WASHINGTON, October 9, 2013 — Tractor-trailer drivers demonstrating against the government in the “Ride for the Constitution” are off to a slow, disorganized start today. The truckers, who plan to encircle the beltway and clog three lanes for three days to protest a number of diverse issues, are facing numerous hurdles to gaining public support for their rally.
Galen Munroe, spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, told the Communities@Washington Times that the Union has no involvement in the rally, nor does it have a position on the action.
A press release from from Norita Taylor of the 150,000 member Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association claims the association does not support the rally. She stated that, like the Teamsters, the Association is not affiliated with any part or parcel of this effort. The press release added that the Association opposes the action.
The press release goes on to say the rally is being promoted by people with no direct affiliation with the trucking industry and accuses them of using it for their own political purposes.
Several different people claim to be leading the effort.
A self-proclaimed spokesman for the rally, Earl Conlon, has said the truckers will seek to have members of congress arrested on various charges.
However, other members of the group claim Conlon is not their spokesman and say he is out of line with such blatant comments. These members say no arrests, violence or unlawful acts are planned.
Peter Santilli is the media spokesman for ridefortheconsitution.org and sent an e-mail to the Communities@Washington Times declaring he was “personally involved with the social media campaign during the Iranian Revolution to get proxies for revolutionaries and helped the State Dept. and Twitter Corp. as well as tech companies to analyze and control revolutionary cells.”
Santilli’s email goes on to say US government learned to open and close channels as well as social networks, and is now employing the same techniques to shut down those supporting this rally by closing off Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Even the reason for the rally is confusing. The so-called “manifesto” of grievances from the group range from trucking regulations to arms sales, censorship, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary and multi-colored storm doors.
The disperse and broad issues may be the undoing of this rally. The grievance manifesto starts with paragraphs of complaints of the trucking industry that the general public really does not care about. Only toward the end of the manifesto are political and constitutional issues are mentioned, giving the appearance of last-minute inclusion in an effort to attract a larger audience.
The disorganized and confusing goals and plan are unlikely to gain major national support. The rally is likely to be even more unpopular if it increases commute time by blocking roadways, inconveniencing commuters but having little impact on government.
Unless the truckers and the message miraculously converge into something the public can understand and support, it is likely to go the way of the Million Motorcycle Ride and Million Muslim March, both of which are minor footnotes in memory.
Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and psychotherapist
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