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Truckers gather near Washington to protest pandemic restrictions, without creating much disruption.

A caravan of semis, pickups and R.V.s that had driven across the United States to protest vaccine mandates and other Covid restrictions reached the capital region this week, but as the convoy circled the city, downtown Washington was business as usual.

The convoy’s organizers say that it is early, that their restraint has been strategic and that protesters are in it for the long haul. They have managed to obtain audiences with various Republican politicians, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who nodded approvingly.

And though mask mandates and local vaccine requirements have been rolled back across the country, including in Washington, the convoy’s leaders insist they are not leaving until all vaccine mandates are lifted.

“We’re going to continue to increase that pressure,” said Brian Brase, a trucker from northwestern Ohio who is one of the convoy’s organizers. “They understand that we’re in their backyard.”

This article originally appeared on New York Times

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