American Truckers' 'Freedom' Convoy to D.C. to Launch February 23, Organizers Say

California truckers tired of COVID mandates are expected to join a "Freedom" convoy to Washington D.C. next week.

Organizers say the American truckers' protest, dubbed "The People's Convoy," will depart on Interstate 40 heading east from Barstow on February 23.

Truckers headed toward the nation's capital are demanding an end to the Emergency Powers Act concerning the pandemic, and to "restore our nation's constitution."

Maureen Steele, the national organizer of the effort, told Newsmax that some 1,000 trucks are expected to start the trip and more will join in as the convoy heads east.

She added that the group won't be disclosing the specific location in Barstow yet, for security reasons.

"The Canadian convoy was pretty organic when it happened," said Steele. "Ours, they had a month's notice, so our concern is disruptive groups coming in. We're trying to just prepare for counter-protests and to take safety precautions for that."

"This is about our rights, as well as the freedom of future generations," organizers of the convoy wrote on Facebook. "It's not about political parties, but more so about a government that has forgotten its place and has no regard for our founding fathers' instructions."

The group believes elected officials lack the authority to deprive people of "fundamental rights" by implementing measures that aim to curb the transmission of COVID, such as mask-wearing and vaccine mandates.

Washington D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department said it plans to deploy its civil disturbance units from February 23 to March 1, in preparation for possible trucker convoys, WUSA9 reported.

News of the U.S. truckers convoy comes nearly three weeks after truckers in Canada began a protest against the federal government's vaccine mandate for drivers crossing the U.S.–Canadian border.

Protesters in Canada have vowed to stay put until restrictions are reversed.

On Thursday night, Tamara Lich, 47, one of the main organizers for the Ottawa demonstration, was arrested, according to Dagny Pawlak, a spokeswoman for the protest.

Hours earlier, Chris Barber, another organizer, was arrested by police.

Steve Bell, interim chief of the Ottawa Police Service, on Thursday afternoon said law enforcement would take "imminent" action to bring the demonstrations, which have largely gridlocked the capital, to an end.

"It's time to go," Bell said. "Your time in our city has come to an end and you must leave."

Two Metropolitan Police Department officials familiar with the "The People's Convoy's" plans, told WUSA9 they had received a notice about the deployment schedule on Wednesday.

Newsweek has contacted the Metropolitan Police Department for comment.

Truckers protest vaccine mandates in Canada
Truckers refuel their trucks in the cold during the Freedom Convoy truck protest on February 5, 2022, in Ottawa. California truckers tired of COVID mandates are expected to join a “Freedom” convoy to Washington D.C. next week. Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images