Capitol Police ups security ahead of SOTU amid concerns of truck convoy protesting
( Hill )
Capitol Police issued a statement on Friday saying they are planning for extra security ahead of President Biden's first State of the Union address, noting that law enforcement agencies “are aware of plans” of truck convoys arriving into Washington, D.C. around that time.
“Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union. As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity,” Capitol Police said.
“The USCP is closely coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service and other allied agencies to include the DC National Guard,” the law enforcement agency added.
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security told other law enforcement partners that U.S truck protests could be taking place, possibly impacting both the Super Bowl on Feb. 13 and the State of the Union, which is scheduled for March 1.
The department “has received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates. The convoy will potentially begin in California early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union address scheduled for 1 March,” according to a memo obtained by The Hill on Feb. 9.
Canadian drivers have been engaging in a weeks-long protest aimed at COVID-19 requirements in which truckers need to be fully vaccinated in order to get into Canada. But the protests have already had economic consequences, including for the auto industry, in which shifts have had to be reduced or some companies face parts shortages.
Officials have arrested at least 70 people, including several protest leaders, as of Friday, The Associated Press reported.