People's Convoy Battles Imaginary Antifa Drivers, Traffic And A Lack Of Downtown Parking

Because average people could never get angry at idiots tying up traffic, blaring their horns and wasting gas

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Demonstrators prepare to depart Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland, on March 7, 2022, during “The People’s Convoy” event. - The convoy has called on US President Joe Biden to end vaccine and other Covid-19 pandemic mandates while modeling themselves after Canadian drivers who had occupied the center of Ottawa in a similar protest.
Demonstrators prepare to depart Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland, on March 7, 2022, during “The People’s Convoy” event. - The convoy has called on US President Joe Biden to end vaccine and other Covid-19 pandemic mandates while modeling themselves after Canadian drivers who had occupied the center of Ottawa in a similar protest.
Photo: Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP (Getty Images)

In a completely predictable turn of events, the People’s Convoy have groups splintering off from the main protest to try and find ways into D.C. proper, though they are finding conditions less than favorable. While some managed to get an unexplained escort through town by D.C. Metro police, protesters are mostly claiming they’re being harassed by Antifa as residents go about their daily lives now made more difficult by the presence of huge trucks purposefully slowing down already bad traffic.

Two days ago, our favorite reporter on the ground, Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo, reported this exchange:

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It’s almost as if they can’t even imagine a scenario where they aren’t viewed as heroes by regular people. This isn’t the first time truckers have blamed that shadowy Antifa “organization” for their woes. Vice also spoke to a grad student who is researching far-right movements and keeps an ear to the ground on trucker’s Telegram channels:

The truckers who’ve been snarling traffic on the Beltway that surrounds Washington for several weeks are a bit of a jumpy bunch. Antifa could be anyone and anything. A car cutting off a trucker a bit aggressively, a commuter flipping the bird at them, or just people in vehicles they don’t like? Must be antifa.

“Sometimes they just don’t like the look of the car and they assume it’s antifa,” said Sara Aniano, a graduate student studying far-right rhetoric who has been watching the convoy for weeks. “It does seem like any car that is driving some sort of way that does not align with their ideal of driving is labeled as a possible instigator.”

Aniano said it’s possible some of the truckers just don’t understand how rough driving can be on the Beltway, so “regular commuter traffic and possibly a bit of road rage comes off as a deliberate antagonist aggravation.”

Regardless, barely a livestream goes by without a protester peering out the window and muttering about “antifa.”

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Man, for a group who says they love America and drive for a living, they don’t know much about driving in our nation’s capital. Washington D.C. is always included in those Top 10 Worst U.S. Cities For Drivers lists. It’s a mishmash of city planning from the last three centuries and random road closures due to protests/parades/security risks, all with a halo of a huge freeway encircling it.

Traffic is so bad that, in the early days of the People’s Convoy at least, drivers were getting lost and separated from the main pack in normal, everyday commuter traffic. As Washington D.C. is also a major tourist destination, parking also comes at a premium, which People’s Convoy protesters also learned this week as some finally made it into the city proper:

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It’s not just those dastardly anti-fascist who are harassing truckers. Convoy drivers on the Beltway have complained about commuters flipping protesters off and video of the few stragglers who made it into D.C. proper shows citizens yelling “go home” and “fuck off.”

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In the meantime, there are numerous reports of folks being dangerously harassed by the People’s Convoy. One driver got out of his rig on the Beltway and punched the driver’s side window of a car in traffic while yelling at the driver. There are reports that Convoy trucks are boxing in average drivers, and even a hit-and-run by a Convoy driver, which D.C. police say they are investigating.

The plans, and demands, of the People’s Convoy continue to be completely haphazard and confusing, but they say they’ll stay in D.C. until these poorly defined demands are met because it’s a strategy that worked so well in Ottawa.

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There is an important lesson to be learned here: Never underestimate the staying power of shitheads.