The disorganized group of disgruntled truckers posted up in Hagerstown, Maryland, as part of the so-called “People’s Convoy” just ran into another roadblock as the National Park Service partially denied their application for a permit to turn the National Mall in the heart of Washington, D.C. into a trucker encampment.
In a letter obtained by The Daily Beast on Tuesday night, the agency wrote to lead organizer Brian Brase, whose application made a series of outlandish demands and claims, that they had “partially denie[d]” the request, citing a series of other requests to use the Mall.
Brase wrote that “10,000 to 100,000” supporters would show up for the National Mall encampment. However, when The Daily Beast reported from their Hagerstown encampment at a local speedway two weeks ago, at its peak, no more than 2,000 convoy-goers were present. Since then, the convoy has thinned to about 500 participants sticking it out in the small town nearly two hours north of D.C. proper.
In response to the Park Service’s question—“Do you have any reason to believe or any information indicating that any individual, group, or organization might seek to disrupt the activity for which this application is submitted?”—Brase wrote “Antifa.”
The People’s Convoy, which has infuriated D.C. residents and commuters alike by adding to the already terrible traffic of I-395, sought an absurd amount of space and time for their pop-up trucker camp, requesting all National Mall land between “3rd and 12th streets, Madison and Jefferson Drives” for a demonstration intended to last from March 14 through March 26.
Convoy organizers didn’t return The Daily Beast’s request for comment Tuesday evening.
The permit rejection didn’t come up at the group’s meeting on Tuesday evening, where organizer Mike Landis said that while the prospect of “tear[ing] the fence down at the White House and hang[ing] politicians” was “extremely enticing,” he added that isn’t “why we are here.”
Another convoy organizer called for supporters to “break” the phone lines of Metro PD, while other truckers in the crowd yelled about how they had successfully made it into D.C. proper Tuesday despite attempts by local police to block their trucks from entering.
Reached for comment by The Daily Beast on Tuesday night, Metro PD declined to comment.
The increasingly fiery remarks by convoy leaders follow a trucker with the convoy punching a window of a Beltway commuter on Monday as other truckers have continued to box in cars who gave them the middle finger.
While the group can reapply for a Mall permit, in the meantime the People’s Convoy is aiming to move its trucks as close to D.C. proper as they can to maximize congestion there.