Monday, October 14, 2013

Seriously? Did anyone else follow this crap?

Billed as a chance for truckers to air grievances with the FTA and to protest the high cost of fuel, this planned protest originally involved getting several thousand truckers to come to the DC Beltway, cause traffic jams, and gain notoriety for the cause. Sounds legit, right? Though, I don't know how inconveniencing the lives of metro-DC commuters was really going to affect anything, the media coverage it was hoped, would bring attention to the complaints of the truckers.

Then, the story takes several turns, none of which lead to anywhere good. The organizers for this event play out like a cast from a perverted satire of a Michael Moore movie. Zeeda Andrews is thought to be the overall coordinator. Her claims to fame, besides being a 9/11 Truther, are her bizarre beliefs that Barack Obama is really Osama Bin Laden and that we've been duped, and that a race of lizard people really control our government. 

If that's not strange enough, there is more! The PR man, who coincidentally happens to be in charge of all the fuel donation money for this event (thought to be in the tens of thousands of dollars) was Pete Santilli. The host of the Guerrilla radio broadcast, his résumé' doesn't stop there. Santilli is also a 9/11 Truther who wants to shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina over Benghazi. Santilli encouraged peaceful protest, but promised violent revolution if the demands of the truckers, which now became more than awareness of their grievances over fuel costs, weren't met. By the way, Santilli has arrest warrants and has been charged with multiple counts of fraud through the years.

Enter Earl Conlon. Conlon runs an Internet page called "The Tea Party Command Center". Another Truther with a radical agenda,  Conlon tried to steal the trucker protest days before the event and promised that the truckers would be coming into DC, storming the Capitol and the White House to arrest Congressman and to present impeachment papers to the President for Constitutional and Oath of Office violations. "U.S. News and World Report" ran with Conlon's predictions, but later retracted the report when Conlon backed out, saying it was all in jest and " cause a media response." Anyone else think maybe he was afraid of a knock on the door?

So, to help raise money for fuel for the predicted 10,000 truckers that were coming, a Paypal donation fund was set up. It's estimated by many to have had as much as $500,000 in it, though the true amount is now a mystery that rivals that of the location of Jimmy Hoffa's body.

Can it get more bizarre? In a word, "Yes!"

Friday October 11 was the official start date of the three-day drive-in protest. Instead of thousands on the Beltway, there were a few dozen truckers at best. Santilli on his radio broadcast covered the event live somehow from his secret bat cave in California.

Traffic jams during the afternoon rush hour on the Beltway were claimed by Santilli, Andrews and the like to be caused by the truckers, though local law enforcement blamed them on such unusual things as "Rush hour on the Beltway", "the typical increase in  the Friday afternoon traffic that happens every weekend", and "the heavy rains soaking the area and limiting visibility", though they did admit that maybe 30 or so truckers were running the Beltway in protest, but had barely been noticed by anyone.

"Wait til tomorrow! More are coming! You'll see!" cried Santilli. 

"Truckers must work, and many can't afford to come!" cried Conlon and Andrews, "...but we're just getting started!" (I thought there were donations to help truckers afford the expense of coming? More on that later).

A rogue trucker, Ernest Lee (aka General Lee) began posting videos of the truckers and the traffic, but all they showed were a few trucks, minor traffic delays, and incessant rain. Lee also predicted more truckers and bigger things  to come before the weekend was over, and promised to continue coverage of the massive events he was sure would occur.

Media coverage was almost non-existent. A bit of local coverage, and some small blurbs on major news broadcasts was all that was being said about "The massive protest". Of course, Santilli said it was because government owned the media and wasn't allowing the event to be covered. Traffic cams in the area were said to be down because officials didn't want anyone to see the Beltway disruption the myriad of truckers were causing.In reality, however, it was because nothing was happening worthy of note. It also was found out the the traffic cams were never down; the rains were limiting visibility and little on the Beltway could be seen. Those familiar with the Beltway know that a few trucks, rain, and Friday traffic always cause delays on the roads in the DC area, and that bad weather can negatively affect camera footage on the highways.

More to come in Part 2. The trucks roll on DC, crash the memorials, and in the midst of the "Million Veteran's March" try to cover their own failings by making it seem as if the vets were there to support the trucker protest.
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