Protesters surrounded and shouted taunts at a local TV reporter as the convoy of truckers protesting the pandemic measures neared Washington, DC
Video of the crowd confronting the reporter was posted to Twitter on Friday as the people’s motorcade passed through Hagerstown, Maryland, en route to a protest in the Beltway area. The convoy is a spinoff of Canada’s Freedom Convoy, which led the country’s prime minister to invoke emergency powers after protesters blocked trade routes and occupied part of its capital.
The video shows a group of protesters pointing cellphones or cameras at the journalist. Above the sound of the horns of the large passing platforms, the group seems to be haranguing or engaging the journalist in a lively discussion. Another protester holding a loudspeaker shouts unintelligible comments.
“Fake media here,” a man can be heard saying in the video. “They’re grilling them. It’s the only mainstream media I’ve seen, and they’re going to wrap it all up, I’m sure. They’re getting grilled by the Patriots here.”
The targeted reporter appears to be Heather Graf of ABC affiliate WJLA-TV, based in Washington, D.C.
Newsweek contacted Graf for comment.
The People’s Convoy began late last month when a group of truckers left Adelanto, California for an 11-day trip to Washington, DC to demand an end to all remaining COVID-19 warrants. The protest comes at a time when state governments are increasingly easing remaining restrictions as the number of cases continues to fall.
The group’s Facebook page says it is concerned about what it calls “a government that has forgotten its place and does not follow the instructions of our founding fathers, the Constitution.”
“Americans love our freedoms and love the Constitution of the United States of America,” reads the group’s Facebook page. “This convoy is about bringing back our freedoms, our civil liberties, and ending all unconstitutional mandates. This is about our rights, as well as the freedom of future generations.”
Previously, convoy organizers said they would depart Maryland for DC and arrive in the Beltway area Saturday evening. However, the group said it will “respect agreements with local authorities” and terminate in the DC area, but not cross district boundaries.
In preparation for the convoy, Maryland State Police said in a statement that they would work with other agencies in Virginia and Washington to “address any violations of the law and keep traffic flowing.”
“Citizens are also reminded of the potential for misinformation and disinformation that could be spread on social media in relation to potential protests,” the statement said.
Maryland State Police added that law enforcement and transportation agencies “will jointly assess the situation as it develops.”
Newsweek contacted the organizers of the people’s convoy for comment.