Virginia State Police are preparing for the potential arrival of a trucker convoy headed to our nation’s capital this weekend.
Authorities are particularly concerned that protests may impact traffic in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
As CBS 6 Richmond reports:
U.S. Capitol Police erected a fence around the Capitol building ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address “out of an abundance of caution,” in consultation with the Secret Service.
The move came as officials in Washington prepared for trucker convoys that are planning protests against pandemic restrictions. The Pentagon has already approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard troops to be used to assist with traffic control during potential demonstrations.
Modeled after recent trucker protests in Canada, separate truck convoys have been planned through online forums. Many have different starting points, departure dates, and routes, though some were scheduled to arrive in time for the State of the Union address, no convoy disrupted the State of Union. Others may arrive afterward.
“Virginia State Police respects the public’s First Amendment rights and has been in contact with various groups’ organizers to ensure their understanding of Virginia traffic laws,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson wrote in a statement. “These communications have also enabled us to share our expectations related to keeping traffic flowing safely and efficiently on Virginia highways, especially in the case of emergencies and for first responder vehicles.”
Should any such convoys enter Virginia, motorists should expect an increased police presence.