Home World More than 100 arrests in Ottawa, trucks towed

More than 100 arrests in Ottawa, trucks towed

More than 100 arrests in Ottawa, trucks towed

More than ten hours after the start of the operation, the Canadian police were still hard at work Friday evening to dislodge the last truckers and demonstrators who have blocked Ottawa for three weeks to protest against the sanitary measures.

The police, deployed by the hundreds in the streets of the federal capital, announced that they had arrested more than 100 people and towed around twenty vehicles. Despite long face-to-face encounters, no clashes broke out and there were no injuries. One incident, however, involved police on horseback, who continued on their way while two protesters were on the ground. Police say a person threw a bicycle at an animal and denied protesters were “trampled”, saying they all got up without incident.

towed vehicles

By Thursday, police had erected a perimeter around the protest area. They have tried throughout the day to tighten the noose around the demonstrators, who refuse to leave the premises despite numerous warnings and the proclamation of a state of emergency.

Ottawa Police Acting Chief Steve Bell said the operation was going “as planned” but would take “time”. At the start of the evening, even if there were vehicles left, many truckers withdrew their heavy goods vehicles from the streets around the parliament in recent hours and others were towed away, noted an AFP journalist. Authorities continue to warn protesters to leave the area.

” You have to leave. You must cease all illegal activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all illegal protest sites. Anyone at the site of an illegal protest may be arrested,” police tweeted.

Most of the protest leaders have been arrested. Far-right activist Pat King was arrested early Friday afternoon as he left town. His arrest was made live on Facebook Live. Shortly after, it was the turn of former police officer Daniel Bulford. Two other leaders, Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, were arrested Thursday evening.

Parliament closed

For the first time since the start of this dispute, which is taking place under the windows of the federal Parliament, the latter remained closed on Friday. “Today’s sitting is canceled” for security reasons, announced Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons.

The chamber has been examining since Thursday the implementation of the law on emergency measures invoked on Monday by Justin Trudeau to put an end to the “illegal” blockages in progress in the country.

It is only the second time that this provision has been used in peacetime, the last time dating back to the crisis of 1970 when Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the current Prime Minister, was in power. It is highly contested by the conservative opposition.

“Our economy and our democracy are facing a serious, foreign-funded threat,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Friday. “These illegal blockades and occupations cannot be allowed to usurp the authority of democratically elected governments,” she added. The day before, she had indicated that bank accounts of people or companies linked to the demonstration had been frozen.

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