“Truckers To Shut Down America” is calling for a general trucking and consumer strike for the weekend of Oct. 11-13, asking truck drivers to refuse to haul freight and consumers to avoid purchasing goods and fuel that weekend.
The movement is also calling for truckers to make their way to Washington, D.C., the same weekend, in a massive convoy to call attention to corruption in the U.S. government.
Let me emphasize that I am a huge proponent of the Constitutional right to assemble and to peaceably demonstrate for or against what we believe is affecting our given rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. However, let me say, too, that while the strike and convoy are well-intended, the event is poorly planned. Here is why I believe what I believe:
Planning the event on a weekend will have less impact than if it took place during the work week. Many truckers already do not work on the weekend (and I realize that many do work), which will lessen the severity. Taking part in a protest such as this — designed to have an impact on the economy — by not driving or hauling on a day or days when you would not be on the road anyway has virtually no impact. Asking drivers who are not independent owner-operators to take part in this type of strike, which may be against the will of an employer, can also put their means of employment at risk.
The reasons behind the strike have little to do with the trucking industry. Those who are calling for the strike are using an agenda that calls for the removal of President Barack Obama from office, citing crimes of treason and misdemeanors; the call for Congressional hearings on Benghazi and the recent attack which killed 25 members of Seal Team 6; a belief that Lois Lerner of the IRS should be imprisoned with no amnesty; the removal of all Muslims in U.S. government who do not uphold the Constitution; the removal of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the U.S. Constitution and, finally, escalating fuel prices.
Obviously, the only item on the agenda that directly affects the trucking industry is the continued rise in fuel prices. The remaining items are a matter of personal opinion and whether a person agrees or disagrees with those statements is, again, their given right in the U.S. Constitution.
Yet, organizers of the event estimate if just 10 percent of America takes part in this general strike, it will have a major impact on the government and the U.S. economy. That would equate to somewhere around 31.6 million Americans refusing to purchase commodities during that weekend and approximately 350,000 truckers refusing to haul goods that weekend.
On a Facebook page started by Truckers To Shut Down America, it states, “The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers!” As of the afternoon of Sept. 19, 2013, the Facebook page had slightly more than 54,000 likes. Likes doesn’t necessarily mean they will take part in the event and it is still far short of the estimated 10 percent needed to make an impact.
That type of participation may well capture of the attention of many politicians in Washington, D.C. It would also have a strong impact on the U.S. economy which, ultimately, would affect mostly middle class Americans. That would be because politicians would not take any action concerning the protest until after the fact, at which point the damage would already have been done. The blame for the impact on the economy would lie solely with those who created the action and not those who make the final decisions concerning the demands of those behind the protest.
That being said, I do not expect a three-day trucking strike on a weekend to have that type of effect on the economy, not do I feel it will plunge the United States back into a recession. I also do not believe that our politicians will pay any attention to the protest as far as the demands put forth by Truckers To Shut Down America. Protests take place every day in Washington, D.C. The majority of them receive little attention by the government or by the media.
In my gut, I like the idea and support the protest, but I have to logically believe that it will do little to change the circumstances within our government as they remain currently.
About the Author
Larry Hurrle is the editor of IT Magazine. He has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years at both daily and weekly newspapers in the Northwest.