October 8, 2013

If you've ever driven the Beltway, especially during rush hour, you know it wouldn't take more than one truck to shut it down. So this is kind of overkill. (And those operators will of course get fined for blocking city traffic.) I feel for truckers: They don't make much money and they work really hard. But deregulating safety rules only make the roads unsafe for the rest of us when a trucker's driving on bald tires, or is all hopped up on speed because he hasn't slept in two days.

Truckers were screwed by many of the big trucking companies, who laid them off and then leased back their rigs so they could carry them on the books as independent contractors instead of employees. So now they have all those upkeep costs, with already-thin profit margins. If only they didn't wrap their cause up in a big thick blanket of Beck-style wingnuttery!

On October 11th, a group of right-wing truckers is planning to drive to DC to shut down the major commuter highway that circles the city. They’ll continue to block traffic, they say, until they see the arrest of elected officials who have “violated their oath of office.”

Organizers of the event, which is titled “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” say they are fed up with a variety of headaches caused by the government: Fuel efficiency standards enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, Obamacare, state and local laws over idling their trucks, and “insurance companies purportedly requiring technological updates,” according to US News and World Report.

They say that to demonstrate against violations of the constitution, they plan to circle interstate 495 — known widely as the beltway — and not allow through any traffic. If police try to stop them, they’ll park their trucks right on the highway.

Originally, reports from US News and World Report indicated the truckers werelooking to impeach President Obama. But Earl Conlon, an organizer of the event, told US News, “We’re not asking for impeachment, we’re asking for the arrest of everyone in government who has violated their oath of office.” These include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), both for purportedly arming al Qaeda linked Syrian rebels. But while it might seem very US-specific, even some Canadian truckers might join in.

It was not immediately clear how truckers would go from circling the highway around DC to actually arresting elected representatives.

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