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California “Freedom Convoy” Cancels Trip to DC, Citing Low Participation

Only five trucks were taking part in the convoy by the time it reached Las Vegas, its organizers said.

A supporter wears a US flag as truck drivers and supporters gather one day before a convoy departs for Washington, D.C., to protest COVID-19 mandates on February 22, 2022, in Adelanto, California.

Far right organizers have announced the end of a “freedom convoy” that was headed to Washington D.C. after launching in California, saying that they didn’t have enough participants to get past the Kansas-Missouri border.

Early Saturday morning, on the Facebook page Freedom Convoy USA 2022, the group announced that it didn’t have enough members in its convoy to warrant pressing on toward the nation’s capital.

“The launch in California had a good turn out of supporters, but only 5 trucks were with us on arrival in Vegas,” the group said in its social media post.

Last week, hundreds turned out for the convoy’s kickoff event in Adelanto, California, organized to emulate a convoy of truckers that were protesting against COVID-19 regulations in Canada last month. However, many of the people who came to the event were only spectators — and most of the truckers and vehicle drivers who started out with the convoy said that they were planning to drop out after they crossed into Arizona.

Other convoys across the U.S. have had similarly unsuccessful outcomes. Last week, a Scranton, Pennsylvania-led convoy barely scrounged up a half-dozen participants and got lost on its way to D.C. A co-organizer of that event eventually admitted to reporters that the demonstration had failed.

“You are not going to see a convoy,” that person said, adding that the turnout was “disappointing.”

Although organizers of convoys in the U.S. claim to be nonpartisan, it’s evident that the participants hold far right viewpoints, as those taking part have voiced strong support for former President Donald Trump. While the convoys were supposedly formed in support of undoing pandemic-related regulations, they appear to be motivated mostly by animosity toward the Biden administration.

It’s unclear what types of COVID-19 regulations these convoys are even against; vaccine requirements that were introduced by the Biden White House have since been struck down, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its masking guidance so that 70 percent of the nation’s population no longer has to mask indoors.

However, it appears that some convoys are still going, and may arrive in Washington later this week — on or around the day that President Joe Biden intends to give his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress. In preparation for possible traffic disruptions in the area, the National Guard has readied hundreds of unarmed guard members to greet potential convoy groups as they arrive.