Home World News a “people’s convoy” of more than 1,000 vehicles circles Washington

a “people’s convoy” of more than 1,000 vehicles circles Washington

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Leaving California and joined along the way by other vehicles, the “people’s convoy” launched, on Sunday March 6, its first snail operations on Highway 495, the “Beltway”, a kind of ring road surrounding Washington. Its organizers, inspired by the Canadian movement which paralyzed Ottawa in February, promise a mobilization which will go crescendo as long as the health measures continue.

Snail operations to be heard

Arrived on the outskirts of Washington, the convoy regrouped on March 5 on a motor racing track in Maryland, a state neighboring the capital. This place became the rallying point and base of the movement. More than a thousand heavy goods vehicles, semi-trailers, motorhomes and other vehicles are gathered there to protest against the health measures taken in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The convoy took eleven days to reach the capital, stopping regularly on the road to hold rallies and meet with supporters. Its leader, Brian Base, is a 37-year-old trucker from Ohio, a Midwestern state. He calls in particular for the end of the state of health emergency, declared by Donald Trump and extended by his successor.

American banners in the wind, but also flags to the glory of Donald Trump, the movement launched its first operation on Sunday March 6, a sort of general rehearsal on a weekend day: at a walk, the vehicles made two laps of the Beltway (100 kilometers).

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Reinforcements expected in the coming hours

This Monday, March 7, the movement promised not to occupy one lane, but two, out of the four that make up the Beltway. If it is inspired by the Canadian movement, the “people’s convoy” does not have the same strategy: its organizers assure that they do not intend to enter Washington, nor even to block traffic.

It’s about causing enough traffic disruption to get the attention of the White House and Congress. For this purpose, the People’s Convoy is preparing to welcome reinforcements: another convoy from several nearby states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia) was expected in the coming hours, estimated at 500 vehicles.

In a country still deeply marked by the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, security issues are taken very seriously. On Tuesday, March 1, major measures were announced to prevent the first vehicles arriving in the Washington area from disrupting President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

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Reduced sanitary measures

Paradoxically, this movement comes at a time of easing measures in the United States, where the trend of the pandemic is comparable to the situation in Europe. At the end of February, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the federal health authorities, largely relaxed their recommendations on wearing a mask. It is no longer recommended indoors for a majority of people in the country, including in many schools.

“We are now in a much better place as a nation, with more tools to protect ourselves from Covid-19,” said at a press conference Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC. More than 60% of counties, representing 70% of the population, now register a level of risk qualified as ” low “ or of ” Medium “and therefore can drop the mask.

However, these recommendations are only indicative, as health is a prerogative of local authorities in the United States. Many states, including in Democratic lands, have already given up the mask. Since the beginning of March, the country has recorded around 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, against a record of 800,000 in mid-January.

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