The organizers of The People’s Convoy released a statement late Thursday that their group “has no intention or plans” to protest the Super Bowl in Los Angeles on Sunday.
“Such notice and rumors are put out there by either another group or paid opposition,” Kris Young, one of the administrators for The People’s Convoy, posted on the group’s Facebook and Telegram accounts late Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had issued a warning that a convoy of truckers protesting against COVID-19 vaccine mandates could impact the Super Bowl, the final game of the season for the National Football League.
The department said a protest similar to ongoing demonstrations in Canada could start in California in the coming days.
Truckers protesting in Canada’s capital Ottawa have been blocking main roads, as well as some of the main trade bridges on the U.S.-Canada border.
Instead, Young posted that the People’s Convoy will rally on March 4 and 5 in Coachella Valley in Indio, California, before heading to Washington.
However, a separate group called Shut Down the Super Bowl Medical Freedom Protest posted on social media that it plans to start demonstrating against mask mandates beginning at noon on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
“Officials will host a Super Bowl while forcing kids to mask,” according to the group that states it is part of a “USA Truck Convoy.”
As of publication, no additional information about the group or its plans was available.
Some of the initial organizers of The People’s Convoy told FreightWaves they backed out of participating in the event after the group’s administrators posted on Feb. 8 that “fuel reimbursement upon arrival for all attending the event,” which contradicted the group’s original message that it wouldn’t be accepting donations.
Gerald Johnson, known as Trucker G, said no one could tell him who was supplying the funds to cover fuel expenses, so he decided to walk away.
“I am all about supporting my brothers and sisters on the road and I’m for freedom but when you can’t tell me who I’m getting in bed with or won’t supply the names of people I am supposed to trust, it’s time for me to bow out and get back to what I know and that’s trucking,” Trucker G told FreightWaves.
The People’s Convoy organizers originally wanted to build on the momentum of Canada’s Freedom Convoy, which is entering into its second week to protest vaccine requirements at the U.S.-Canada border.
Some truckers decided not to participate because the group’s message about what it hoped to accomplish by convoying cross-country to DC in March wasn’t clear since many states have already dropped their mask mandate requirements.
In attendance at the rally in Coachella Valley will be the “world’s top doctors, representing the truth about the pandemic and related policies, supportive police, firefighters, military personnel, musicians, inspiring journalists, religious leaders and people from all walks of life,” according to The People’s Convoy post.
The People’s Convoy’s first social media page, initially dubbed the “Convoy to D.C. 2022,” was removed by Facebook for violating policies around QAnon in early February, according to Fox News.
This is a developing story.
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Watch FreightWaves’ Nate Tabak’s coverage of the Freedom Convoy in Canada’s capital of Ottawa.
The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes USA Truck (No. 51).