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National COVID protest convoy arrives in Indiana, will hold rally Wednesday night

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Mitch Legan
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WTIU/WFIU
Idaho resident Kim West greets convoy drivers as they arrive in Monrovia. West said she had been traveling with the group since it left southern California last week.

A trucker-led convoy headed for Washington, D.C. to protest the U.S. government’s COVID response will hold a rally in Monrovia Wednesday evening.

Hundreds of people piled out of semi-trucks, RVs, cars and motorcycles to spend the night at Ted Everett Farm Equipment in Monrovia Tuesday. The group calls itself the “People’s Convoy” and is modeled after recent protests in Canada.

“It's time that the truck drivers around the world stand up for their people,” said convoy co-organizer Brian Brase. “It’s time that the governments around the world learn that they work for us, not the other way around.”

The group is calling on President Joe Biden to end the COVID-19 national emergency. It wants bipartisan congressional investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and how federal and state governments handled the pandemic. It’s also calling for the end of vaccine mandates in any form.

“We want to restore liberty and freedom guided by the Constitution of the United States,” Brase said. “It's not only about the mandates.”

The group left Adelanto, California on Feb. 23. Its reported size has varied along the way, with some supporters joining the convoy for stretches of highway before turning back home. The Tulsa World reported Oklahoma law enforcement said the line included 300 trucks and stretched 10 miles at one point.
Indiana State Police estimated 280 vehicles made their way through the western part of the state Tuesday, with about 100 of those being semi-trucks.

Supporters have crowded overpasses along the way, with the group collecting over $1.5 million in donations so far. The convoy was met by a throng of people cheering for them at the farm equipment property Tuesday.

“It might be the truck drivers that stood up, but this is the people's convoy,” Brase said.

Candie Kates drove two hours from her home in central Illinois show support. COVID restrictions significantly impacted her businesses, causing one to go under. She baked 144 oatmeal, white chocolate and cherry shortbread cookies for the truckers.

“We're just tired of the government telling us what we can and can't do,” Kates said.

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People's Convoy
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The People's Convoy's tentative route.

Brase expects to meet up with convoys from Florida, Texas, Maine and other states as they make their way to the Capital Beltway on Saturday. The People’s Convoy is one of several trucker-led protests heading to Washington this week and is likely the largest.

The group says its protest will be peaceful and doesn’t plan on entering Washington, but the capital has been beefing up security out of caution.

Wednesday’s “Rally for Freedom & Accountability” will be the convoy’s first day off the road since it left. It’ll include speeches from guest speakers and drivers, according to Brase, and will start at 7 p.m. at Ted Everett Farm Equipment.

This story has been updated with number estimates from Indiana State Police.

Mitch Legan