Officials unconcerned as Freedom Convoy plans to roll through IC

The Iowa Department of Public Safety and Iowa City Police Department don’t anticipate issues with the demonstration on I-80 tomorrow.


A vehicle in the People’s Convoy passes by on I-70 in West Jefferson, Ohio Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch)

Natalie Dunlap, Politics Editor

Iowans on the road should be more concerned about the strong winds on Saturday than the Freedom Convoy scheduled to roll through Johnson County at 10 a.m., said Iowa City Public Safety Information Officer Lee Hermiston. 

“We’re aware of the convoy that’s going to be passing through on Interstate 80 and we really don’t have any concerns about it,” Hermiston said. 

A team of drivers is headed across the Midwest as part of a larger Freedom Convoy demonstrating against vaccine and mask mandates. Those taking the I084E/I-80 Route are staying the night in Des Moines on Friday, and are scheduled to come through Iowa City at 10 a.m. 

The team traveling through Iowa departed from Oregon on Tuesday, drove through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and are currently driving through Nebraska. After rolling through Davenport, Iowa, on Friday the team will get on I-74E and meet up with other teams at the TravelCenters of America Truck stop off U.S. Highway 150.

Sergeant Alex Dinkla from Iowa Department of Public Safety said the department will be monitoring the convoy to ensure there is minimal impact to travel and traffic safety. 

“We’ve had a few conversations with some of the leaders that are organizing this, and we have no reason to believe that there’ll be any disruption to normal traffic,” Dinkla said.

Iowa never had a full mask mandate, and Iowa City recently dropped its mask mandate following new CDC guidelines. The Republican-led Iowa legislature also is working on legislation limiting preventing COVID-19 vaccines from being required in schools and limiting businesses and government entities from inquiring about an individual’s vaccine status. 

Johnson County Iowa Republican Party spokesperson Karen Fessler said she did not know the motivation of the convoy to pass through Iowa and other states that have had relaxed COVID-19 mitigation. 

“If this was about mandates for masks and vaccines, that ship has kinda sailed,” she said.