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‘People’s Convoy’ Failed to Disrupt DC’s Roads but Very Successful at Meeting With Far-Right MAGA Congress Members



The convoy of anti-vaccine-mandate, pro-Trump, and QAnon-conspiracy activists was determined to disrupt Washington, D.C., by circling the Beltway, the 64 miles of highway that’s generally a hellscape for commuters. Organizers of the “People’s Convoy” modeled their efforts after the trucker convoy in Canada that took over downtown Ottawa and shut down the bridge connecting Ontario to Michigan, disrupting trade and business in both countries. U.S. organizers demanded an end to vaccine and mask mandates and an end to the national emergency around COVID-19 that was declared under former President Donald Trump and extended under President Joe Biden.

On Monday, the truck convoy entered the Beltway with instructions to take up two lanes of traffic. By 2 p.m., the convoy was “struggling to occupy one lane of traffic let alone two,” The Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo reported. Regular traffic separated convoy vehicles as it had on Sunday. With diesel hitting $4.75 this week, driving their gas-guzzlers slowly around the Beltway seemed like an expensive effort in futility, especially since D.C. had lifted its mask and vaccine mandate and the Biden administration and Congress had lifted their mask mandates.

Despite failing to disrupt Washington’s roads, members of the convoy were rewarded Tuesday with meetings with Republican members of Congress.

People’s Convoy co-organizer Brain Base and a representative from the American Foundation for Civil Liberties and Freedom, which has partnered with the People’s Convoy, met with Sens. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson. Brase stated the convoy’s demands to “end the state of emergency, end the vaccine mandates” and to hold “our elected and unelected officials accountable for their actions that led to this,” according to Sara Aniano, a researcher of far-right rhetoric who has been following the convoy. The conversation also swung into QAnon rhetoric.

“This really is a spiritual war, and we’ve awakened a lot of people across the country,” the AFCLF representative told Cruz and Johnson. “We have a pendulum that’s swinging from ‘woke’ to ‘the great awakening’.”

Shortly thereafter, a larger group met with Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Thomas Massie for a “trucker round table” on Capitol Hill. The truckers and adjacent activists complained about rising gas prices, mask and vaccine mandates, critical race theory, and government tyranny, with one trucker calling on the legislators to simply stop funding the government. When one convoy member from Michigan asked how to prevent stolen elections, Gaetz repeated debunked voter fraud claims about the state.

“Michigan, where they waited, the center in Detroit, to see how the rest of the state voted to figure out how many ballots they needed,” Gaetz said. “You want to be very suspicious of federalizing elections. If we federalize elections, then we have the swamp and the Washington, D.C., Beltway telling you how to count votes in Lansing, Michigan.”

Massie decided to focus on mail-in ballots—which Trump baselessly insists was a source of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election—warning that “they may have to find some excuse to go back to mail-in ballots.”

Greene was in agreement. “The last thing you want is the federal government to be involved in your election,” she said.

Gaetz tried to wrap up the questions, joking that if the group stayed over its allotted time in the room he reserved, they would be accused of “an insurrection.”

“We don’t want to be accused of that,” Greene said. “It’s frowned upon here.”

The meeting with far-right members of Congress and the focus on the Big Lie from a convoy demanding an end to COVID-19-related mandates might be surprising to those just tuning in. But the rhetoric exhibited on rally stages and social media throughout the convoy’s two-week trek across the country and the organizations supporting the convoy have always indicated that this was never just about public health mandates.

A new report from the nonprofit research organization Advance Democracy, Inc., details the ties that three organizations supporting the effort have to the so-called Stop the Steal movement, whose massive rallies to overturn the 2020 presidential election attracted many of the same elements featured in the People’s Convoy.

AFCLF, whose representative met with Cruz and Johnson, has faced scrutiny over its connections to dubious efforts to overturn 2020 election results in Michigan. It claims to have raised more than $1.6 million for the convoy as of Monday, but it’s unclear how that money has been used.

The People’s Convoy also partnered with Freedom Fighter Nation on strategic and logistical planning, Brase, the convoy organizer, said on a Feb. 12 livestream.

