Capitol Police issues emergency declaration over trucker convoy
The Capitol Police Board on Sunday issued an emergency declaration as truck drivers protesting COVID-19 policies gather in the D.C. area, according to reports.
The protests, which began Sunday and slowed traffic outside the capital, have been dubbed the “People’s Convoy” and could last several days.
The emergency declaration allows police to ask for help from the National Guard in addition to permitting payment for officers’ hotel and food costs, according to Bloomberg.
CNN reported that the declaration was announced by House Sergeant at Arms William Walker.
“The Capitol Police Board has issued an emergency declaration to ensure that the US Capitol police are able to operate and respond as necessary,” Walker wrote in a letter, advising Congress members and their staffers to take an alternate path via public transit to work or to consider working remotely, CNN reported.
Sunday’s protests included the truckers driving around the Beltway for over four hours and the activity is expected to resume on Monday, The Washington Post noted.
Capitol Police leaders have reportedly voiced concerns about the truckers and other vehicles potentially causing shutdowns of various roads and highways and creating a situation similar to the Freedom Convoy that shut down parts of Canadian capital Ottawa over similar concerns.
The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Capitol Police and to House Sergeant at Arms for more information.
In February, temporary fencing was put up around the Capitol in response to reports of disruptive truck convoys potentially arriving in Washington to protest COVID-19 restrictions.
But since then, D.C. has loosened restrictions related to COVID-19, including ending its mask mandate in restaurants, bars and gyms as of March 1.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dropped it’s mask mandate guidance for areas with relatively low COVID-19 spread, while legal challenges have thwarted much of President Biden’s push for vaccine mandates.
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