Police in Ottawa began arresting protestors on Friday after three weeks of demonstrations stalled Canada’s capitol, where hundreds of truckers declared their objection to the country’s Covid-19 mandates.
Some protestors surrendered and were taken into custody, while others were led away in handcuffs. At least 70 protesters were arrested by mid-afternoon, mostly on minor charges. Over two dozen vehicles were also towed, including all that were blocking one of the city’s major streets, authorities said.
One police officer had a minor injury, but no protestors were hurt, interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell said.
Protestors locked arms to block law enforcement officials from advancing toward Parliament Hill while singing Canada’s national anthem. Some shouted ‘Hold the line,’ ‘freedom’ and ‘peace and love,’ according to Breitbart.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday said law enforcement were hoping to soon see progress in the removal of those still occupying the bridges and roadways that unite the US to Canada.
“The people occupying Ottawa have been given plenty of time to leave peacefully. They know there are consequences for not doing so,” Ford said. “And I continue to encourage everyone to leave immediately. I have every confidence in our law enforcement to bring an end to this, and they continue to have my full support.”
Ottawa police continue to warn protesters that they must leave. Officers have gone door to door along the line of trucks, campers and other vehicles holding a standstill on the streets.
“You must leave. You must cease further unlawful activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all unlawful protest sites,” Ottawa police tweeted. “Anyone within the unlawful protest site may be arrested.”
Officials have filed charges against two organizers of the Freedom Convoy: Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, who were both arrested on Thursday, according to CTV News.
Lich, 49, of Medicine Hat, Alberta, has been charged with counseling to commit the offense of mischief, and Barber, 46, of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, faces charges of counseling to commit the offense of mischief, counseling to commit the offense of disobeying a court order and counseling to commit the offense of obstructing police.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDEPENDENT