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Truckers protesting President, Congress spotted on Beltway in DC area

4:17 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Truckers protesting the actions of President Obama and Congress continue to slowly circle the Capital Beltway on Friday. They say they are fed up with what many of them consider an abuse of the Constitution.

WUSA9's Bruce Leshan traveled with the convoy for a while. At noon, he reported that he was traveling approximately 2 miles per hour, with the traffic almost completely stopped. It was unclear whether traffic was going so slowly due to the truckers, the rain or both.

Leshan started following the convoy around Springfield, and followed the trucks around on the Inner Loop. At the time, they were crossing three lanes of traffic going 20 miles an hour, slowing down, and honking their horns, according to Leshan.

Their actions seemed to irritate some drivers but many driver seemed to know the group was going to be in town.

We were told originally that there may be some "counterprotestors," but a group of people on an overpass were actually in support of the truckers and their protest. The people had posted signs in support of the effort, which you can see in the photo gallery: http://www.wusa9.com/news/photo-gallery.aspx?storyid=278454

What the group is going to do next is unclear. Some people said they were going to drive up Constitution Avenue and try to arrest some members of Congress. Then other people said that's not true. 

The group is talking about going for three days through the weekend, continuing to circle the Beltway.

EARLIER:

John Domen with WNEW reported that he saw the first convoy of trucks on the Outer Loop at approximately 8 a.m. Only a few trucks were there, but organizers for Truckers Ride for the Constitution told WNEW that trucks would be "coming in waves."

Shortly before 9 a.m. WNEW reported that a police officer pulled over a truck doing 10 mph in the left lane. The other trucks pulled over with that truck. Police say the truckers were warned not to impede traffic but no tickets were issues.

As group continued to the Inner Loop just past the Mixing Bowl where WNEW tweeted a photo of the trucks: http://t.co/ns10u876DM

Around 10:40 a.m., Domen reported the trucks were on the Beltway approaching I-66. He said he believed there could be as many as 20 to 25 trucks. 

TRUCKERS RIDE FOR THE CONSTITUTION ON FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/186Fm4U

Virginia State Police reported that roughly 30 trucks left the Dumphries scale on I-95 at 7:00 a.m. The trucks were heading on northbound I-95 in the right lane with their hazards on, according to police. Police told us that the trucks had American flags, some without trailer, and may have #T2SDA signs for "Truckers to Shut Down America." 

Police said an additional 15 pick-up trucks left Doswell around 7 a.m. with flags and #T2SDA signage.

In a press release, police gave an update:

"At about 8:50 a.m., four commercial vehicles began driving side-by-side across all four northbound lanes of I-495 on the Inner Loop slowing traffic to 15 mph. Virginia State Police stopped the four tractor-trailers at the 53 mile marker in Fairfax County and warned them not to impede traffic. No summons/ticket was issued. The tractor-trailers were then allowed to proceed on their way."

Organizers told WTVR on Thursday that truck drivers planned to occupy three lanes of Interstate 495, and only other drivers displaying the group's Twitter hashtag #T2SDA on their vehicles would be allowed to pass. Members of the group said the protest would be peaceful and lawful.

WTVR visited the Doswell Truck Stop that was serving as one of the staging areas Thursday afternoon and said that before 6 p.m. nearly a dozen were parked there.

Tom Null, a Lafayette, Indiana trucker told WTVR, "We're going to participate in the demonstration around the Beltway in D.C. We just want to let government know that we're tired of them doing un-Constitutional things constantly. We don't like the way the banking is going, with the Fed printing $85 billion every month, diluting our money. My tires are costing 500 bucks a piece now."

Some truckers acknowledged to WTVR they could really shut down the country if they all banded together and stopped making deliveries given the need for same-day delivers for grocery stores to gas stations, but they say it wouldn't be right.

"No," Alabama trucker Brad Higgins told WTVR, "We don't want to do anything that's going to hurt or cripple the country."

Early Friday morning before trucks showed up in the DC area, Truckers Ride For The Constitution wrote on its Facebook page: "We are in the process of bringing our site back up. WE CRASHED OUR SERVER DUE TO TOO MUCH TRAFFIC! They are doing an emergency migratration and we will be up and running within the next several hours."

The group is directing people to a live stream in the interim.

TRUCKERS RIDE FOR THE CONSTITUTION ON FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/186Fm4U

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