Authorities warn of possible trucker protests in California, but unlikely at Super Bowl
Authorities are monitoring online reports of planned truck protests over COVID-19 rules that might include some kind of action on Super Bowl Sunday as well as other actions in California, law enforcement sources confirmed to The Times.
Several law enforcement sources said a bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security warned hundreds of police agencies that a truck convoy might start in California and travel to Washington, D.C., causing traffic disruptions and potentially targeting large cities.
Authorities said they are aware of efforts to begin a truck convoy either in the Coachella Valley or Sacramento that would eventually gather steam across the country and head to Washington. One of the posts promoting the Coachella gathering suggests it would start next month.
Multiple federal sources, however, said fliers posted on the web calling for a protest or truck protest at Sunday’s Super Bowl in Inglewood are vague and it’s unclear whether there is any real support. Those sources, who were not authorized to discuss the information gathered by federal agencies, say the intelligence so far shows there are no physical efforts to carry out that call.
Canada’s public safety minister says U.S. officials should stay out of the country’s domestic affairs.
Officials have said they see no threats to Sunday’s game at which thousands of police officers, federal agents and sheriff‘s deputies will be deployed under a unified command.
“At this time we do not have information regarding any incidents,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. “If a situation were to arise we have sufficient amount of officers.”
Some groups are publicly calling for a protest that mirrors that in Canada to start March 4 in the Coachella Valley. Much of the discussion has spread on conservative websites and been repeatedly shared by many of those active in the movement spawned by the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Officials in Ottawa have tried to quell the raucous nightly demonstrations staged by the so-called Freedom Truck Convoy, which has used hundreds of parked trucks to paralyze the Canadian capital’s business district in protest of the country’s coronavirus restrictions. The demonstrations have also infuriated people who live around downtown, including neighborhoods near Parliament Hill, the seat of the federal government.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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