In less than two weeks, thousands of truckers will descend on Washington, D.C., driving their big-rigs and calling for the restoration of a constitutional republic – but now their plan has taken a new twist: Their friends and families will simultaneously join other Americans rallying on overpasses across the nation for Obama's impeachment.
The Truckers' Ride for the Constitution movement has a new ally in their protest against what organizers say is corruption in government and a trashing of the Constitution. The group is teaming up with Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment to line the routes into Washington with flags during the Oct. 11-13 event.
Both Houses of Congress are tentatively scheduled to be in session Oct. 11.
Truckers Ride for the Constitution leader and organizer Zeeda Andrews, a country singer and former truck driver, said Overpasses Founder James Neighbors reached out to her, suggesting the two groups form an alliance. Neighbors said the partnership is a "natural" merger for a common cause.
"Thousands of truckers have seen us across America," he said. "We've gotten emails from them, thanking us for waking them up. The biker ride in D.C. happened. Then, the next thing you know, the trucker thing did, and we got even more emails from truckers across the country, thanking us."
He added, "We are going to be out on the overpasses and at truck stops, encouraging the truckers to head to D.C., to join in with the others. They, in exchange, are encouraging their families who are at home to join us on the overpasses."
Facebook tries to shut truckers down
On Sept. 22, Facebook removed the truckers' Facebook page, "Truckers to Shutdown America," which had accumulated 86,000 "likes" within days of its launch.
"Political opponents attacked the Truckers to Shutdown America page within days, and they exploited a little known (to the public) feature on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter called 'community standards' flagging, which allows them to instantaneously shut down an account on these social media platforms," the truckers group explained in a press release.
"[A]n administrator of the page offended someone by saying, 'God bless you, and God bless America."
According to the group, radio talk-host Pete Santelli, of "The Pete Santelli Show," has indicated that he "intends to take legal action against YouTube and Twitter on behalf of all truckers, their supporters, as well as other members of the public who are similarly harmed by these unconstitutional 'community standards.'"
While the truckers' group says it has made numerous attempts to appeal Facebook's decision, the page remains unpublished.
Now the group is planning a special delivery to Facebook's corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on the same day of the Washington, D.C., convoy.
"Ride for the Constitution will now organize a convoy to Facebook corporate headquarters … to coincide with the ride to Washington, D.C.," the group explained. "We fully intend to arrive on corporate America's doorstep with our original 'community standards' guideline in hand – the U.S. Constitution."
The truckers also launched their website, RideForTheConstitution.org, and created a second Facebook page called, "Truckers Ride for the Constitution."
'Wake up the sleeping giant'
What do they intend to accomplish with a convoy into Washington and nationwide rallies on overpasses?
Neighbors explained, "The goal is to wake up the sleeping giant, the people of America."
Truckers co-organizer Benn Pam said the rally will be quite a patriotic scene.
"I think it's great," he said. "There are going to be thousands of trucks on the highways, flying flags. There are all of those people who are in the Overpasses campaign flying flags. Between the two groups, we may be covering a good part of the national highway network."
Andrews said more organizations are expected to join the rally, and she has "two other huge groups that will give me a conformation."
But this event isn't just another political rally. The joint venture has clear objectives. Neighbors said one goal is to pressure Congress to begin the impeachment process.
"In doing so, the people can force Congress to act to begin by removing Obama from office," he explained.
He said his group will also protest "RINOs and progressive Democrats" before the 2014 midterm elections.
Andrews said she believes connecting with the Overpasses group will help achieve her group's aims.
"We both want to see an end to the unconstitutional laws in this country," she said.
By joining forces, she said, both groups will get more publicity and video footage of the event.
However, the group's short-term goal is to see a three-day cessation of business. Organizers are asking Americans to pre-purchase food and other necessities before Oct. 11 to send a message to Congress.
"We want to see the dollar stop circulating for three days," Andrews said. "What we also want to see is deregulation for the truckers and our Constitution restored. We want to get rid of unconstitutional laws like the National Defense Authorization Act and the Patriot Act."
Andrews also said she has a list of grievances she plans to present to every member of Congress before the trucks leave Washington.
Time to rally, contact lawmakers
Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment national coordinator and co-founder Rick Halle said he's hopeful that the event will get Congress to remember its commitment to the Constitution.
"The ultimate result would be for our representatives to start taking their oath to protect and defend the Constitution seriously," he said. "At the very least, we will get the message out to others who believe, as we do, that government corruption is rampant and that they are not alone."
However, Halle admitted that Congress will only feel pressure if enough people rally in the streets and make their voices heard by calling their lawmakers.
"We believe that we will also wake some people up so they start paying attention," he said. "If enough people wake up and start contacting their representatives, then we believe that they will have no choice but to take notice."
Some critics in the trucking industry have taken to Facebook to condemn the upcoming protest.
American Trucking Associations spokesman Sean McNally said his group opposes Andrews' activities.
"The American Trucking Associations is not a sponsor of this 'strike' nor do we endorse or condone the activities of these few individuals," McNally said. "ATA and the vast majority of America's truck drivers will continue to deliver the nation's most essential goods unabated even while we continue to work through whatever policy disagreements we have with Congress and the administration."
But Andrews is undeterred.
She said, "I have the truckers that I need."