More than a dozen members of the People’s Convoy have filed suit against Washington D.C., arguing that city leaders denied them their right to free speech by denying them access to parts of the city.
A suit filed on May 2, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia lists 16 People’s Convoy members as plaintiffs filing for injunctive and declaratory relief against D.C. officials.
The lawsuit argues that when the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) blocked entrances to the city in mid-March 2022 to keep the convoy out, they violated participants’ constitutional rights.
“The blockades were not the result of construction, auto accidents, or even scheduled road closures. MPD formed the blockades for the sole purpose of preventing American citizens from entering our nation’s capital to exercise their constitutionally protected right to free speech. Of course, such action under color of state law violates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights,” the suit states.
The suit also blames the MPD for the deaths of two people killed when their vehicle crashed into a blockade. During the March 8 crash, a car struck a parked public works dump truck that was being used for convoy security on I-695 at Exit 1c.
Convoy participants said that their planned demonstration was intended as an act of protest against the current administration’s continued state of emergency declaration and COVID-19 related policies and to honor the thirteen service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
After protesting in California, the People’s Convoy is currently staging at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho. The group says that they are planning a “second wave” convoy back to Washington D.C.