The People's Convoy veered off its well-trodden path this week. Instead of circuiting D.C.'s beltway interstate Jericho-style, they waded into the city itself -- while keeping to the freeway. Not that they had any choice. D.C. Metropolitan Police were out in force, maintaining rolling road closures to funnel the convoy away. Drivers were "blocked at every single exit," convoy co-organizer Brian Brase told "Washington Watch" viewers, "even though we had no intention of going off the interstate." The convoy peacefully passed through the city, with the same overreaction by the government, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
All of those exit closures, predictably, caused "a traffic nightmare," said Brase. In fairness, D.C.'s interstate normally flows like a clogged artery. Traffic only oozes in a city preaching that "20 is Plenty." Throwing in a truckers' convoy is like intravenously injecting maple syrup. But closing exits is like applying a tourniquet. Brase said the shutdowns put "the motoring public's safety at risk." Cars were "doing U-turns on the interstate, going down on ramps to get off, [and] crossing the medians to get back over to their exit."
What were the police so afraid of? Amid the standstill, convoyagers had plenty of time to ask. In "the exact words," said Brase, "they're afraid of Ottawa." Draconian COVID restrictions in America's northern neighbor provoked unprecedented trucker protests among our mild-mannered brothers, with millions gathering in the capital city for weeks. Trudeau brutally suppressed the protests with tactics worthy of a third-world dictator.
That fragile flame of freedom only ignited more fires. Now, American truckers have taken up the cause, securer in their right to protest because of a little thing called the Bill of Rights. They "demand the declaration of national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic be lifted immediately and our cherished constitution reign supreme." Americans are nearly universally immune to COVID, either from vaccines or previous infection, particularly those in vulnerable groups. Daily case rates have dropped under 4 percent of the Omicron peak. Most states restrictions are lifted. A bipartisan Senate majority voted to end COVID airline restrictions, too. Yet President Biden recently extended both the national emergency and mask mandate without explanation. What a way to lead the free world!
In response, said Brase, "we're going to keep doing the same thing every single day." That is, the truckers will keep driving around, assaulting no journalists, burning no buildings, looting no Starbucks. That's not exactly a reason to call out the National Guard. But for those calling the shots, controlling the political narrative is more important than properly assessing the threats. They must maintain the illusion that freedom-loving American patriots are more dangerous than Leftist rioters. Washington D.C. has made a political decision to forcibly prevent Americans from entering their capital city by an overwhelming show of force, while innocent bystanders continue to experience violence in impoverished, under-patrolled neighborhoods.
What started with a permit denial ("they basically wanted me to pick and choose who gets to come," Brase explained good-naturedly) may turn soon turn ugly. "There were threats today that they're going to start arresting us for driving down the road," Brase warned. Think about it. Free Americans are driving on public highways, obeying all traffic laws, blocking nothing, stopping nowhere. It's bad enough the media elites have chosen to smear and mock instead of listen. Will the government begin arresting people just because they don't like the message their sending? They're "trying to stop American citizens from exercising their First Amendment rights," Brase summarized. Washington, D.C. should be an international symbol of freedom. When will the petty tyranny end? The next election?