Washington, D.C., beltway beginning on the morning of Oct. 11, according to a coordinator of the upcoming “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” rally.
Organizers of the three-day ride want to call attention to a litany of trucker frustrations and express their disapproval of national political leaders.
Earl Conlon, a Georgia trucker who is handling logistics for the protest, told U.S. News tractor-trailer drivers will circle the beltway “three lanes deep” as he rides with other participants to Congress to seek the arrest of congressmen for allegedly disregarding the Constitution.
The truckers circling I-495 will keep the left lane open for emergency vehicles, Conlon said, but “everybody that doesn’t have a supporter sticker on their window, good luck: Nobody in, nobody out.” The trucks will be going the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit.
D.C. commuters who wish to be allowed past the convoy must have “T2SDA” – an acronym for the event’s original name, “Truckers to Shut Down America” – written on their vehicle, he said.
“It’s going to be real fun for anyone who is not a supporter,” Conlon said, “[and] if cops decide to give us a hard time, we’re going to lock the brakes up, we’re going to stop right there, we’re going to be a three lane roadblock.”
Zeeda Andrews, a former country music singer helping promote the protest, said last week participants would present demands to congressmen – including the impeachment of President Barack Obama – and give the congressmen an opportunity to agree to the demands in exchange for canceling the ride.
But Conlon says that’s not quite right.
“We are not going to ask for impeachment,” Conlon said. “We are coming whether they like it or not. We’re not asking for impeachment, we’re asking for the arrest of everyone in government who has violated their oath of office.”
Conlon cited the idea of a citizens grand jury – meaning a pool of jurors convened without court approval – as the mechanism for indicting the officials.
“We want these people arrested, and we’re coming in with the grand jury to do it,” he said. “We are going to ask the law enforcement to uphold their constitutional oath and make these arrests. If they refuse to do it, by the power of the people of the United States and the people’s grand jury, they don’t want to do it, we will… We the people will find a way.”
It’s almost certain that anyone attempting to “arrest” a member of Congress would be arrested themselves for attempted kidnapping.
Conlon and Andrews say Obama committed “treason” by allegedly funneling weapons to al-Qaida-linked rebels in Syria. Members of Congress who support arming Syrian rebels, Conlon said, are accessories to the alleged crime. He identified House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as politicians he will seek to arrest for alleged acts against the Constitution.
Andrews said last week 3,000 truckers had RSVP-ed to the event, and Conlon says he’s now lost count of the number. He says he’s receiving around 100 emails a day from prospective participants.
“What we want to do is go in nice and peaceful and keep it as peaceful as possible… but if they decide to get ugly with us we’re going to do what we have to do,” he said. “If all I get is one or two congressmen walked out of there in handcuffs, that will be a shot across the bow that will ripple across all branches of government… I hope they are all civil enough and brave enough to step out onto the congressional steps.”
Trucker-specific grievances behind the protest include Environmental Protection Agency fuel efficiency standards and the high cost of diesel fuel. State and local anti-idling laws as well as insurance companies purportedly requiring technological updates are among the irritations, as is the perceived deterioration of Fourth Amendment rights protecting truckers’ cabs.
Whether or not the truckers pack a punch to D.C. area traffic depends on the number and intensity level of participants. A similar three-day protest in 2007, against illegal immigration and competition from Mexican truckers, did not spoil commutes as feared, the Washington Examiner reported. A Facebook page advertising the upcoming ride has close to 50,000 likes.