Pro-Trump Trucker Boycott of New York City on the Rocks

After much bluster and buzz online, the man who started the movement to boycott deliveries to New York City is backing down.

AP/Andrew Harnik, file
President Trump honks the horn of an 18-wheeler truck at the White House, March 23, 2017. AP/Andrew Harnik, file

A trucker boycott of New York City in support of President Trump that was supposed to get under way Monday appears to be crumbling almost as quickly as other recent collective action taken by conservative-leaning truckers.

A group of truckers began threatening to stop all deliveries to New York City after last week’s $350 million civil fraud ruling against the former president. In the case at New York City, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Mr. Trump had engaged in a scheme to mislead banks and others by inflating his wealth to receive more favorable deals.

After the ruling, some truckers began threatening to boycott deliveries to New York City in retaliation. The first of these truckers, known as Chicago Ray, posted on X on February 16 that truckers were going to stop hauling deliveries to the Big Apple.

“I’ve been on the radio talking to drivers for about the past hour, and I’ve talked to about 10 drivers,” he wrote. “I don’t know how far across the country this is or how many truckers are going to start denying loads going to New York City, but I’ll tell you what — you f— around and find out.”

After the initial post, a deluge of truckers threatening to stop deliveries to New York City and supporting Mr. Trump appeared online, with some saying that they would stop deliveries on Monday. Mr. Trump himself posted support for the protest.

“Such an honor to have so many Great Patriots on the side of FREEDOM,” Mr. Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Joe Biden’s Unfair and Dangerous Weaponization of Law Enforcement is a serious threat to Democracy.”

Some of the posts even referenced the Colorado trucker boycott of 2021, which was a relatively successful example of collective action by truckers. The Colorado boycott was over the sentencing of a trucker, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was charged with four counts of negligent homicide and other felony charges after an accident that resulted in the death of four people and multiple injuries. Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years.

After hearing of the sentencing of Aguilera-Mederos, who was 23 at the time, truckers, particularly Latino truckers, began comparing the sentencing to that of the case of a teenager who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after driving under the influence, killing four people, and then fleeing the country. 

In response, truckers began parking their trucks near the border of Colorado, refusing to enter the state, and signing petitions in protest. Eventually, under public pressure, the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, granted Aguilera-Mederos clemency and reduced his sentence to 10 years.

Truckers had been touting the Colorado case as an example to be followed for their pro-Trump protest, but by Monday the original post from Chicago Ray was taken down. The trucker explained that he was worried because the post had gone viral and he appeared to back down from his threats.

“I’m not no figurehead here. I’m not no leader of any movement. I’m not going on any podcasts or doing any GoFundMes or anything like that,” Chicago Ray said in a video. “I’m who I am. I hear chatter, I let you guys know what I heard.”

Chicago Ray went on to say, “Some people are seriously thinking of uh, you know, not going to New York City,” but, “I’m not going to encourage it.”

“But if New York City is going to have judges ruling like they are ruling and running a town like they’re running — you know hey, that’s the freedom every truck driver in this country, everybody has in this country to decide on their own,” Chicago Ray wrote. “I’m just saying, I stand with Trump.”

The apparent collapse of the much-hyped trucker protest is reminiscent of other recent trucker-centric protest movements, like the self-proclaimed God’s army border convoy that began with a far smaller group than the 700,000 that the convoy’s organizers had promised. According to a report by Wired, just 20 trucks showed up to the convoy’s launch.

The New York Sun

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