“We don’t want to end up on the news for weird money stuff, we’re making sure that accountants and attorneys are handling it personally through They have helped set up a lot of this infrastructure. They are working with us one on one to help guide us,” Brase said.

Freedom Fighter Nation is led by Leigh Dundas, a COVID-19 and election conspiracy theorist who was seen near the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection. The day before the attack, she told Trump supporters at a D.C. rally that they would be “well within our rights to take any alleged American who acted in a turncoat fashion and sold us out and committed treason, we would be well within our rights to take ’em out back and shoot ’em or hang ’em, because that is what we did when they tried to overthrow our government by way of assassinating Abe Lincoln, and it is not too good of an end for the guys who sold out our government on our own soil.” Dundas and Chris Marston of AFCLF say they are working together on the People’s Convoy.

Before the convoy left from California to make its way across the country, it was also supported by The America Project, an organization founded by election conspiracy theorists Mike Flynn and Patrick Byrne. The organization frequently promotes election fraud claims and contributed $3.2 million to fund the 2020 election audit in Maricopa, Arizona. The group was listed as a supporter of the convoy in a Feb. 20 press release, but by Feb. 23—when the convoy began its trip and stated it would not go into D.C. proper to disrupt traffic for fear of a “false flag” operation—Byrne announced The America Project was “stepping away” from the convoy, alleging that it had been “penetrated by the left.”

The convoy—which an estimated 1,000 people committed time and money to join—doesn’t appear to be penetrated by the left in the least bit. At a Sunday night convoy rally in Hagerstown, Maryland, speakers railed against tyranny, stolen elections, and the mainstream media. QAnon conspiracy theorists like Ann Vandersteel, Christian nationalists, members of the Proud Boys hate group, and Trump loyalists who were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, were all in attendance. Terry Bouton, a historian at University of Maryland Baltimore County who attended the convoy’s Sunday night, likened the rally to a “county fair,” with music, food, and speeches building community and connections among factions of the fringe right-wing.

The convoy continues its Beltway circling this week. It has yet to be as successful as its Canadian counterpart in bringing gridlock to the nation’s capital, but it has served a purpose for far-right organizers, attracting Republican star power and bringing activists from different factions of the movement together under the banner of “freedom.”


This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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Rep. Tim Walberg Tells Uganda to ‘Stand Firm’ on ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Ted Cruz Called ‘Horrific’



Tim Walberg Uganda Kill The Gays Law

Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.

Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.

“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”

READ MORE: Mike Johnson Once Agreed to Speak at ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor’s Conference – Until an NCRM Report

Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.

“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.

Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.

The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer communitycondemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.

This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.

Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.

While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.

A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.

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Federal Judge Issues Injunction on Idaho Anti-Trans Law Days Before It Takes Effect



A federal judge issued an injunction Tuesday against an Idaho anti-trans law that would bar prescribing puberty blockers to transgender youth.

The Idaho anti-trans law, House Bill 71, was signed into law by Republican Governor Brad Little last April, according to the Idaho Statesman. It was scheduled take effect on January 1, 2024. Providing gender-affirming care to minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries would become a felony under the law. This is even though it is exceedingly rare for a person under 18 to be offered these type of surgeries, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, stopping the Idaho anti-trans law from taking effect in less than a week. Winmill said that the pending lawsuit filed by two trans minors and their parents will most likely succeed, citing the 14th Amendment, according to the Statesman.

READ MORE: ‘I’m Suing’: Montana Democrat Silenced by Republicans in Battle Over Transgender Health Care Files Lawsuit

“Time and again, these cases illustrate that the 14th Amendment’s primary role is to protect disfavored minorities and preserve our fundamental rights from legislative overreach,” he wrote. “That was true for newly freed slaves following the Civil War. It was true in the 20th century for women, people of color, interracial couples and individuals seeking access to contraception. And it is no less true for transgender children and their parents in the 21st century.”

Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador told the paper he will appeal the injunction. Labrador claims “Winmill’s ruling places children at risk of irreversible harm.” The use of the phrase “irreversible harm” echoes the anti-trans book Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. Shrier’s book endorses the since-debunked theory of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” The theory claims girls will declare themselves to be transgender as part of a “social contagion”—basically comparing transitioning to a fad.

