HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — It’s a mission worth driving hundreds — and even thousands — of miles for. Truckers representing “the People’s Convoy” gathered in Hagerstown on Friday, the group’s last stop before heading to Washington, D.C.
Their main goal: To fight against vaccine and masking mandates in the United States. Although, many of the truck drivers emphasized that they’re not against vaccines and mask-wearing in general.
“If you like the vaccine, you want the vaccine, take the vaccine,” said Shawn Knowles, a trucker coming from Lora, Ohio. “But no one should be able to force you to take one.”
Knowles said he decided to drive with the People’s Convoy as a show of solidarity with the truck drivers in Canada. Other truckers at the event said they feel the idea of someone’s job and livelihood is tied to their vaccination status is — at its core — unethical and against more traditional American values.
“Mandates are unconstitutional. It’s unconstitutional for the president to mandate you put anything in your body that you don’t want to put in your body,” said Jerold Pierce of Monrovia, Indiana. “Look how many people have already lost their jobs because they didn’t get the vaccine.”
While some of the drivers were initially nervous to stop in Hagerstown, given its proximity to highly mandate-friendly areas like D.C. And New York, they were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and support of the city’s residents.
“I love Hagerstown, I had no idea what kind of reception we were going to get here,” said Knowles.
The final leg of the journey is set to begin on Saturday morning. According to Pierce, he hopes this protest and the attention it’s gotten will inspire employers to reconsider how they treat their unvaccinated employees going forward.
“God bless everybody that’s here. I hope everything works,” said Pierce.
The People’s Convoy’s official website clarified that the group will not be entering the center of D.C., in an attempt to distance the movement from the events of the January 6th riots.