ADELANTO, Calif. — Though it was billed as a grass-roots, nonpartisan event intended to oppose government Covid-19 mandates, a trucker demonstration that left California for Washington, D.C., on Wednesday appeared to be tightly aligned with far-right organizations and activists.
Many of those behind the demonstration, which was planned as an American version of the past month’s chaotic Canadian protest, have connections to the violent attack on the Capitol in January 2021, or supported the lie that fraud in the 2020 presidential election was to blame for Donald J. Trump’s loss.
“We’re just trying to show what the people who back us believe — and our own beliefs — of what our country needs to go back to,” said Jeff Sandberg, a Republican truck driver from Texas whose vehicle was hauling a massive banner covered in slogans such as “We Will Not Comply!!” and “Let’s Go Brandon,” a meme created to insult President Biden.
Brian Brase, a convoy spokesman and Ohio-based truck driver, said the motorcade was expected to grow as the trucks wended across the country. “We believe tens of thousands will join in,” he said.
national emergency, meant to streamline the government response to the pandemic, that was first declared by Mr. Trump in March 2020 and recently extended by Mr. Biden. The protesters also want congressional hearings into the origin of the pandemic and an end to government health rules requiring masks and vaccinations, a move that has already begun as new cases have ebbed.
defending Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and ally of Mr. Trump who is being investigated by the Justice Department, issued a call for participation in an American convoy that would start in Ohio and California and reach Washington on March 6.