Winmill, appointed to the Idaho district court in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, has recently ruled in other pivotal culture-war cases. This August, Winmill blocked Labrador from prosecuting doctors who send patients out-of-state for an abortion, KMVT-TV reported.

In August 2022, he also issued an injunction stopping Labrador from prosecuting ER doctors who provide an abortion in attempts to stabilize a patient, according to the Idaho Capital Sun, while a suit against the its way through the court system. The injunction was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in September of this year, according to the Capital Sun, though the lawsuit itself is still pending.



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Mike Johnson Likens Himself to Moses, Tells Christian Nationalists God Charted His Path to Speaker



Mike Johnson, delivering the keynote address to a far-right Christian nationalist group Tuesday, likened himself to Moses and declared God had charted his path to become the Republican Speaker of the House, after telling him in his prayers to prepare.

Speaker Johnson, a Christian nationalist who falsely claims the Constitution’s separation of church and state is a “misnomer” and has declared the United States is not democracy but a “biblical” republic, is an attorney who once worked for a far-right organization that has since been designated an anti-LGBTQ extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Johnson was the lead sponsor last year of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill and has bragged that he and his teenaged son are accountability partners in a no-porn pledge that includes installation of monitoring software on all their devices.

“I’ll tell you a secret since the media is not here,” Speaker Johnson said at the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL) Gala (video below), where he was honored with their American Patriot Award for Christian Honor and Courage, as Right Wing Watch reported.

“Thank you for not allowing the media in, I’ll tell you a secret because they wanted to come because they wanted to, you know, take my comments out of context as they’ve been doing with with great joy for the last few weeks,” Johnson charged, not specifying which of his remarks he believes have been taken out of context.

READ MORE: Jim Comer Decimated by NBC Reporter in ‘Under Two Minutes’

“The Lord impressed upon my heart a few weeks before this happened, that something was going to occur,” Johnson continued. “And the Lord very specifically told me in my prayers to prepare, but to wait. ‘Prepare for what?’ I said to the Lord. You know, I had this sense that we were going to come to a Red Sea moment in our Republican conference and the country at large.”

“And look, I’m a Southern Baptist, I don’t want to get too spooky on you. Okay, but you know, you know okay,” he continued. “All right. But you know, the Lord speaks to your heart. And He had been speaking to me about this and the Lord told me very clearly to prepare and be ready. Be ready for what? Okay, I don’t know. We’re coming to a Red Sea moment. ‘What does that mean, Lord?’ And then when the Speaker’s race happened.”

He said, “the Lord began to wake me up through this three-week process we’re in in the middle of night and to speak to me and to write things down plans and procedures and ideas on how we could pull the conference together.”

“Now at the time I assumed the Lord is going to choose a new Moses. And oh, thank you the Lord. Lord, you’re gonna allow me to be Aaron to Moses,” Johnson told the attendees.

Johnson reminded his audience of the Speaker’s debacle, going down the line of friends who he tried to help become Speaker, acknowledging that all of them failed.

READ MORE: ‘Does America Need More God?’: Mike Johnson Laments LGBTQ High School Kids

He continued, explaining that “at the end, when it came to the end, the Lord said, ‘Now step forward.’ ‘Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron.’ Now the Lord said, ‘Step forward.’ Psalm 77 speaks of the Exodus in the 14th chapter of Exodus and it says, ‘Only God saw the path through the roiling sea, we could not see it, men could not see it.’ And I believe deep in my heart, is my core conviction, that God wants us to seek Him for the path through the roiling sea.”

As Right Wing Watch reports, after Johnson’s speech, “NACL founder Jason Rapert presented Johnson with the Honor and Courage award, along with a piece of a destroyed Ten Commandments monument that Rapert had placed in front of the Arkansas state capitol in 2017.”

“’It’s very obvious to see, you’re one of us,’ Rapert told Johnson.”

Rolling Stone adds that Johnson’s speech Tuesday is “just the latest evidence that the politician who is now second in line for the presidency views himself as on a divine mission.”

Watch the video of Speaker Johnson below or at this link.

READ MORE: Mike Johnson Once Fought to Block a Married Same-Sex Family’s Adoption: Report


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