“Slow Roll” In Indy Builds “Unity” Ahead Of Organized Trucker Shutdown
Indianapolis, Indiana – Truckers protesting the current state of working conditions gathered today in Indianapolis for a “slow roll” in an effort to bring more media and public awareness to their cause.
The “Stand As One Slow Roll” protest began Thursday morning as drivers from all corners of the U.S. came together in solidarity to navigate a 50-mile loop along I-465 around the city in a convoy. The first group of trucks moved out and onto I-70 west at approximately 11 a.m. local time.
The convoy began making its way around the city picking up more trucks at seven additional locations before forming one large convoy estimated at about 150 trucks for a second complete loop. A glut of media was on hand to witness the protest and learn more about the cause.
“This event picked up more media attention than any we’ve done so far,” Bryan Hutchens, co-founder of the grassroots trucking group, Black Smoke Matters (BSM), told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) in an exclusive interview. “We’ve got everything from truck magazines to local news stations.”
Indeed. A local news helicopter flew overhead capturing the scenes as Indiana State Police closely monitored the entire “slow roll.”
Event organizer, Amber Furry, told TNN she has been working on this night and day since December. “It was a short time to plan something of this magnitude because it required a lot of detail,” Furry said.
“I hammered the news media. That was the most crucial thing. Every day when I would wake up, I would get my coffee, and after my kids went to school, I would email and call until I went to bed,” she explained.
At first, the local press was not all that interested in hearing what Furry had to say. However, as today’s “slow roll” drew closer, Furry says interest began heating up. “Once it did finally strike interest, they have been all over us for the last three days. It’s been crazy,” Furry told TNN.
It’s been so crazy, in fact, a reporter from Tokyo even made the long journey to cover the protest. Television personality and lead singer of rock band, Jackyl, Jesse James Dupree, was also on hand to lend his support.
TNN has learned Dupree is currently filming a new documentary with a working title of “The Last of the American Cowboys,” focusing on the challenges independent contractors and owner operators are facing just to stay in business.
Total drive time of the “slow roll” was approximately 2 hours. Hutchens said it was a successful day for the movement. “Everything went off without a hitch. We had people on overpasses waving flags. There was more media attention than we’ve ever had. That’s what we were going for to help get our message out,” Hutchins commented.
No accidents or tickets were reported which seemingly debunks some critics who claim that events like this one pose a significant danger to the motoring public. “I’m very, very proud of these guys,” Furry said.
In fact, Furry says events like these are having a deeply positive impact. “It’s really brought unity and people together,” she exclaimed. “Everybody worked so well together I can almost just cry.”
Hutchens agreed with Furry and said that the biggest impact “slow rolls” like this one are having is felt by drivers who are getting involved for the first time. “These guys are hugging each other and have never felt this brotherhood until now,” he said. “Things are taking off!”
The momentum that’s building is all pointed toward an organized trucker shutdown beginning April 12, 2019. “I think we are on the right track moving forward,” Hutchens confidently said. “Now even critics are agreeing that a shutdown may be what’s needed.”
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