Truckers! Freedom! The open road! Something something vaccines and mandates and masks mean that truckers need to protest the indignity of public health measures that have been proven to mitigate the dangerous impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. What was an astro-turfed Canadian protest has now turned into a manufactured domestic one. Think Fox News’ immigrant caravans, but with mostly white people and actually dangerous.
On Wednesday news came out that the “People’s Convoy” had hit a hurdle in its movement as the National Park Service partially denied the overblown group’s request for a permit to turn the D.C. National Mall into a trucker encampment. Why they “partially denied” the request may have been due to some of the convoy’s lead organizer Brian Brase answers to their questions. The Daily Beast reports that when the Park Service asked Brase, “Do you have any reason to believe or any information indicating that any individual, group, or organization might seek to disrupt the activity for which this application is submitted?” Brase’s response of “Antifa” was not sufficient.
Oh, wait. There’s a lot more from these freedom fighters.
Brase also may have shot himself in the foot by overselling the convoy’s size, telling the Park Service he expects somewhere between “10,000 to 100,000” supporters to show up. Considering how small the trucker convoys have been thus far, even with media vampires like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas trying to get attention for the make-it-up-while-we-go freedom statement thing, it’s hard to believe they would be able to muster half of the low end of that range. However, as NBC News’ Terry Bouton reported a few days ago, the success of the convoy is in the right-wing optics. Maybe Brase is thinking “10,000 to 100,000” hours of right-wing news coverage?
The far-right was well represented at the convoy. Members of white supremacist and anti-government groups that were at the center of the Capitol insurrection have been heavily involved in its planning. Erik Rohde, a national leader of Three Percenters, was a “consultant” to the "People’s Convoy." (In return the "People’s Convoy" official Telegram account urged supporters to donate to a protest march on the Washington state capitol that Rohde was organizing). Three Percenter and Proud Boy Telegram channels have organized support and raised money for the "People’s Convoy." In Wisconsin, convoy organizers called on the Oath Keepers to provide security.
Maybe it’s something else that they’re working on? The Daily Beast reports that while being denied a permit didn’t figure into a Tuesday night meeting, talking about the vagaries of what the hell they’re trying to accomplish did come up. In fact, here’s how The Daily Beast explained it: “organizer Mike Landis said that while the prospect of ‘tear[ing] the fence down at the White House and hang[ing] politicians’ was ‘extremely enticing,’ he added that isn’t ‘why we are here.’” Why are they there again?
No word on that yet.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos