Trucker protest slows down traffic on rainy Beltway - New York News

Trucker protest slows down traffic on rainy Beltway

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WASHINGTON -

The rainy weather is not the only thing slowing traffic along the Beltway Friday. Truck drivers from across the region are staging a three-day protest rally against the Obama administration and the federal government by driving around the Capital Beltway.

The main convoy of truckers was on the outer loop of the Beltway near Annandale just before 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

About a couple dozen big rigs, many with flags, more than a few blaring their horns driving three abreast. And behind them was traffic slowing to about 30 miles per hour.

"I get a lot of people flipping me off and stuff like that, but I get a lot more people waving to me and giving me a thumbs up," said truck driver John Johnson.

We rode with Johnson, a North Carolina truck driver, for part of the morning. We asked him what this is all about.

"There ain’t anybody [who] wants anything violent to happen or everybody's talking about ‘Oh, we need a civil war, we need a revolution and stuff like that.’ We need a peaceful revolution is what we need.”

The issues are fueling the truckers' anger all over the map.

"Everybody knows about the Crosby Stills [and] Nash song -- the four dead in Ohio. Well, how about the four dead in Benghazi?" said protester John Vriesema.

"Stay out of our health care,” said Johnson. “Let the doctors handle that. Don't get into things they don't understand."

Virginia and Maryland state police told us they are keeping a close eye on the rolling protest. They are warning truckers who purposely impede traffic. That is exactly what happened to Johnson. He received a citation for impeding traffic and driving less than the minimum speed limit.

Where the convoy is not, traffic moves fairly well. A driving rain was the biggest headache.

Back behind the wheel and on the road again, Johnson receives a message on the radio: "We're going to bump that speed up to 42 miles an hour.”

“Yeah, probably safer that way,” Johnson radioed back.

We asked Johnson whether this will have been worth the trouble.

"It don't matter. It don't matter if we make a difference or not,” he said. “You saw us. That police officer back there saw us. That woman right there seen us. They knew we were out here and I hope they listen.”

Some of the major trucking associations say they want nothing to do with this protest. Even some of the organizers of the rolling rally say some of the more radical objectives of some truckers are out of line.

But they promise they will be here through Sunday with many more 18-wheelers expected.


by FOX NEWS

A trucker protest aimed at clogging the Capital Beltway around Washington to protest government "corruption" was scheduled to launch Friday morning, and police were bracing for a potential traffic nightmare.

The rally, “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” is calling for 10,000 truck drivers to show up Friday morning and circle I-495 for the next three days, according to a Facebook page for the event, which had attracted more than 127,000 “likes” by Thursday evening.

“Truckers will lead the path to saving our country if every American rides with them!” the Facebook page says, adding "The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America!"

On its website, the group lists several demands, including that President Barack Obama resign immediately, that the debt ceiling not be raised and that National Security Agency surveillance of communications be ceased. The group is also complaining about low wages and rising fuel costs.

A post on the group's website said it plans to present Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, with its list of demands Friday at the World War II memorial.

The group plans to clog two lanes of the three-lane beltway, leaving the third open for emergency traffic, according to another Facebook post. The event’s organizers, however, have stressed that they intend to keep the protest peaceful and adhere to all traffic laws.

"We're not coming in to cause any violence or disrupt anything," protester J.B. Schaffner told Greta Van Sustern Thursday night on "Greta."

"We're just coming in to make our voice heard."

He added that truckers will be arriving from across the country, including Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the rally set to kick off at 7 a.m.

Authorities are already gearing up to deal with a potential traffic nightmare.

The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Virginia State Police were planning to deploy additional troopers Friday and throughout the weekend in case of any incidents or problems, but the group will be allowed to proceed as long as no laws are broken.


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