Pentagon Authorizes National Guard To Protect DC From Trucker Convoys

(Photo by Paulius Peleckis/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Pentagon said Tuesday that it authorized the deployment of up to 700 National Guardsmen to Washington, D.C., in anticipation of trucker protest convoys that have promised to descend upon the city.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a request for help, which came from the Washington, D.C. government and Capitol Police, the Pentagon said, according to The Associated Press. The troops will reportedly be unarmed and will not participate in law enforcement activities.

Various convoys of truckers have said they plan to arrive in D.C. and protest, with some pledging to come to the city as soon as Wednesday. The convoys are modeled after Canada’s self-proclaimed “Freedom Convoy,” which mucked up the country’s capital of Ottawa for several weeks, blocking roads and impeding government business near Canada’s parliament.

Some convoys in Canada blocked other roads and trade routes across the country, including a key border crossing in Windsor between Canada and the U.S.

The Canadian truckers were protesting COVID-19 restrictions, particularly a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers. The protests were eventually dispersed by Canadian law enforcement, with numerous demonstrators arrested and vehicles seized. (RELATED: House Democrat Ruben Gallego Says He Wants Government To Seize And Redistribute Truckers’ Vehicles)

Washington, D.C., is now gearing up for its own version of the protests. One leader promised to congest traffic on the Beltway and squeeze D.C. like a “boa constrictor.” Another organizer said his group was planning to arrive March 1 for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, and called for Biden to drop the state of emergency for COVID-19 and all pandemic-related mandates.