Eggs. Many, many eggs. That is what greeted a trucker convoy protesting outside the home of a Democratic state lawmaker in Oakland, Calif., last week.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” one of the egg-throwers is heard yelling in the video.
Drivers had been blasting their horns and crowding the roadway outside the East Bay home of State Assembly member Buffy Wicks on Friday. The truckers said on a live stream that they were targeting the Democrat because she had proposed a bill preventing coroners from investigating stillbirths and other lost pregnancies. Another bill she proposed, which has since been put on hold, calls for employers to mandate that workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The California Highway Patrol and Oakland police told the San Francisco Chronicle that no arrests or citations were issued and that the demonstrations, which congested roads outside the lawmaker’s home for about an hour, were peaceful. Those departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Erin Ivie, a spokeswoman for Wicks, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ivie told the Mercury News that the lawmaker would not be intimidated by the protests over her support of the abortion rights bill.
“Bullhorns and loud trucks lend no legitimacy to baseless conspiracy theories, and Asm. Wicks will not indulge any attempts to influence her legislative work through harassment and intimidation tactics — especially when it’s directed at one’s home and one’s family,” Ivie said.
The convoy has protested vaccine mandates and aired other right-wing grievances in demonstrations across the country. The truckers recently drove around the D.C. region for more than three weeks. The protest, which did not accomplish its stated goals and recently saw its number of participants dwindle, left D.C. and headed to California to challenge proposed coronavirus vaccine and other health-related bills in the state.
Although inspired by Canadian demonstrators who had occupied downtown Ottawa to protest public health measures, including a rule barring unvaccinated truckers from crossing the border, the tactics employed by the People’s Convoy were different: Rather than occupying any city, these truckers embarked on hours-long demonstrations that amounted to sitting in traffic on the Capital Beltway and later driving in D.C. The protest kicked off in Adelanto, Calif., on Feb. 23 despite many pandemic-related restrictions at the federal and local levels already being blocked or rescinded.
Wicks’s support of the abortion rights bill, which would protect women from being charged when they have an abortion or experience a miscarriage or stillbirth, has been criticized by antiabortion activists after a newspaper article falsely suggested that the measure would legalize the maternal killing of newborns. Experts in a Reuters fact-check noted that misinformation about the bill has spread widely.
On Friday outside Wicks’s home, truckers live-streamed the protest from rigs emblazoned with the phrase “We the People” and an insulting anti-President Biden mantra.
“People have come from all over the United States to fight for your freedom,” one man says on a Twitch stream of the protest.
It didn’t take long for residents to express their anger at the convoy clogging the roads.
“Why are you here?” one woman asked the truckers.
“This is not freedom,” another woman is heard telling a convoy protester on the live stream. “You are a disturber.”
The situation escalated once the convoy left the vicinity of the lawmaker’s home and drove through the neighborhood, video shows, with adult residents greeting the truckers with expletives and middle fingers.
And that was before the fusillade of eggs.
Video shows people holding out egg cartons for others to grab and chuck at the vehicles. In one instance, an egg hit a man’s face as he was driving.
More than a dozen children hurled eggs at trucks near the intersection of 63rd Street and College Avenue. One member of the People’s Convoy tried persuading the teens not to throw the eggs — to no avail.
“We’re fighting for your freedoms too,” a convoy participant yelled, according to SFGATE.
At one point, some young people told a convoy member to roll his window down. When he didn’t, they launched at least six eggs at the truck and then scurried away, according to video.
At least one protester conceded on a live stream that the egg-throwing children had forced the convoy to leave the neighborhood.
Ellie Silverman contributed to this report.