A small group of Connecticut residents gather in Manchester to greet truckers | Connecticut and area

MANCHESTER — A small but passionate group of Connecticut residents gathered at the Buckland Street suburban lot on Wednesday to show support for truckers from the northeast who were crossing the state en route to Washington, D.C. as part of a a national movement called The People’s Convoy.

Supporters who showed up at the suburban field said the truckers’ mission was primarily to protest mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Convoys from across the country have been heading for the U.S. Capitol in recent days, and the one that passed through Connecticut on Wednesday was tagged online as the Northeast People’s Convoy with truckers from New England. Although the convoy did not stop overnight in Connecticut, the suburban Buckland Street lot was listed as a meeting place for supporters and where people could congregate to join.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the trucks had still not arrived at the suburban lot as planned, but a group of about 10 people waiting in Manchester heard from passers-by that they could probably spot the convoy on Interstate 84 near from Hartford at around 3 or 3:30 p.m.

A few said they were members of the Facebook group “The Freedom Convoy to DC – Northeast Route”, which states on its page that it is a “peaceful, nonviolent, leaderless, First Amendment assembly, Americans seeking redress for their grievances”.

The page describes its goal as the promotion and organization of “Northeast Patriots” for the people’s convoy, with the aim of gathering as many participants as possible and organizing support teams to help with a trip to smoothly and safely to the country’s Capitol and back.

“We are not anti-government; we are pro-Constitution,” the Facebook page reads.

There were a number of posts on the page throughout the afternoon, with people in Bangor, Maine, and Saratoga Springs, New York, saying that trucks had not made expected stops where fans had been waiting for hours.

Others reported seeing convoys passing through Southington and parts of Maine by mid-afternoon.

Several people in Connecticut asked others on the Facebook page at 3:10 p.m. whether the truckers were near Hartford or closer to Danbury.

At 4:40 p.m., a message indicated that the convoy had just entered Saugerties, New York.

Manchester’s Lynn Banaeige, who arrived at the suburban field around noon, said the convoy to the United States Capitol was about peace and freedom. The purpose of the convoy movement, she said, is to show opposition to COVID-19 mask mandates and vaccine requirements.

Governor Ned Lamont’s administration recently lifted the statewide mask mandate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, says that at transportation hubs and on public transportation, masks should always be worn, but not on buses operated by public and private schools.

“It’s about freedom of expression,” Banaeige said. “The government is depriving us of our freedom by imposing masks and vaccines.”

Banaeige had water and snacks for the truckers and said she raised money for those traveling to Washington, D.C., to help pay for gas and anything else they might need on the trip. .

Cathy Deschaine from Coventry also came to support the truckers.

“I don’t believe in mask mandates or vaccines,” she said.

Her 12-year-old daughter, who attends St. James’s School in Manchester, is a basketball player and had trouble breathing while running around on the pitch wearing a mask, she said.

Another suburban field supporter, Eaglemoon Raes of East Granby, said medical freedom is key.

“We all have different views on what’s good for our families, but the government is taking away our freedom to make decisions,” she said. “There is a 99.8% survival rate from COVID, so why vaccines? We trust our own immune system.

For more Somers and Ellington coverage, follow Susan Danseyar on Twitter: @susandanseyar, Facebook: Susan Danseyar, journalist.

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