MONTICELLO, Minn. — A crowd gathered on highway overpasses in Monticello as a truck convoy rolled down I-94 east toward Hudson Friday morning.
MnDOT cameras showed people lined along the overpass waving American flags and holding up signs as the trucks, part of a series of convoys that are crisscrossing the country on their way to Washington, D.C., passed below.
According to a Facebook event called Freedom Rally Monticello, which was organized to "peacefully support the truckers standing for freedom," the convoy left Sauk Center around 8:30 a.m. and reached Monticello around 9:20 a.m.
Modeled after recent trucker protests in Canada, separate truck convoys have been planned across the country through online forums with names like the People’s Convoy and the American Truckers Freedom Fund — all with different starting points, departure dates and routes. Some groups were scheduled to arrive in D.C. for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.
The convoys follow the recent Canadian truckers’ protest which shut down the busiest U.S. Canadian border crossing and besieged the streets of the capital, Ottawa, for weeks to protest government pandemic restrictions. The multiple blockades were broken up by police last week, with more than 100 arrests.
The group People's Convoy, which started in California in February and is heading across the country to D.C., describes itself as "peaceful and unified transcontinental movement." The group, which was not in the city for the SOTU, is demanding that the national COVID-19 emergency be immediately lifted.
Across Minnesota, communities have started lifted their face mask and vaccine requirements. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have lifted their indoor face mask mandates along with vaccine and negative test requirements for indoor dining.
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