FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — After days of anticipation, hundreds of truckers finally descended upon the Capital Beltway in the DC region.
The trucker protest originated at the Hagerstown Speedway in Washington County, Maryland, before heading toward the DC area on Interstates 70 and 270 around 11 a.m.
Once the truckers reached Interstate 495, they circled the 64-mile loop around DC twice before heading back north to Hagerstown.
Chantilly resident Jennifer Flebotte cheered on the truckers at a Beltway overpass on Georgetown Pike in Northern Virginia.
She said the protest was about much more than COVID-19 mandates. Flebotte said participants are concerned about government overreach and losing freedom of choice when it comes to medical decisions.
"We need to uphold our constitution,” she said. “We should all have a choice, we should all have freedom.”
However, the trucker convoy left other locals in the DC region confused and angry.
DC resident Dante Gonzales, and his friends Vin Testa and Nathan Barrera-Bunch, were traveling from Pennsylvania to DC when they caught in trucker traffic on Interstate 70 in Hagerstown. Gonzales said, at times, the convoy traveled as slow as 30 miles per hour.
“Go home,” Gonzales told the truckers. “This makes no sense. It’s the absolute back-end of what we hope is the pandemic."
DC resident Vin Testa said the truckers’ efforts felt hypocritical.
“The hypocrisy is layered and layered and layered, it’s crazy,” he said. “I mean, we’re seeing signs that say mandates equal slavery.”
When the convoy traveled at normal speeds with the rest of traffic, there were few backups on the Beltway. However, when the trucker convoy purposely slowed down, congestion would build around it.
Members of the convoy have stated plans to come back to the Beltway Monday morning. However, on the truckers’ People’s Convoy website, organizers only tell participants to gather at 8 a.m. with no specificity as to where the meeting site should be.