WASHINGTON — As at least one truck convoy moved closer to D.C. on Saturday, security precautions continued to be made ahead of possible crowds of protesters that could be in the district over the coming days.
The People's Convoy, which left California this past Wednesday, was expected to make a stop in Elk City, Oklahoma on Saturday.
By March 5, organizers hope to be pulling into D.C.
Another rally, the American Trucker's Convoy, is expected to depart from Washington State this upcoming Tuesday before arriving in DC March 6.
On Saturday, signs of security precautions could be found in various spots around the district.
At some intersections and highway exits, D.C. city trucks were being used as barricades against truck traffic a part of the protests.
A National Guard truck also sat waiting along I-295 on Saturday, with around 700 troops recently approved to help with traffic support in DC.
Temporary fencing around the Capitol also still remained a possibility as President Joe Biden gets set to deliver the State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
While some have voiced frustration about the impact to traffic with the protests, others have voiced support.
At the Gourmeltz restaurant in Fredericksburg, customers can stop by and drop off donations for truck drivers participating in the convoys.
As of Saturday, owner Matt Strickland told WUSA 9 that staff had already seen a strong response.
"We’ve been getting all kinds of items. Anything from protein bars to beef jerky to all kinds of nonperishable food items," he said. "It’s just volunteers from the community that have stepped up to collect these donations and take them to the truckers.”
On the "Virginia Freedom Convoy to DC 2022" Facebook page, supporters can sign up for flag-waving gatherings on bridges and overpasses along the same routes that convoys are expected to drive through on their way to D.C.
An admin for the page also created an Amazon Wish List, featuring various food items, that others could use to buy items for the truck drivers.
"I’m pretty sure every overpass and every bridge is going to be full with patriots," said Strickland. "We need to stand behind them and get with them and just support them.”
For Strickland, the support for the truck convoy events comes from his opposition to vaccine mandates.
On Saturday, he hoped the truck drivers and other protesters could send a united message about their beliefs.
"They’re taking people's civil liberties and freedoms away from them for simply saying, 'I’m not comfortable with putting this vaccine in my body,'" Strickland said. "No matter how big the government or a corporation gets, you’ll never be bigger or stronger than the American people.”