TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is deploying the National Guard to Washington, D.C., ahead of next week’s anticipated “People’s Convoy” trucker rally and protest.
The governor announced approximately 100 National Guard troops have been activated and will make their way to the capital.
“The National Guard is going to D.C.,” Murphy said Wednesday. “That was a request, 20 vehicles, and over 100 manpower.”
Murphy said the deployment isn’t based on a political decision but a public safety request from the federal government.
“Look, we don’t let politics get in the middle of decisions on whether to accept requests like that,” “We did it during the Trump administration to protect monuments and we’re doing it in this case, I assume so we don’t see what happened in Ottawa happen in our nation’s capital.”
New Jersey National Guard troops were deployed to Washington during the 2020 George Floyd protests to defend national monuments from being defaced by mobs of protesters. In 2021, National Guard troops were again deployed to the capital during the January 6th protest at the U.S. Capitol Building.
Often called an insurrection by the media and politicians, no formal charges of sedition have been filed by the Department of Justice against any of the protesters. Most are facing trespassing and vandalism charges while a few others are facing assault charges against Capitol Police officers. The fringe right-wing group Oath Keepers saw their leader Stewart Rhodes and 10 others charged with seditious conspiracy.
As far as the truckers passing through New Jersey to get to the rally and those attending one of two New Jersey rally points, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan issued a warning.
Callahan said on March 5th and 6th, the state, and federal agencies will be monitoring the gatherings and watching the movements of the truckers to ensure public safety.
The state has contracted with tow truck companies with large wreckers if truckers block highways and commerce. Callahan said those vehicles would be towed.