A leader of the “People’s Convoy,” the protest planned for Washington, D.C., to resist vaccine mandates for U.S. workers, is reportedly a member of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys.
American truckers in the convoy are allegedly departing in late February for the nation’s capital to protest government COVID-19 mandates they deem unconstitutional. The organizer for Maryland’s chapter of the convoy is believed to be a member of the Maryland D.C. Proud Boys.
Jordan Green, a reporter for RawStory, gained access to the Peoples Maryland/Virginia Convoy chat on Telegram, verifying the connection to the nationalist group.
“We’ve been tasked with collecting supplies, having people ready for the sides of the road when they do come through our territory, and if they stay in our territory to supply them,” @GTHaze wrote under the username Peter Venkman, according to RawStory.
RawStory claims the same username posted comments in the Official MDC Proudboys channel on Telegram last month. Before changing their username to @GTHaze, the account was “Ghost MDC,” allegedly matching the name on a patch worn by a Carroll County member of the Maryland Proud Boys chapter at a rally, according to Green.
There are over 46,000 members in the People’s Convoy (OFFICIAL) national Telegram channel. Users have posted warnings from other states urging those participating in the protest to be cautious.
“You need to know exactly what you are getting into and who you are dealing with,” username Jeff wrote in the channel Wednesday night. “We have a corrupt government and corrupt courts with corrupt judges. You better expect the absolute worst! They are not going to just give in. And you need to remember the US is an armed society.”
Other posts in the Telegram channel talk about the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, saying the convoy will be a duplicate.
The People’s Convoy is a spinoff of Canadian truckers’ “Freedom Convoy” that protests new requirements mandating truckers get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face possible quarantine or testing.
According to a January 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Proud Boys are a “nationalist organization.” Since then, the group has been banned from several major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Newsweek could not independently confirm the user’s screen name, as it appears to have been changed or deleted.