US Capitol braces for protest convoys

The Department of Homeland Security has warned that Canadian-style truck protesters are heading to the capital

The US Capitol Police have ramped up security in Washington, DC in preparation for a series of truck convoys during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, which are set to protest Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates in the style of Ottawa’s ‘Freedom Convoy’.

In a statement on Friday, the US Capitol Police announced that law enforcement agencies in the region were “aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union.”

“As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity,” the police vowed, adding, however, that it was working with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, the US Secret Service, and the National Guard, among others, to increase security.

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© Global Look Press / Lin Wei
US faces its own trucker convoy, intel warns Biden

According to a NewsNation report, which cited unnamed sources, “specialized units” will be activated in Washington, DC from Tuesday, while roughly 500 officers per day will be available to respond to protests.

The outlet also reported that District Police had been canceling time off for police officers between February 22 and March 5 in preparation for the protests.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo this month claiming protesters were “potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates.”

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Police begin to break up a protest organized by truck drivers opposing vaccine mandates on February 18, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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“The convoy will potentially begin in California early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union address scheduled for 1 March,” the memo alleged.

Canadian truckers have been protesting in Ottawa against Covid-19 restrictions and mandates since late last month. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers in response this week and Ottawa Police have used force to crack down on protesters, arresting dozens on Friday.

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