100 protesters from 'Freedom Convoy' arrested, as Canadian police begin crackdown
Almost 100 protesters, mainly truckers who are part of the Freedom Convoy in Canada, were arrested by the Ottawa Police on Saturday.
Almost 100 protesters, mainly truckers who are part of the Freedom Convoy in Canada, were arrested by the Ottawa Police on Saturday. The charges levelled against the protesters were mainly related to mischief, and nearly two dozen trucks—who had been blockading the national capital to protest coronavirus regulations and vaccine mandates were towed.
According to multiple reports, the crackdown commenced in the morning, when hundreds of police, some in riot gear and some carrying automatic weapons, descended into the protest zone and began leading demonstrators away in handcuffs.
Weeks of demonstrations and blockades had shut down Canada's border crossings into the US, and created one of the most serious tests yet for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trucks were parked shoulder-to-shoulder in downtown Ottawa, some with tires removed to hamper towing. With police and the government facing accusations that they let the protests get out of hand, Trudeau on Monday invoked Canada's Emergencies Act. That gave law enforcement extraordinary authority to declare the blockades illegal, tow away trucks, arrest the drivers, suspend their licenses and freeze their bank accounts.
Trudeau had said one must be "very, very cautious" about deploying troops on Canadian soil, adding there has been no such request to the federal government. He said any formal requests for assistance from the City of Ottawa or Ontario will be considered.
Organisers had raised millions for the cross-country protest against vaccine mandates and other restrictions.
Ottawa's mayor, meanwhile, is calling on several opposition Conservative lawmakers to apologise for praising the protesters and posing with them.
A photo posted by one of the lawmakers shows them some giving the thumbs-up in front of one of the protest trucks, which have been barricading roads and honking horns in the city almost non-stop.
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