"Truckers Ride for the Constitution" to Drive Against Governmentby Jana Ritter - Published: 10/08/2013
With the "Truckers Ride for the Constitution" rally set to have tractor-trailers circling the Capital beltway "three lanes deep", traffic may be even more congested this Friday. The group's plan to intentionally clog the interstate is to express their frustration with the nation's political leaders, as well as policy regulating the trucking industry.
Organizers for the “Truckers Ride for The Constitution” three-day proposed strike on the streets of Washington D.C. have been rallying truckers across the nation since Mid-September to help clog the inner loop of the I-495 beltway until the federal government complies with a list of grievances that have included everything from impeaching President Barack Obama to arresting congressmen.
The protest has been a grassroots effort through social media, which started with a Facebook page called “Truckers to Shutdown America,” created by Zeeda Andrews, who is a former truck stop singer. The original demands on the Facebook page, which had more than 50,000 “likes” before Facebook removed it. Nevertheless, the strike is set for Friday, Oct. 11 until Sunday, Oct. 13. Out of the estimated 3.5 million truckers in the United States, about 3,000 have agreed to participate in the protest, according to one of the organizers.
However, most truckers on-line are going on-line to comment in places such as The Trucker Facebook page, saying they are not going to be driving to the Capitol. Trucking interests including American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest trade organization for truckers, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have spoken out against the strike.
“We’re not a sponsor or a supporter, and we certainly don't condone it,” said ATA spokesman Sean McNally.
Kevin Rutherford, radio host of Trucking Business & Beyond on SiriusXM Satellite said there are many reasons why the protest is misguided, including that shutting down the highways is “dangerous and illegal,” federal legislators and Obama will not be in D.C. during the weekend and that the off-shoot protests in other areas will lead to confusion by the general public, which will make truckers look like “angry thugs.”
“It simply makes the trucking industry and its drivers look foolish and uninformed,” Rutherford said. “Groups that already oppose the trucking industry would jump on the chance to vilify the trucking industry even further and call for stricter regulations — and more of them.”
The Trucker Facebook page collected more than 70 comments about the strike. The opinions varied, but the majority of drivers disagreed with this protest, but supported another strike dealing solely with trucking industry issues.