Capitol Police are briefing congressional staff on Friday afternoon on planning efforts regarding a potential trucker convoy protest in Washington that could be similar to the demonstration in Ottawa, Canada.
Those invited for the 30-minute meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. EST include staff from congressional leadership offices, Appropriations panels in both chambers, the House Administration Committee and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Leadership of the offices of the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, Capitol Police and architect of the Capitol are listed on the meeting.
A convoy of trucks traveled to the Canadian capital of Ottawa to protest pandemic restrictions, causing gridlock and resulting in arrests. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a critic of vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions, expressed support for the protests to come to the United States, including Washington.
The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department said it has increased available resources, including civil disturbance units in preparation for any demonstrations.
Hugh Carew, an MPD spokesperson, said the department “is aware of potential First Amendment activities that may take place in the National Capital Region, including Washington, D.C.,” but noted that currently a permit application has not been submitted to MPD. The department is monitoring the situation and planning with local, state and federal partners. Further, MPD has “increased available resources, including the activation of our Civil Disturbance Units, in preparation for these activities,” Carew said.
Capitol Police preferred not to discuss the substance of their briefing. “We don’t discuss or confirm potential briefings with Members of Congress,” USCP spokesperson Tim Barber said.