Freedom Convoy protests: Canadian police start making arrests in Ottawa in bid to end occupation

football merchandise
The Official Football Merchandise Store

Canadian police have started arresting so-called Freedom Convoy protesters in a bid to end their three-week occupation of Ottawa.

Hundreds of truck drivers outraged by COVID restrictions have crippled the capital city, prompting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to assume emergency powers.

At least eight people have been detained without the use of force – including two of the protest leaders, who were apprehended late on Thursday and face charges of mischief and obstructing police.

Why are Canadian truckers protesting, and where else is their action affecting outside Ottawa?

Police make an arrest after a person interfered with a police operation, on the 21st day of a protest against COVID-19 measures that has grown into a broader anti-government protest, in Ottawa, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Police arresting someone in Ottawa for interfering with a police operation on Thursday. Pic: Justin Tang/Canadian Press via AP

Many truckers remain defiant

Some demonstrators surrendered and were taken into custody, according to police, while others were seen being led away in handcuffs.

Officers went door to door along a line of trucks, campers and other vehicles parked on Ottawa’s snow-covered streets.

Some wore tactical unit uniforms and carried automatic weapons.

One person being led away held a sign that read “Mandate Freedom”.

Many of the truckers remained defiant.

“Freedom was never free,” said trucker Kevin Homaund, of Montreal. “So what if they put the handcuffs on us, and they put us in jail?”

Police walk through parked trucks to make an arrest on Wellington Street, on the 21st day of a protest against COVID-19 measures that has grown into a broader anti-government protest, in Ottawa, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Some 100 checkpoints have been set up to preventing people from entering the area. Pic: AP

City centre sealed off

Much of the city centre was sealed off to outsiders on Thursday to prevent them from helping the protesters.

Police made it clear they were preparing to end the protest and remove the more than 300 trucks on site.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, citing security sources, said authorities had set up temporary detention centres around Ottawa.

Hundreds of officers could be seen in central Ottawa, where 20cm of snow fell overnight, with temperatures that feel like -23C.

Police arrest a demonstrator during a protest against COVID-19 mandates on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022 in Ottawa. Police began arresting protesters Friday in a bid to break the three-week, traffic-snarling siege of Canada's capital by hundreds of truckers angry over the country's COVID-19 restrictions.(AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)
Police arresting a protester on Friday. Pic: AP

100 checkpoints set up

Some 100 checkpoints were set up to prevent any more people from joining the protest near the Canadian parliament.

The House of Commons cancelled its Friday sitting due to expected police action.

After police were accused of failing to tackle the protests, Mr Trudeau invoked emergency powers on Monday which allowed law enforcement to declare the blockades as illegal, tow trucks, arrest the drivers, suspend their licences and freeze their bank accounts.

It was the first time the Emergencies Act had been invoked in 50 years.

Two people scream while dancing, as protests against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates continue, along Wellington street near the Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 17, 2022. Picture taken February 17, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
Hundreds of trucks have occupied the city centre

The demonstrations around the country initially focused on Canada’s vaccine requirement for truckers entering the country, but soon turned into a wider attack on COVID restrictions and Mr Trudeau’s government.

The largest border blockade at the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, disrupted the flow of car parts between Canada and the US and affected production.

The siege was lifted last weekend after authorities arrested dozens of protesters.

football merchandise
The Official Football Merchandise Store
Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
Leicester City
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Real Madrid

Source link

Related Posts