What to Know Wednesday – NBC4 Washington

Washington, DC, officials say they are monitoring potential demonstrations after truckers threatened to clog the Capital Beltway as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

A Pennsylvania tow truck company owner, Bob Bolus, told NBC News that a convoy of about 20 vehicles took off from Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday morning. He expected them to travel for about five hours, then stop on the Capital Beltway / Interstate 495 during the 3 pm hour, according to NBC News4.

Bolus told News4’s Adam Tuss that they plan to go with the flow of traffic, backing off earlier statements about shutting down the Beltway.

“Let’s put it this way: We’re not shutting the traffic down today. “If we do not have a resolution from the government, to the rights that they are taking from us, I will predict in the future it will get shut down,” he said.

He said his grievances include mask mandates, COVID-19 vaccinations and fuel prices.

Law enforcement agencies in Maryland, Virginia and DC say they are monitoring what could be a number of trucking convoys coming to DC News4’s Paul Wagner reports.

As of Tuesday evening, the convoy had planned to stop at US Route 50 and the Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Prince George’s County Public Schools told parents to prepare for potential school bus delays on Wednesday.

Truckers apparently spurred on by the recent protests in Canada have spoken on social media about clogging traffic around the DC area, but the extent of the protests and how disruptive they may be is still unclear.

About 700 unarmed National Guard troops are set to be deployed around the DC area to assist with traffic control and help local authorities solve any problems, the National Guard announced Tuesday.

“Our [Metropolitan Police Department] spirit [U.S. Capitol Police] partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and we stand ready to assist, ”DC National Guard Commanding General Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless said in a press release.

About 400 DC National Guard members and 50 large tactical vehicles will be deployed to designated traffic posts no later than Saturday at 1 pm, according to a National Guard statement. Guard members can be posted on a 24-hour basis until 11:59 pm on March 7, the statement said.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin also approved 300 guard members from outside DC

DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said she will receive a briefing from U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday on their preparations, including whether a fence will be erected around the Capitol. Norton says she will demand that any fencing be temporary.

Law enforcement agencies in DC, Maryland and Virginia told News4 they are monitoring what could be a number of trucker convoys coming to the area.

Another group, which dubbed itself the People’s Convoy, began assembling in the Los Angeles area with intentions to travel to DC by early March, the Los Angeles Times reported.

DC officials sent an alert to residents on Tuesday, saying the demonstrations could impact the capital region “in the weeks ahead,” but no permit application has been filed with police.

“There are layered mitigation strategies in place and our agencies remain in regular contact with local, regional, and federal partners,” the notice said.

Several roads around the US Capitol were blocked by authorities this week in anticipation of potential protests and President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, set for Tuesday.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

Correction (Feb. 23, 2022 at 10:52 am): An earlier version of this story erroneously said the trucker convoy would go through Harrisonburg. It was set to travel through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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