By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
Photos by Matthew Idler
In a scene reminiscent of the 1976 movie “Convoy,” hundreds of semi-trucks rolled through Cheyenne on Thursday as part of the “People’s Convoy” on its way to Washington, D.C.
However, truck drivers weren’t trying to elude law enforcement officers as they were in the movie, instead, they were greeted by scores of flag-waving supporters outside the Flying J Truck Stop south of Cheyenne who showed up to support the “peaceful and unified transcontinental movement of truck drivers” to protest mandates related to the Covid pandemic and other restrictions.
Also in contrast to the movie, there were not miles-long strings of truckers. The convoy’s traffic was a bit more sporadic, with groups of six or seven trucks at a time pulling through the truck stop’s parking lot.
To spectators, it was a wonderful sight.
Cheyenne resident Ray Angel, flanked by his pit bull Allesia, attended with the rally with his wife Amanda, who baked more than 700 cookies for the truckers.
She did it, he said, to thank the truckers for standing up for liberty.
“Our freedoms are being taken away little by little,” Angel said. “If we don’t stand up to mandates, we’ll forget what we had.”
Others echoed what Angel said. This protest was about liberty and freedom — not just the mask mandates.
That was evidenced by the signs people were waving. Only a few of them referenced COVID and most expressed either support for truckers or contained general messages supporting freedom.
Ray and Joan Glebach, a couple who drove up from Fort Collins, said the message of the convoy extended far beyond mask mandates. This was about protesting what America is turning into, they said.
“We’re very disappointed in what our country has become,” Joan Glebach said. “We’ve moved away from freedom.”
Ray Glebach expressed surprise to find Wyoming media covering the event because, he said, he couldn’t find any news coverage of the event anywhere else.
He said the only issue the media is covering is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as opposed to “real American news.”
“All they do is talk about Russia – Ukraine, Russia – Ukraine,” he said. “Or what a wonderful job Joe Biden is doing.”
He said he’s “sick” of hearing about Biden’s “State of the Union” speech, calling the president’s list of accomplishments “zero” and Biden’s plan for the future “zero.”
“What’s happening with this convoy in Cheyenne right now is the real America talking,” Joan said. “Right here, right now. This is real America.”
Another Colorado resident, Craig Koon from Longmont, said he took the day off to travel north to support the truckers.
He too said the convoy was much more than a Covid-related protest. He had plenty of blame for President Biden as well.
“The first thing Biden did when he took office was cancel the Keystone pipeline,” Koon said. “He killed our energy production and, as a result, he’s hurting the American people.”
“See those gas prices over there?” he said, pointing to the $4.39 a gallon sign for diesel, “That’s all Joe Biden’s fault. That is 100% on Joe Biden.”
Koon said he would prefer to live in Wyoming but “couldn’t stand the weather.”
This is one of several convoys canvassing the nation. The different convoys are to join up in Washington, D.C.