Truckers for the Constitution

A very weird plan to send Washington a message by disrupting D.C.'s commuters.

Have you heard of Truckers for the Constitution? They have an unwieldy hashtag. And a non-self-explanatory acronym. And some pretty hefty demands. Namely: to restore constitutional order, arrest nearly everyone in power in the U.S. capital, dismantle the Department of Homeland Security, and generally overturn tyranny.

For about a week now, they've been loudly threatening to do this by sending a convoy thousands of semi-trucks long to Washington, D.C., to spend the Columbus Day weekend circling the Capital Beltway, non-stop, ensnarling traffic (although they've borrowed the language of the shutdown, they don't seem all that interested in reopening the federal government). The Facebook page for the plan has 164,000 likes. One organizer vowed no less than 10,000 trucks. Hundreds of people were tweeting cheers for the cause this morning. Even Zipcar warned local drivers to be on the lookout.

Here's the latest gleeful update from the movement's Facebook page:

And here is what is actually happening:

Google Maps

Local law enforcement reported that all of about 30 trucks rolled onto I-495 this morning, with virtually no impact. At one point, several trucks driving side-by-side managed to stall a stretch of traffic to 15 miles an hour, just long enough to prompt this image now making the rounds on social media as evidence of the movement's might:

Virginia state troopers pulled those vehicles over, warned them, and then allowed them to drive on.

The basic plan was fatally flawed for a number of reasons. The Beltway is 64 miles long, 12 lanes wide, and manages to carry more than 200,000 vehicles on a typical day. Not to mention if you're ticked at politicians, it's a total non-sequitur to take that out on local commuters. Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama do not get to work on I-495.

The whole (non)scene has been a tidy illustration of the gulf between reality and social media (maybe this is fitting: the Beltway is also a frequent metaphor for the barrier between Washington's weird sense of self, and the rest of the real world). Here's a favorite tweet:

Nope. They're all on. Right here. Who knew boring traffic cams made for such political theater.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.

  2. Life

    The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire

    In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work. But not always because they need the money.

  3. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  4. Equity

    The FBI's Forgotten War on Black-Owned Bookstores

    At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.

  5. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.