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Ottawa Police Begin Making Arrests After Three Weeks of Anti-Vax Protests [VIDEO]

Ottawa Police Begin Making Arrests After Three Weeks of Anti-Vax Protests [VIDEO]

Canada’s reputation for civility has taken a major hit as a result of the 3-week-long “Freedom Convoy” protest blocking major trade routes along the Northern border. Many are blaming America’s influence, as several pro-Trump and MAGA flags were spotted among the Maple Leafs. The paralyzed streets represented the movement’s last stronghold after weeks of demonstrations and blockades that shut down border crossings into the U.S. and created one of the most serious tests yet for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But the end is near for the three-week protest against the country’s COVID-19 restrictions. Police began arresting dozens of demonstrators and towing away vehicles Friday in Canada’s besieged capital of Ottawa, forcing a line of trucks to leave under the pressure from law enforcement vehicles. Tow truck operators (who wore neon-green ski masks, with their companies’ decals taped over on their trucks to protect their identities) arrived under police escort and started removing the hundreds of big rigs, campers, and other vehicles parked shoulder-to-shoulder near Parliament. Police smashed through the door of at least one RV camper before hauling it away.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – FEBRUARY 16: A police officer stands guard near trucks participating in a blockade of downtown streets near the parliament building as a demonstration led by truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates continues on February 16, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada’s history to try to put an end to the blockade which is now in it’s third week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By midafternoon, at least 70 people had been arrested, mostly on mischief charges, and nearly two dozen vehicles had been towed, including all of those blocking one of the city’s major streets, authorities said. Among those arrested were at least four of the protest’s self-proclaimed “leaders.” One officer had a minor injury, but no protesters were hurt, interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell said. Police “continue to push forward to take control of our streets,” he said, adding: “We will work day and night until this is completed.”

The crackdown on the self-dubbed “Freedom Convoy” began 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 through the snowy streets as holdout truckers blared their horns. Many protesters stood their ground in the face of one of the biggest police enforcement actions in Canada’s history, with officers drawn from around the country.

Police would not disclose how many protesters or vehicles remained downtown. All indications were that police would be working into the weekend to clear the area. “There are indications we are now starting to see progress,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.

 

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