BILLINGS — A convoy of between 200 and 400 truckers traveled through Montana on Wednesday, stopping in the Lockwood area near Billings for the night. They say they're on the way to Washington, D.C. to protest COVID mandates, with other truckers joining them as they move east.
Montana residents from all over showed their support, including Lockwood resident Corinne Anderson, who was waiting outside her home to see the convoy. “Well yeah, I’m excited. This is history,” Anderson said.
Her neighbor, Loretta Sump, had been a trucker since the 60s but has since retired. “This is something that they have all found is necessary to come together and do a showing of what they believe is right,” Sump said.
The Freedom Convoy, as its being called, stopped in Missoula and Bozeman before it made its way to Billings.
Organizers of the convoy have expressed frustration about efforts to impose vaccine mandates, even though a rule approved by the Biden administration requiring vaccine mandates for employees was recently struck down in federal court.
An organizer of the convoy moving through Montana did not respond to an MTN request for an interview.
Charlie Waples, a Billings trucker, posted up at the Lockwood Pilot Dealer Town Pump to wait for the convoy to show his support.
“We feel it’s really important that Washington, D.C. understands that our freedoms and the rights given to us under the constitution of the United States are starting to be infringed upon and we’re not going to tolerate it,” said Waples.
Over in Laurel, Doug Powell has been waiting for the convoy for about three hours. He was joined by about 50 other residents.
“I’m real happy to see a lot of people turn out and support this freedom movement. I believe it’s going to be growing all across this country,” said Powell.
The convoy started in the Seattle area and hopes to arrive in the nation's capital within the next few days. It's an offshoot of a similar effort in Canada, where truckers gathered in Ottawa, the capital city, disrupting traffic as they demanded the lifting of that country's COVID mandates.