On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leaked a security memo to several mainstream news outlets warning that they were tracking reports that truck drivers, emulating the far-right occupation in Ottawa, Canada, would attempt to block roads in protest of “vaccine mandates.” The memo cited a map that showed a protest route beginning this Sunday in Los Angeles, California, where the National Football League’s Super Bowl will be held, and culminating in an occupation of Washington D.C. in March.
The bulletin warned that the proposed convoy, “could severely disrupt transportation, federal government, and law enforcement operations through gridlock and potential counter protests.”
The memo was issued this past Tuesday by the DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. While the document apparently did not outline any specific threats, the agency noted it was tracking several social media hashtags, such as #ShutDownSuperBowl and #SuperBowlTrafficking.
One flyer circulating on social media reads “Shut down the Super Bowl Medical Freedom Protest.”
Tracking a Telegram group chat with over 600 members supporting a potential Los Angeles, California, convoy, independent journalist Vishal P. Singh revealed that the administrator of the group is a known neo-Nazi named Ryan Sanchez, alias Culture War Criminal. Sanchez has been a member of several white supremacist/neo-Nazi groups including the Rise Above Movement and Identity Evropa. He frequently streams alongside “America First” fascist Nicholas Fuentes.
Lending his support to the far-right movement was wealthy child-actor turned far-right activist Ricky Schroder. In a recent Instagram video, the former “Silver Spoons” actor while holding a Bible said, “It’s an evil that is trying to be forced upon our children, upon us. And God bless the Canadian truckers and the Canadian cowboys up there on the border.”
Expressing hope in the “great potential” for American truckers to replicate the occupation, Schroder called for similar protest in state capitals across the country and in Washington D.C. beginning this Sunday.
“Our truckers are gonna maybe start mobilizing and doing what we need to do, which is shut down D.C., shut down Sacramento, shut down Albany, shut down these states and these [capitals] until we root out this evil that was almost perpetrated on us.”
Multiple news outlets described a map included in the memo which showed recommendations for truckers to occupy state capitals culminating in the protest ending in Washington D.C. on March 1, the currently scheduled date for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Surrounded by soldiers and metal fencing, Biden delivered last year’s State of the Union speech after an almost two month delay following former President Donald Trump’s failed fascist insurrection.
Admitted Oath Keepers and Arizona Republican politicians Mark Finchem and Wendy Rogers on February 7, 2022, tweeted out their support for the rally. Inciting her racist base, Rogers tweeted: “If Truckers shut down the Super Bowl it would partially be payback for Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling.” In another post on social media, Rogers wrote: “I am hearing rumors US Truckers are trying to beat the Canadian Trucker numbers. Shooting for over 500k trucks starting in Cali going to DC. Let’s goooo…” while Finchem simply tweeted “Trucks=Freedom.”
Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley, rallying the same elements that would participate in the assassination plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, tweeted this past Wednesday: “Sure would be a shame if a convoy of trucks surrounded the Super Bowl so that nobody could attend.” Kelley is the co-founder of the American Patriots Council. He led protests outside the Lansing Capitol in April 2020, participated in the storming of the Capitol on January 6 and advocated last month that voters “unplug voting machines” if they “see something” they did not like in the upcoming election.
Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters, who was hand-chosen by billionaire Peter Thiel to serve in Trump’s 2016 presidential transition team, likewise expressed his support for the proposed truckers rally, retweeting a map of another proposed route beginning in San Diego, California, and ending in New York City. Regurgitating the anti-scientific rhetoric of the far-right, Masters tweeted on February 10 that: “Making kids wear mask every day is child abuse.”
Far from being an apolitical organic expression of working class resistance to “government tyranny,” the so-called “People’s Convoy” is being promoted, endorsed and funded by Republican Party politicians, far-right operatives and billionaires. While organizers have stated the goal of the movement is to end all mandates and “restore the Constitution,” every aspect of the movement is steeped in pro-Trump/far-right politics, including denying the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
As with the ruling class backlash to limited lockdowns in April 2020, the proposed rallies have been heavily promoted on Fox News. Co-organizer of the rally and Trump supporter Brian Brase has appeared on multiple Fox programs since February 1, including Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson’s shows.
Another co-organizer of the rally, Mike Landis, in a Friday appearance on the far-right Newsmax complained he was “tired of the mandates” and of “being pushed around.” Landis said the “plan is to be in California by March 4” and after a two-day rally in the Coachella Valley, the convoy would leave on March 6.
Since the beginning of the far-right occupation in Canada, Republican politicians from Trump to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have voiced their support for the central demands of the organizers; the lifting of all pandemic-related public health measures. Serving as the “executive committee of the bourgeoisie,” these politicians are mirroring the demands of the capitalist bosses.
Elon Musk, the second-wealthiest person in the world, tweeted “Canadian truckers rule” on January 27, followed by a photo of gridlocked traffic three days later. In May 2020, Musk, in violation of California law, illegally reopened his Fremont factory leading to hundreds of infections. Musk, who demanded in an April 2020 tweet to “FREE AMERICA NOW,” had the support of Trump who tweeted at the the time, “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”
Since May 2020, over 850,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. As of this writing over 913,000 have died, including over 3,200 yesterday according to the New York Times.
There is no question the proposed rally in the US is being organized and funded by the same forces that participated and planned Trump’s failed coup. Trump, who has yet to be charged, much less named as subject of investigation by Attorney General Merrick Garland, expressed his support for the occupation in Canada again on Friday.
After responding “I do, I do, I do,” when asked by host Wayne Allyn Root, if he liked the Canadian truckers, Trump hinted at a new “plan… we’ll be announcing, some time later.” The aspiring dictator said: “Our country is a powder-keg. You think that’s big? What’s going on in our country is that people are so angry at what happened with everything, including the election.”
Also tweeting her support for the nascent far-right occupation was Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who wrote on Friday: “‘Let freedom ring’ sounds like ‘honk honk.’” Boebert has been previously named by Democratic lawmakers as a Republican lawmaker that gave “reconnaissance tours” to militia groups prior to January 6. On the morning of January 6 Boebert tweeted “Today is 1776” and during the attack on the Capitol, at 2:18 p.m. Boebert tweeted “The Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] has been removed from the chambers,” after congressional members were advised by Capitol Police not to disclose their location on social media.
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