The right-wing trucker protest intended to shut down the nation’s capital has been such a flop that proponents have been reduced to sharing a phony photo of it on social media.
The “Ride for the Constitution” was planned in hopes of drawing hundreds – if not thousands – of truckers from states near Washington, D.C., for a three-day protest beginning Friday morning.
The group, whose organizers employed a variety of right-wing extremist terminology, planned to circle the Interstate 495 “Beltway” across three at the posted 55 mph speed limit, leaving one lane open for emergency vehicles.
Organizers said they hoped to shut down portions of the federal government that remained open and expressed vaguely worded plans to arrest President Barack Obama or lawmakers who support his agenda, but were still insisting the plan wasn’t a hoax just hours before it was scheduled to commence.
A Virginia state police spokeswoman said the protest drew about 30 commercial vehicles and 15 pickup trucks, many displaying American flags or “Truckers to Shut Down America (#T2SDA)” placards, starting around 8 a.m.
State troopers stopped four semi-truck drivers about an hour later that were driving side-by-side at 15 mph. They were given a warning and allowed to drive continue, police said.
Traffic cameras from the area occasionally showed three semis driving side-by-side, slowing traffic, but a spokeswoman said conditions were basically normal for weekday traffic during comparably rainy conditions.
A photo showing heavy traffic on a two-lane stretch of interstate purported to be from the protest was circulated dozens of times on Twitter, drawing additional comments of support, but the image was actually taken in May during a Make-A-Wish truck convoy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
— SP Gordon (@GordonPress) October 11, 2013
[Image via YouTube]