In the wake of Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement yesterday that more than 100 troops with the New Jersey National Guard would be heading to Washington D.C. next week in anticipation of a potential trucker convoy protest, State Sen. Ed Durr (R-Swedesboro) released a statement excoriating the plan.
“A peaceful truck rally in Washington is where Governor Murphy thinks he should dedicate state resources while unemployment offices remain closed, the [Motor Vehicle Commission] is still a mess, and thousands of corrections officers and health care professionals are on the verge of losing their jobs due to unnecessary vaccine mandates,” Durr, a truck driver himself, said. “It’s another example of Governor Murphy focusing on Washington instead of helping people here in New Jersey. It’s beyond offensive.”
For his part, Murphy said that there is nothing political about the decision to send troops, and that he has deployed the New Jersey National Guard under presidents of both parties, including during Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
“We don’t let politics get in the middle of decisions over whether to accept requests like that,” Murphy said. “We did during the Trump administration to protect monuments, and we’re doing it in this case, I assume, to make sure we don’t see what happened in Ottawa happen in our nation’s capital.”
The phenomenon of trucker convoys began in Canada, where truckers angry with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Covid measures occupied Ottawa for around three weeks beginning in late January. While Ottawa’s streets have been successfully cleared as last Sunday, the idea caught on in conservative circles in the United States, and scattered protests are planned for next week in a number of states including New Jersey.