A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bulletin obtained by NBC News warns that the ‘Freedom Convoy’ (MAGAt truckers) protesting vaccine mandates for truckers and COVID-19 restrictions could disrupt the Super Bowl this weekend near Los Angeles then make their way to Washington, D.C., just in time for the State of the Union address.
Yahoo! News first obtained the document, which warns law enforcement and public safety officials in the United States that chaos similar to what has brought Ottawa, Canada, to a virtual halt, states that “the convoy could severely disrupt transportation, federal government, and law enforcement operations through gridlock and potential counterprotests.”
The bulletin warning of a U.S. protest says there are no indications that violence is planned or that domestic extremists are calling for violence. But if hundreds of trucks converge on key cities, the protest could disrupt transportation and emergency services through gridlock and counterprotests.
Law enforcement agencies have seen an uptick in references to the potential convoy on social media and in recent posts discussing how such a protest could affect Super Bowl security, the warning says.
The bulletin also notes that there has been no rise in hotel reservations in the Washington, D.C., area.
“At this time, we have no indication that individuals discussing participating in these activities in the United States are engaged in anything other than First Amendment–protected activity,” the DHS alert dated Feb. 8 states. “Nonetheless, DHS remains concerned that these events could have significant public safety implications or potentially be exploited by ideologically motivated actors to potentially act or encourage others to act violently.”
A DHS spokesperson gave Yahoo News this statement: “DHS is tracking reports of a potential convoy that may be planning to travel to several U.S. cities. We have not observed specific calls for violence within the United States associated with this convoy, and are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to continuously assess the threat environment and keep our communities safe. DHS will continue to share timely and actionable information with the public.”