National Guard’s Deployment Approved Ahead of DC Trucker Convoy

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Days ahead of the scheduled truck convoy protest against pandemic restrictions which is expected to coincide with President Biden’s first State of the Union address, the Pentagon has approved the deployment of hundreds of unarmed National Guard troops in Washington, D.C.

This planned convoy protest on US soil comes shortly after a similar truck protest caused massive economic disruptions in Canada where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to use emergency powers to handle the demonstrators.

Canadian protestors had seen trucks being towed, participants being arrested and even their personal bank accounts being frozen.

The request for assistance from National Guard members was made by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the US Capitol Police (USCP) was approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Department of Defense (DOD) said.

In line with the approval, according to DOD, about 400 D.C. National Guard members will provide support, command, and control at designated traffic posts, and cover sustainment requirements.

D.C. National Guard commanding general Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless pointed out that their first mission priority would be the safety of the people who live, work, and visit the District and are part of the community. They’ll also ensure people can demonstrate peacefully and safely.

According to the DOD, the approval will see 50 large tactical vehicles placed 24/7 on designated traffic posts beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 through March 7. It does not allow the deployed troops to carry out domestic surveillance activities, to carry firearms, or to take part in law enforcement.

US Capitol Police confirmed last week they’re aware of the plans for truck convoys to arrive in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union, which was later confirmed by the convoy protest organizer Bob Bolus, who said earlier this week that they’re planning to shut down the Capital Beltway.

While the protest would seek to shut the major roadway, Bolus said that demonstrators would keep one lane open for emergency vehicles.

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