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Update: Truckers' Capital Beltway Shutdown Was Ploy for Attention

The protest that would have allowed only supporters of the truckers' cause to be allowed on the Capital Beltway was apparently a ploy for media attention.

The Capital Beltway on a typical day. (FILE | Patch)
The Capital Beltway on a typical day. (FILE | Patch)
by Laura L Thornton

Update (Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at 2:30 p.m.): A protest planned by truckers to shut down the Capital Beltway this weekend by jamming all but one lane of the Inner Loop with trucks was just a ploy to attract media attention, The Washington Post reported.

"The comments to U.S. News were designed to do one thing and one thing only: stir the feather of the mainstream media," Earl Conlon—who told U.S. News and World Report on Monday that he was handling the logistics of the truckers' protest—told The Post on Tuesday. 

"Nothing gets the attention of the mainstream media like some sort of disastrous threat. I knew it was going to ruffle some feathers," he added.

>>>Read more about the hoax on The Washington Post's website.

Original story (Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at 11 a.m.):
 Do your Columbus Day weekend plans involve Capital Beltway travel?

If so, listen up: Truck drivers are planning on using the Capital Beltway from Friday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 13, as part of a protest against the government, DCist.com reported.

According to U.S. News and World Report, they'll take up the Inner Loop of the road and travel three trucks deep, at 55 mph, leaving only the left lane open for emergency vehicles. No one will be allowed on the road without "T2SDA"—which stands for "Truckers to Shut Down America"—written on their vehicle, Earl Conlon, a Georgia trucker who is handling logistics for the protest, told U.S. News.

They're protesting a variety of things: the U.S.'s provision of weapons (they allege) to al-Qaida-linked rebels in Syria, Environmental Protection Agency fuel efficiency standards and the high cost of diesel fuel, among other things, U.S. News reported.

Their destination is the National Mall and Congress, where they plan to demand the arrest of certain members of Congress. And if the police do not make the arrests, Conlon says they'll form a citizens' jury and make the arrests themselves, U.S. News added.

Conlon wrote a fiction novel in 2004 in which American truck drivers go into long-term hiding to protest trucking issues, Overdrive Magazine reported.

Two convoys will approach the Capital Beltway: one from Doswell, VA (a couple dozen miles north of Richmond), off of Interstate 95, and one from Harrisburg, PA, off of Interstate 81, according to the Facebook page for the event, to which 674 people had said that they were going as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The event's Facebook page also encourages people coast to coast to spend no money all weekend, and encourages truckers to ride convoy-style on highways across the country, particularly around state capitals. Bikers, RV's and other vehicles are welcome to join in the protest, according to the event's Facebook page.

Officer Darrell Davis of the permits office of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department told Overdrive that he had no current permit on file for the truckers' proposed demonstration in DC on Friday, but that police were aware of it.
V Christine Bingham October 09, 2013 at 12:59 PM
URGENT URGENT URGENT TELL THE TRUCKERS TO TURN AROUND. GOD WARNED ME THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN IS A HOAX. IT IS AN EXCUSE FOR CONGRESS AND THE SENATE TO LEAVE TOWN BEFORE FRIDAY OCTOBER 11TH. THE PLAN IS TO DROP CHEMICAL WEAPONS FROM THE SKY AND PRETEND ITS A TERRORIST ATTACK. TELL THE TRUCKERS TO DELAY THEIR VISIT!!! AND IF YOU LIVE IN FEMA III AREA, (VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, DELAWARE OR WASHINGTON DC) LEAVE TOWN THURSDAY IF POSSIBLE OR DO THIS: SEAL YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS WITH PLASTIC, TURN OFF ANY HVAC SYSTEM. COVER THE HVAC FILTER WITH PLASTIC. STAY INDOORS. STORE UP ENOUGH FOOD AND WATER FOR THE WEEKEND. DON'T GO OUT UNTIL YOU KNOW THE COAST IS CLEAR.
Michael October 09, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Betcha that thousands of truckers still show up, all wild-eyed on greenies after driving 24 straight hours to get here, and ready to bring the Capital Beltway to a crawl.....which will be 5 mph faster than it normally moves.

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