Not all trucker protesters like Truckers Ride for the Constitution group, or the woman who's become the face of it, Zeeda Andrews. "She pretty much has destroyed things," said Chris Hemmer, who told The Atlantic Wire that his group originally pitched the idea for the protest. Hemmer, of the National Gun Association and the Truckers To Shut Down America Facebook page, said that Andrews, the main media contact for Truckers Ride for the Constitution (formerly also known as Truckers to Shut Down America), is "out there," and not doing the movement any favors. A 18-wheeled movement that was meant to protest fuel prices has been turned into one protesting President Obama, the government shutdown, and a number of conspiracy theories.
Hemmer said he's been a truck driver for more than 20 years, and originally intended for the protest to last one day, this Friday. In his version of the protest, truckers would have agreed to not spend any money and not made deliveries, to protest against corporate America and rising gas prices. His goal was never to send thousands of truckers to shut down America, he told The Atlantic Wire, and Hemmer echoed concern that the truck protest might block emergency vehicles from saving lives. This version of the protest, however, was lost when Andrews "hijacked" the movement. We also reached out to Canadian truckers to shut down, but they deferred to the Ride for the Constitution faction. "We do not speak for T2SDA we are merely state pages supporting the shutdown," replied a representative of the page.
This is yet one more sign of dissent in the ranks of the Trucker protest movement. Earlier this week, Truckers Ride for the Constitution chastised Earl Conlon for telling The Washington Post that the protest was a "hoax" meant to rile up the media. "URGENT: Earl Conlon has advised NOT to misrepresent himself as a spokesperson for this peaceful event," an administrator posted on the Ride for the Constitution Facebook page, though Conlon is associated with the movement and has been in charge of logistics. But maybe Conlon just didn't want people getting their hopes too high, since only 30 truckers showed up.
(Truckers photo by Nick Ianneli/@NickWTOP.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.