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'Constitution' Truckers Plan To Shut Down D.C. With Protest Convoy

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AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

The Ride For The Constitution site describes the event as having started based on a Facebook group that was created by a "former trucker" named Zeeda Andrews and her friend Benjamin. Andrews has an active personal Facebook page where she has posted a slew of political statements including; that "Obama's Birth Certificate is a fraud," the Muslim Brotherhood controls the White House, and a graphic encouraging her Facebook friends to say "FUCK ALLAH."

In a post written Sept. 16, Andrews described her goals for the "Truckers Shutdown."

"No commerce on those days stock up on items that you will need," Andrews wrote. "No banking no shopping no money transactions. It does not matter If a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We The People. Which is, remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner (sic) put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution."

Along with Andrews, Ride For The Constitution is being supported and promoted by right-wing radio host Pete Santilli, who is hosting the event's website, promoting it on his radio show, and acting as a spokesman for the "Truckers Shutdown."

In addition to the convoy to DC this weekend, Santilli and Andrews have also encouraged truckers to drive Thursday to the town hall in Gilberton, Pa., where officials will be holding a hearing on the fate of Kessler, the town's police chief who was suspended after he filmed a series of YouTube videos in which he fired guns owned by the town while criticizing "libtards" and threatening to "start killing people" if President Obama took executive action on gun control. Kessler's suspension made national headlines and turned him into something of a celebrity in the conservative activist community.

"The people shall rise to the occasion at that hearing, and we fully expect numerous Truckers to press their front bumpers against the front door of the town hall at this public hearing," a press release posted on the Ride For The Constitution site said. "Thousands of the Chief's supporters are expected to attend ----to defend and support the U.S. Constitution against our domestic enemies."

On her Facebook page, Andrews vowed the Ride For The Constitution will "shutdown Obamacare and corruption in DC." In an interview on the event website Andrews wants a minimum of 2,000 truckers to join the convoy to D.C.

Protest organizers have attempted to distance themselves from a man named Earl Conlon, who spoke with US News on Monday and was identified as "handling logistics for the protest." Conlon told the magazine that truckers would prevent other motorists from traveling on the Beltway and would attempt to have officials "arrested" when they arrived in D.C.

Conlon walked back those claims in a subsequent interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday in which he said the comments he made to U.S. News were designed to "stir the feather of the mainstream media." After the U.S. News article appeared, Santilli and Andrews posted a series of email exchanges in which they asked U.S. News to "correct" the article and said Conlon's statements were not "representative of what the campaign is about." Santilli said Conlon had been a "'coordinator' of drivers" and "misrepresented" himself as a spokesman.

"We will not associate with anyone participating in the event who would consider breaking the law," Santilli said in an email to U.S. News.

TPM reached out to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department to ask whether officials were aware of the event and had any concerns about traffic disruptions. A spokesman for the agency did not immediately respond.

About The Author

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Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com