The "People's Convoy," the United States' trucker protest against COVID-19 mandates, will hit the road on Wednesday on its trip from California across the nation, with about 1,000 trucks expected to start the trip and more to join in as the convoy heads east, Maureen Steele, the national organizer of the effort, confirms to Newsmax.
"We're going to be starting the convoy out of Barstow, California," Steele told Newsmax's Eric Bolling on "Eric Bolling The Balance," adding that the specific location in Barstow will be announced closer to the event because the concern for operational security is "paramount."
"The Canadian convoy was pretty organic when it happened," Steele said. "Ours, they had a month's notice, so our concern is disruptive groups coming in. We're trying to just prepare for counter-protests and to take safety precautions for that."
The organizers have also set up a website where truckers can register, including their license plates, "so we know exactly who is in the convoy and to make sure that it's going to be a safe ride," said Steele.
The organizers, on the website, said the organization is demanding that the "declaration of a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic be lifted immediately and our cherished Constitution reign supreme."
Donations are also being accepted through a website link, rather than through Go Fund Me or other crowdfunding sources.
Steele added that the organizers will be releasing the towns where the convoy will stop at about 24 hours before they arrive, for precautionary purposes.
She confirmed stops in Arizona and Texas, but said other stop locations will be announced as the convoy moves through the country. Bolling said he plans to join the convoy before it reaches Washington, D.C., "if that's the final location. Again, you're holding that back for now."
Steele said the effort anticipates that about 1,000 trucks will leave California, and plans to have a few trucks ahead of the convoy "just to check in with law enforcement in towns ahead of the convoy, that if we're going to be marshaling there that evening, to make sure they're prepared for a massive convoy to roll into town."
Alan and Bonnie Kelly, who are truck owners and operators, also told Newsmax Wednesday that they will be in Barstow on Feb. 23 from the beginning of the convoy, and said the effort is already getting large amounts of support for its trip.
"I haven't talked to anybody yet who doesn't support what we're doing," Mr. Kelly told Bolling. "I've talked to our pastor. He plans on attending…everybody is supportive, and everybody plans to participate, so I think it's going to be very huge because it's not just the truckers. It's we, the people, and its people from every facet and every industry in the country that are better participating, so it's got potential to be probably the biggest that its ever been."
The convoy's Facebook group page already has almost 100,000 followers.
"Our brothers and sisters of the highway succeeded in opening Canadians' eyes about the unconstitutional mandates and hardships forced onto their people," the organizers of the event said on the page. "Now it's time for the citizens of the United States of America to unite and demand restoration of our constitutional rights."
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