- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A trucker protest returned to the D.C. area over the holiday weekend, briefly slowing traffic along a few major roadways.

The group, called the 1776 Restoration Movement, had three separate convoys staged Monday on southbound Interstate 95 near Route 198, northbound Interstate 395 near the D.C.-Virginia line and Interstate 270 near its interchange with Interstate 370, according to WJLA-TV, the local ABC affiliate for the District.

Truckers and other motorists “comprised of nurses, teachers, carpenters, plumbers, engineers, legal professionals, veterans, homemakers, and more,” per WJLA, briefly blocked traffic for about 30 minutes in the early part of the day on July 4th.  

However, the convoys left one lane open for emergency vehicles, the group said in a statement released Tuesday.

The statement also said that one group ended their protest early to comply with demands from law enforcement.

The convoy’s stated goal is the “restoration of our constitutional republic, and return to a moral society,” according to its Twitter page. 

David “Santa” Riddell, who took part in The People’s Convoy protests that visited the D.C. area in March and then again in May, said the 1776 Restoration Movement is a different movement.  

“We did what we set out to do today. We inspired our supporters, we inspired our base, and we let those in high authority know we are NOT The People’s Convoy,” convoy leader David “Santa” Riddell said in the statement. “We let the WORLD know that we are NOT The People’s Convoy. This first day was the easiest day of the peaceful protest. Now we’re ON and it’s about to get real.”

Mr. Riddell reiterated in a speech to supporters Tuesday that the activists “are not going to be ignored.” 

He said he intends to mimic the road-blocking tactics used by climate activists “because it works” and garners media attention. 

“From here on out, we march forward with no fear. If you feel it start to creep up, squash it down. It’s going to try to creep up; squash it down. March forward,” Mr. Riddell said Tuesday. “ We’re getting national coverage. And the left hates it, but they gotta cover us anyways. Every nasty tweet they make, every nasty comment they make, only helps our movement. You know why I know that? Because it helped theirs first.” 

However, Mr. Riddell did not say when the group would protest again.

A group of climate activists shut down the Capital Beltway’s inner loop near Silver Spring on Monday, according to WTOP. 

The outlet reported that Maryland State Police responded to the protest around 12:30 p.m., and the road reopened around 1:45 p.m. 

Fourteen people were arrested for their role in the protest, per WTOP.

View protest online.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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