Canadian police announced Monday that seven people have been arrested and more than 100 have been issued tickets in connection to “demonstration-related enforcement” in Ottawa.
This comes after Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon as approximately 500 trucks and vehicles with the “Freedom Convoy” continued to linger in the streets of the Canadian capital to protest vaccine mandates and other coronavirus-related restrictions.
Ottawa Police Service issued a warning earlier Monday that “anyone found bringing fuel to the demonstration trucks in the red zone could be subject to arrest and charges.”
Multiple vehicles and fuel have been seized. Five of the seven arrests were for unspecified mischief. A sixth person was charged for driving while prohibited and a seventh for mischief “relating to property damage of a downtown business,” police said in a press release.
More than 100 Highway Traffic Act and other “Provincial Offence Notices” were issued for offenses including excessive honking, driving the wrong way, defective muffler, no seat belt, alcohol readily available and having the improper class of driving license, police said.
So far, 60 criminal investigations related to the demonstration have been opened, primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage. Confederation Park has been fully cleared and fenced.
Ottawa Police Service has received 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers to assist with demonstrations.
Watson said in a statement Sunday that declaring a state of emergency “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations.”
“This is a siege — it is something that is different in our democracy than I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said on Saturday. “We do not have sufficient resources to adequately and effectively address this situation.”
The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many U.S. Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.” Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called the ongoing protest “an occupation.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday that he and the state’s attorney general would investigate GoFundMe after the crowdfunding online platform shut down the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” official fundraising campaign. Faced with fraud allegations, GoFundMe then walked back its stance about redistributing the funds and said it would be refunding the thousands of donors automatically.
The convoy has since turned to the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo to collect donations.
This article first appeared on WebChennel.com
Journalist writes what the truckers want according to 100 Freedom Convoy interviews
Several political commentators praised freelance journalist Rupa Subramanya, who talked to over 100 Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa, Canada, to determine “what the truckers want,” and contrasted her coverage with some of the liberal media’s villainization of the group.
B.J. Dichter, a spokesman for the Freedom Convoy, told Subramanya that he was vaccinated, and he believes that most of the truckers were as well.
“I’m Jewish,” he said. “I have family in mass graves in Europe. And apparently I’m a white supremacist.”
Dichter alluded to some more negative media coverage of the protests that called the Freedom Convoy a “cult” and a “threat to democracy.” The Ottawa Police Chief used the words “nationwide insurrection” to describe the protests, which was echoed by many in the media. Many headlines have also focused on “swastikas and public urination” and protesters carrying swastika and Confederate flags and defacing statues, while the truckers have told a different story, arguing their demonstration was “peaceful.”
The protests have snarled traffic in Ottawa and shut down the busiest border crossing in North America this week, causing traffic on the highway to Detroit.
A January statement from the Canadian Trucker Alliance, which represents, “4,500 carriers, owner operators and industry suppliers,” said that “a vast majority” of Canadian truckers were vaccinated. Canada’s largest trucking company recently said that vaccination was not an issue for their employees.
“So it’s about something else. Or many things: a sense that things will never go back to normal, a sense that they are being ganged up on by the government, the media, Big Tech, Big Pharma,” Subramanya wrote.
A trucker named Ivan, who declined to provide Subramanya with a last name, reportedly emigrated to Canada from Ukraine with his wife.
“We came to Canada to be free—not slaves,” he told Subramanya. “We lived under communism, and, in Canada, we’re now fighting for our freedom.”
Some of the people Subramanya spoke to were unvaccinated, including 24-year-old Mackenzie, who also declined to share her last name. She told the independent journalist that she had previously recovered from COVID. She said she was not allowed to eat at the restaurant that she worked at as a bartender due to her vaccination status.
“If you want to know why independent journalism is thriving, this post is a perfect example of why,” Stephen L. Miller, Spectator author and podcast host, wrote on Twitter of Subramanya’s report. Author Josh Stemile also praised Subramanya’s work, highlighting how she went and talked to some of these truckers.
Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss noted the same, contrasting Subramanya’s efforts with those of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau called for an end to the protests on Monday, saying, “This pandemic has sucked for all Canadians.”
Joël Lightbound, a member of Trudeau’s Liberal Party, accused the prime minister of dividing Canadians.
“Both the tone and the policies of my government changed drastically on the eve and during the last election campaign,” he said, according to Politico. “A decision was made to wedge, to divide and to stigmatize. I fear that this politicization of the pandemic risks undermining the public’s trust in our public health institutions.”
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