The Latest MAGA Truckers Protest Dud Lasted Mere Hours

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 23, 2017 US President Donald Trump sits in the drivers seat of a semi-truck as he welcomes truckers and CEOs to the White House in Washington, DC, to discuss healthcare. - F... (FILES) In this file photo taken on March 23, 2017 US President Donald Trump sits in the drivers seat of a semi-truck as he welcomes truckers and CEOs to the White House in Washington, DC, to discuss healthcare. - From the Arab Spring to bloodletting in Syria, from Obama to Trump, from terror in the streets of Paris to Brexit, the 2010s began with hope for a more equitable world, and end with a slide towards nationalistic populism. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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The New York Post, Breitbart and others in the right-wing media sphere seized on a video that went viral on TikTok over the weekend to eagerly declare that truck drivers across the nation planned to boycott delivering goods to New York City following the verdict in the Donald Trump civil fraud case here last week.

While Alex Jones and Donald Trump himself have since elevated talk of a NYC-focused truckers protest in the days since the original video was posted to Twitter, the man who initially recorded and shared the video has since downplayed the purported “boycott” and distanced himself from the “movement” generally.

Let me unpack.

After Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron announced his ruling on Friday — fining Trump $355 million and banning him from doing business in New York for three years after it was found he inflated his net worth and misled banks and investors about the value of his assets — a truck driver and Trump supporting right-wing social media influencer named “Chicago Ray” posted a video on Twitter, which was later shared on TikTok. In the since-deleted post, “Chicago Ray” called the verdict in New York a form of politically motivated election interference, a view that Trump himself has proffered, and suggested Trump-supporting truckers across the nation would boycott deliveries to New York in protest starting Monday.

“I’ve been on the radio talking to drivers for about the past hour and I’ve talked to about 10 drivers,” the trucker said in the video shared to Twitter. “I don’t know how far across the country this is or how many truckers are going to start denying loads going to New York City, but I’ll tell you what—you f*** around and find out.”

A few other truck drivers and MAGA influencers started saying similar things on social media, such as truck driver Jennifer Hernandez who later spoke to NewsNation and suggested that the purported protest “could shut New York City down” and warned: “if New York loses just 10% of the trucks that go in there, their prices are going to skyrocket on everything — from milk to eggs to any type of goods that the consumer needs.”

By Sunday, “Boycott New York” was trending on Twitter and Trump weighed in on the ordeal.

“Such an honor to have so many Great Patriots on the side of freedom,” Trump posted on Truth Social Sunday. “Joe Biden’s Unfair and Dangerous Weaponization of Law Enforcement is a serious threat to Democracy.”

However, several other truck drivers posted videos saying the supposed “movement” wasn’t actually happening.

@bluecollar_trucker #rant #comment #truth #perspective #nyc #newyork #trump #transportation #drivers #strike #truckdriver #trucking #trucker #cdl #cdllife #news #bluecollar #truckersoftiktok ♬ original sound – Andy

And within a day of the video getting online attention, “Chicago Ray” tweeted saying he had deleted the initial video because it went viral on TikTok and it caused an argument between himself and his grandson.

“Just to be clear…. I’m no figurehead of any movement….” Chicago Ray said on Twitter. “I’m not leading, nor have I encouraged, or am I encouraging anyone to do anything other than what they were doing prior to the ruling on Friday in New York City.”

He then suggested there might still be some life to the protest, but only cited a few “guys” in Wisconsin that he’s been talking to.

The MAGA trucker protest seemingly has not yet materialized. But provocateur and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones breathed some life into it this morning, retweeting a video to his 2.1 million followers that was by another truck driver who’d discussed the “persecution of President Trump.”

Trucker protests not panning out in comedic ways has become a common occurrence in the last three years since Trump lost the election. American truck drivers vowed to descend on Washington, D.C. to do their own version of the anti-COVID vaccine protests that broke out during the Freedom Convoy movement in Canada. That ended up being a dud. More recently, there was much talk about a grand showing of truckers at the border who planned to help back up Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s big legal standoff with the federal government in border towns in the state. That ended with a bunch of the pro-Trump protesters who actually showed up concluding that there wasn’t much of a “crisis” at the border to begin with.

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