WASHINGTON — Sixteen members of the People’s Convoy have now filed suit against the District of Columbia claiming the local government violated their first amendment rights.
The plaintiffs filed the suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday. It claims D.C. instructed Metropolitan Police Department officers to form blockades around specific points of entry into the District to purposely stop the truckers from exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech in the nation’s capital.
“Of course, such action under color of state law violates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit claims that on four different occasions, between March 14 and March 18, MPD set up blockades that stopped truckers from leaving highways and driving into the District.
The plaintiffs argue they were refused their fundamental right to interstate travel and deprived of lawful entry into D.C.
“MPD failed to provide Plaintiffs with adequate notice, an opportunity to be heard, and substantial evidence to support their decision to prohibit Plaintiffs from entering the District of Columbia and refusal to allow Plaintiffs to exercise their First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit reads.
The plaintiffs are from California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. They are represented by Arlington-based attorney Michael Yoder.
They have asked the court to make DC government grant truckers entry into the District, without interference, so they can participate in free speech activities. The plaintiffs are also demanding a jury trial.
WUSA9 reached out to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office for comment. A mayor spokesperson said her office does not comment on litigation.