Broker-Fighting Trucker Pens Letter Explaining Why He Is “Stepping Back From D.C.”
Washington D.C. – A trucker credited with helping to begin a movement demanding transparency in the freight brokerage industry is once again stepping away from the ongoing rally in Washington D.C.
New Jersey trucker Rick Santiago tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) it was time for him to step away, though he says he will continue working to bring needed reforms.
It all began in April after a recent series of Facebook LIVE videos in which Santiago sought to expose what he contends are exploitative business practices being deployed by some brokers amid the pandemic.
The reaction was so strong, Santiago says he began receiving emails and messages from hundreds of people wanting to do more.
So, Santiago announced he intended to lead a “peaceful protest” in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the May 1 “MayDay” demonstrations in other cities around the United States.
A number of grassroots trucking groups quickly joined the cause and the D.C. trucker rally was born.
Santiago has done a whirlwind of national and international media interviews as part of the rally.
After a few days he returned home to see his family before once again returning to D.C. on Tuesday.
However, Santiago has once again departed the rally, causing many of his supporters and followers to wonder why.
While the owner operator and father of two is no stranger to controversy, he tells TNN he doesn’t want his past to detract from the movement which he helped to create.
In a deeply candid and personal statement released exclusively to TNN early Wednesday morning, Santiago explains the reasons for his decision and what he intends to do going forward.
“As I sit here and write this letter, I am full of emotion. I would like to think I started something amazing. I would like to think I opened the door for many people to finally address whatever situation they are currently facing.
As many know, there are hundreds of trucks sitting behind the White House in our nation’s capital. We are asking the President of the United States of America to step in and literally save our livelihood. We are desperately seeking our Government’s help in what we truly believe to be price gouging/price fixing.
We have sounded off our MayDay call which has been heard WORLDWIDE.
I will say I am proud to be a small part in such a huge movement. However, I have shadows and I cannot allow these shadows to cover our goal.
Three years ago, I was accused of being a “scammer.” I have been accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars by Facebook “vigilantes” in my efforts of helping Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island.
Let me state for the record this is absolutely false. However, it’s a shadow that will continue to follow me. Although I was investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), nothing can stop keyboard warriors from continuing to make these false allegations… which leads me to Washington D.C.
There are a few fundraisers that are currently collecting money to feed the drivers that are seeking justice in Washington. Everyone is collecting it but nobody is seeing it. With that said, I cannot be anywhere near this now. I will not be in D.C. while there are any donations being sought or handled.
Two reasons: The first is the most important. If accusations start again, everyone will make this about me and not our message. Our message will be lost and our mission will be destroyed. How do I know this? Again, resort back to 2017. My mission began in helping Puerto Rico and ended in a circus.
My love for the trucking industry is so big, I can honestly say this needs to remain about the cause, not the individual.
My second reason for stepping back from D.C. is simple. It’s for my children. I will not allow my children to be bullied via social media. Trust me, it has happened before.
I will continue to press forward in seeking change within our industry. However, it will not be from D.C. I want the message to remain clear, loud and pure. I will not allow it to be about me.
Love me or hate me, I am doing this in the name of trucking.
God bless each and every single person who has reached out to me. God bless the driver’s of the world. Without us, the world would stop.”
You can follow Santiago’s ongoing efforts via his Facebook page HERE.