Convoy protesting COVID mandates and government passes through Rapid City, welcomed by many with open arms
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A convoy of truckers protesting COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures drove through Rapid City Friday night.
They are headed to the nation’s capital, calling themselves “the people’s convoy.”
They say COVID-prevention measures are “abridging their freedoms, ”even as the vast majority of those measures are currently winding down across the country.
Critics have labeled the convoy a “far-right” movement, or anti-science conspiracy theorists. However, supporters dispute that by saying the movement is bi-partisan.
That didn’t stop Rapid City from coming out to the Flying J Truck Stop and supporting the convoy. People brought food, drink, supplies and more in preparation for the arrival of the group.
“We even have gift cards,” says Emily McGuire, a supporter of the convoy. ”We have written letters from children. It’s a beautiful thing what they’re doing, and so it’s just our way to give back.”
“We do not want excessive government control,” says Lori Moore, who supports the convoy. “We do not want any kind of mandate. It’s our choice to have a vaccine if we want, and they can say what they want but they don’t know.”
“They are making it so vaccine mandates and mask mandates are no longer a thing,” says McGuire. “There are so many people in the community who have been very negatively impacted by that, and they are standing up for our freedoms.”
Freedoms Moore’s family says were infringed upon, who got into trucking after losing their jobs to mandates.
“My husband is a trucker and he was not prior to COVID,” says Moore.
She says they ran a business and lost the job for COVID related reasons, and “all of a sudden we had no income coming in.” So, he started long haul trucking, “which took him away from me for a year and a half. So, I know the sacrifice that families make and truckers make to be out on the road.”
A sacrifice Jennifer Moen’s father made, who was in the cab of a truck when he was ten years old, and “lived in a semi for 60 years,” says Moen, who is at the Flying J Truck Stop in support of the convoy, “and he passed away in April of last year. He was all about freedom.”
“Freedom is something that,” explains McGuire, “it’s not being forced to get jabs and vaccines when they are not wanted.”
Moen wears her father’s ashes around her neck, and she says “one thing he always said is that he wanted to go on a big convoy.”
She’s hoping someone from the convoy will grant that wish, and take her father’s ashes the rest of the ride.
“It would mean the world to me,” she says.
Then, they showed up.
One of the many truckers was Dennis Davies, who says “I figured I might as well show up instead of sit on my ass at home.” He and the convoy are protesting government, because “we’re a mess right now. You look at what’s going on at our southern border?” That, and COVID protocol, “because that’s all nonsense.”
He says they’ve gotten tons of support along their journey.
“Oh, my god. It’s amazing,” Davies says. “It gives me hope that things will get better.”
However, he says not everyone is in agreement with their protest.
“You’d be surprised at how many people are mad about something like this,” Davies says pointing at his truck.
Men, women and children all signed Davies truck, where the trailer has gathered hundreds of signatures in support of the convoy along the way. He calls it “unbelievable.”
Just as soon as they came, they left.
However, all the while, Jennifer was in search of someone to take her dad with them.
Moen asked a couple, the Lambert’s, who were travelling with the convoy, “would you be willing to take my dad with you?” Moen says standing beside the pair, “they said they would.”
“This is just so symbolic that we’re taking that someone else with us,” Jason Lambert says.
The Lambert’s are on the journey after losing their jobs as attorneys due to COVID-19 mandates.
“It’s great that your dad was a trucker,” explains Jason Lambert smiling, “because I feel like now I’m a junior trucker. So, we’re going across DC and maybe your dad can help mentor us.”
Moen responded, “Yeah. He will.”
Amanda Lambert is familiar with the pain Moen feels for losing her father, because she says, “my mother recently passed away, and so I know what that feels like. I take it very seriously and it’s an honor and a privilege.”
“I’m just ecstatic,” says Moen while she’s tying the necklace carrying her father’s ashes around Amanda Lambert’s neck.
The pair hugged.
“Thank you,” Moen whispered into Amanda Lambert’s ear.
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