It has been more than a week since a convoy of truckers and their supporters, reportedly numbering in the tens of thousands, traveled to the Canadian capital of Ottawa and have engaged in peaceful, if at times disruptive, protest against the government’s vaccine mandates and other harsh pandemic restrictions.
The local government has apparently had enough with the protesters, however, as a “state of emergency” has now been declared by the city’s mayor and the Ottawa Police have begun to crack down with arrests and seizures of the protesters’ supplies, Breitbart reported.
State of emergency declared
The city of Ottawa issued a press release Sunday to announce that liberal Mayor Jim Watson had formally declared a state of emergency for the capital city of Canada in relation to the ongoing trucker-led protest against the local and national governments.
“Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government,” the statement said.
“It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders,” the press release added.
Police making arrests, seizing supplies
Just prior to that release came a public announcement from the Ottawa Police about its ongoing crackdown against the protesters, which included arrests, citations, and seizures of supplies like fuel, propane gas, and other necessities to sustain the effective occupation of the core of the capital city.
“The Ottawa Police Service and its partners worked through the night to reduce the impacts of demonstrators in the downtown core, respond to calls for service, and improve neighborhood safety,” the department said in announcing that more than 450 tickets had been written the night before.
“Overnight, demonstrators exhibited extremely disruptive and unlawful behavior, which presented risks to public safety and unacceptable distress for Ottawa residents,” the police claimed. “We continue to advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa, and to go home.”
The release went on to provide some additional details on various citations issued, that there had been more than 650 calls regarding the protests, that at least 97 criminal investigations had been opened, and a summary of some of the actions that police had taken to counter the demonstrations, such as blocking off certain roads, gathering intelligence on protest participants, and coordinating with other law enforcement groups and agencies, both domestic and foreign.
At the same time as that, the Ottawa Police also issued a stark warning for those who are supporting the protesting truckers, and tweeted, “IMPORTANT: Anyone attempting to bring material supports (gas, etc.) to the demonstrators could be subject to arrest. Enforcement is underway.”
Crackdown caught on camera
Meanwhile, Breitbart also shared several videos from inside the protest, posted by supporters or independent journalists, which showed the police making good on the threatened crackdown and seizing canisters of fuel for the trucks or propane tanks that protesters were using to keep warm in the bitter Canadian winter weather.
It does not appear at this time that the protesters have been cowed by the threats and arrests and seizures, however, and it remains to be seen if the protests will continue or the government will resort to employing actual violence to quash the peaceful uprising against overly restrictive pandemic mitigation measures.