Popular eight-mile-long convoy raises over $850,000 in donations

The popular convoy, which raised nearly $1 million in donations, flooded a New Mexico highway on Friday as the number of truckers protesting COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates entered the third day of their trip across the country to Washington DC

A photograph taken by convoy leader Mike Landis shows the group, consisting of about two dozen tractor-trailers and about 100 other vehicles, traveling east on I-40 near Albuquerque in a procession which, according to the convoy, stretches for eight miles.

The People’s Convoy, inspired by Canada’s Freedom Convoy protest, raised more than $855,000 in monetary donations on Friday, according to the protest’s website – nearly double the amount announced Thursday. Vendors along the route also donated gasoline, food and other essentials to the cavalcade.

The convoy began its 11-day trek from California to the nation’s capital on Wednesday and, despite a weather delay on Thursday, is still expected to arrive in DC on March 5, where it will be joined by about 25 other cavalcades of trucks.

Truckers called on President Joe Biden to end the national emergency, which was signed into law at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and extended again last week. The group, arguing the the threat posed by the coronavirus has now receded, also seeks an end to ‘unconstitutional‘ Vaccine and mask requirements.

However, nearly every US state has lifted or relaxed indoor mask mandates, or set a date to do so in the near future. The only obstacle is Hawaii, the island state that has had the strictest mandates in the entire country throughout the pandemic. Additionally, only 19 states currently have vaccination mandates in effect – however, the mandates do not apply to all individuals and their requirements vary by state.

Although the California-based People’s Convoy won’t make it to DC in time for Biden’s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, a caravan of eight vehicles – including a tractor-trailer, four pickup trucks, two sedans and an SUV – traveling from Pennsylvania will. The Pentagon deployed 700 National Guard members to the capital before the convoys arrived.

Pennsylvania convoy leader Bob Bolus has vowed to close the Beltway and other roads into and out of DC. He didn’t reveal how he intended to block traffic, but claims they won’t cause more of a traffic problem than they live with every day.

Unlike Bolus and the Canadian Freedom Convoy, the People’s Convoy does not intend to disrupt roads or bridges. Organizers promised a “100% safe, legal and peaceful trip” that “will end near the DC area, but will NOT go into DC proper.”

The popular convoy, which raised nearly $1 million in donations, flooded a New Mexico highway on Friday as the number of truckers protesting COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates entered the third day of their trip across the country to Washington DC

This map shows the route of the People's Convoy from California to Washington D.C.

This map shows the route of the People’s Convoy from California to Washington D.C.

The popular convoy was greeted Friday morning by New Mexico residents who stood on overpasses holding signs and waving American flags.

The group, which was heading to Texas for its next overnight stopover, left Arizona after holding a rally with Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation.

‘I’m here to welcome you. I am here to recognize you and accuse you,” he told the crowd. “Please as you go out continue to be mindful of what our creator is doing right now, but people are getting up.” People are unhappy.

“So where are we ourselves in this whole political scheme? Lizer questioned.

He continued by praying for the convoy and giving a blessing before the drivers hit the road.

The People’s Convoy has received an outpouring of support along its journey, according to Kris Young, who is the administrator of the group’s Facebook page.

After their first stop in Arizona, she took to Facebook to applaud citizens who lined the streets to celebrate their arrival.

‘We want to thank each and every one of you for your support. The hospitality on the Arizona Overpasses and at Great American Pizza yesterday was absolutely amazing!!’ she wrote Thursday morning.

The convoy organizer also thanked Crazy Fred’s Truck Stop and Rebel Oil, both in Kingman, Arizona, for donating 25,000 gallons of fuel to the convoy.

She said store workers took the fuel to Great American Pizza and Sub in the Golden Valley, where the convoy spent its first night on the road and filled their vehicles.

About two dozen tractor-trailers and about 100 other vehicles traveled east on I-40 near Albuquerque in a motorcade that the convoy says stretches eight miles.

About two dozen tractor-trailers and about 100 other vehicles traveled east on I-40 near Albuquerque in a motorcade that the convoy says stretches eight miles.

The popular convoy was greeted Friday morning by New Mexico residents who stood on overpasses holding signs and waving American flags

The popular convoy was greeted Friday morning by New Mexico residents who stood on overpasses holding signs and waving American flags

The group traveled to New Mexico from Arizona after holding a Friday morning rally with Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation.  The chief of the tribe prayed for the convoy and issued a blessing before the drivers hit the road

The group traveled to New Mexico from Arizona after holding a Friday morning rally with Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation. The chief of the tribe prayed for the convoy and issued a blessing before the drivers hit the road

The caravan from Pennsylvania doesn’t seem as strong as the people’s convoy.

When it departed mid-morning from Scranton on Wednesday, the motorcade consisted of just eight vehicles, including organizer Bob Bolus’ semi.

“At one point we had 50,” Bolus told PennLive early Thursday afternoon, referring to the number of trucks in the trailer.

However, reporters following the convoy told the outlet that it “never came close to having a dozen vehicles”.

Asked about the small turnout, Bolus said, “People have work to do.”

He argued that his protest focuses on a host of grievances about the federal government’s overreach, including foreign oil imports, pandemic restrictions, economics and critical race theory.

“You no longer deprive us of our rights,” Bolus argued. “You give rights to illegal immigrants. It’s ok for them but not for us as American citizens. We want the pipeline back in service. We want the fuel back in our country. We want to go back to where we were before instead of giving foreign countries the right to screw us up because they are hurting themselves.

The trucker also said he objects to Scranton changing the names of two roads to honor Biden.

Bolus also swore his convoy would block the DC Beltway, but did not specify how they planned to do so.

“We are not going to camp there. Let me put it this way,’ he told the WJLA on Wednesday. “We are not camping on the Beltway. We will make our voices heard and let them know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Bolus also said he was keeping his convoy out of the district, arguing that he “believes Maryland and Virginia follow due process more than the nation’s capital.”

Bolus claims that his convoy has been in contact with the people’s convoy.

“We have dialogued. We’ve had conference calls and we’re all on the same page,” he said. “We are all for one thing: freedom and rights. This is America / You took our freedom, you took our rights, you gave it to the illegals. You took our freedom and our rights and overturned it and gave it to the BLMs (Black Lives Matter protesters) to burn down buildings and not be prosecuted. The laws don’t apply to them.

In response to the planned protests, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a request from the DC local government and Capitol Police to deploy 700 National Guard personnel to the capital before the convoy arrived.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the guards would not be armed and would not have the authority to arrest people, but would report wrongdoing to local police. Around 50 “big tactical vehicles” will also be stationed around the city around the clock.

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