The protests come at a time when many pandemic-related mandates and restrictions – imposed by state and local governments rather than lawmakers in Washington – have already begun being lifted in much of the country.
Footage showed trucks and their drivers, led by a police escort, honking at onlookers gathered on an overpass to cheer the vehicles as they drove by.
Organizers of the American convoys, however, have signaled they intend to keep their demonstrations under control.
The “People’s Convoy” organizers previously said the group had no plan to mimic the Canadian protests with blockades or clashes with authorities. While they do want to be noticed, Steele said her group coordinated its demonstration with local law enforcement to prevent any conflicts.
Washington County, Maryland, Sheriff Doug Mullendore told CNN Saturday his agency had had no issues with the convoys so far.
“There are at least four convoys that have converged in Hagerstown and are staying at the Hagerstown Speedway,” he said. “There have been no problems and we are just monitoring things. We are working closely with the Maryland State Police.”
Mullendore added, “They have been very respectful and have caused no problems here.”
Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller confirmed the agency had “been in contact with various groups’ organizers to ensure their understanding of Virginia traffic laws.” Law enforcement’s goal, she said, was to “mitigate the impact of additional traffic volume on already congested roadways and Northern Virginia communities.”
The common demand emanating from each of the groups is the end of Covid-19 mandates, including mask and vaccine requirements.
“To that end, it’s time for elected officials to work with the blue-collar and white-collar workers of America and restore accountability and liberty by lifting all mandates and ending the state of emergency – as COVID is well-in-hand now , and Americans need to get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner, “the release said.
A growing number of states – the majority of which have Democratic governors – announced in recent weeks they would lift indoor or school mask mandates, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.
CNN’s Alaa Elassar and Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.