Aerial footage shows the heavily congested Ambassador Bridge as a truck convoy blocks the Canada-US border
Ottawa remains in a state of emergency as protesters in trucks opposing Covid-19 restrictions continue to paralyze the center of the Canadian capital.
At the border with the United States, the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor, Ont., to Detroit was blocked by trucks in both directions Monday evening and remains almost at a standstill.
It’s a crucial trade link between the United States and Canada and with supply chains already under strain, it could quickly have a negative economic impact. Automakers including Toyota and Ford have announced problems.
In Ottawa, hundreds of truckers remained on the streets for 14 days. Residents are furious at the disruption and police have now threatened protesters with criminal charges and vehicle seizures, and warning convictions could mean no longer being able to enter the United States.
Mayor Jim Watson has called on the federal government to double the size of the police force to combat what he called “an aggressive and hateful occupation of our neighborhoods,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement late Monday according to which protesters should go home and do not represent most Canadians.
With access to GoFundMe cut off, protesters turned to other sources of funding and were reportedly thrown a lifeline by a group of libertarian bitcoin evangelists.
Ottawa police warn of blockade arrests
In a message to protesters on Wednesday, the Ottawa Police Service reminded protesters that obstructing, disrupting or interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of any property is an offence.
“The illegal act of blocking streets in the city center has the effect of depriving people of the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property,” the ministry said.
“We advise you that anyone who blocks streets or assists others in blocking streets may commit a criminal offence,” the police department added. “You must immediately cease all illegal activity or you could face charges.”
The force is expected to have a larger presence in the city by the weekend, when the number of protesters could increase again. The latest figure stands at around 400 truckers and the protest is now in its 14th day.
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 12:05
Roads remain closed around Ottawa
Ottawa residents are again urged to avoid non-essential travel as the ‘freedom convoy’ protest against Covid mandates enters its fourteenth day,
City hall and libraries remain closed and further traffic disruptions are expected, the city said in a statement. However, a Covid vaccination center on Clarence Street East is reopening after being closed for several days.
Here is more information:
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 11:50 am
Ohio man arrested for making false threats
Ottawa Deputy Police Chief Steve Bell said a man was arrested in Ohio on Monday this week following bogus threats designed to disrupt emergency resources in Ottawa.
Police, who have so far made 23 arrests and issued more than 1,000 advisories, said they had worked with US law enforcement in response to ongoing protests at two border crossings and in Ottawa.
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 11:35 am
Car production halts due to supply issues
Toyota said on Wednesday it does not expect its plants in Ontario to produce cars for the rest of the week, due to supply issues partly caused by Covid protests at the Canada-US border. .
“Due to a number of supply chain, weather and COVID-related issues, Toyota continues to experience production-affecting shortages at our North American plants, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada,” the company said.
The company followed Stellantis and Ford who also said production was affected by supply issues.
The closure of the Ambassador Bridge and Coutts crossings between the United States and Canada has caused severe delays as traffic is diverted to alternate routes.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday “it’s important for everyone in Canada and the United States to understand what the impact of this lockdown is – potential impact – on workers, on the supply chain, and that’s where we focus the most. ”
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 11:20 am
French protest targets Brussels, report says
Small groups of drivers left the south of France on Wednesday with “Freedom Convoy” stickers on their cars,The Associated Press reported.
Social media posts suggest a “freedom convoy” will descend on the French capital on Friday evening and continue to the European Union capital of Brussels on Monday, similar to Canada’s protest.
A large majority of French adults are vaccinated against Covid and protests have multiplied since the introduction of a mandate on vaccinations.
A similar situation has been observed in Canada, where the protests are well underway in a second week. Participants demand an end to all Covid restrictions and vaccination mandates.
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 10:50 am
Four-day ban on “convoy” type protests in Paris
While France has seen regular protests against Covid regulations, the Paris police department announced a ban on roadblocks from Friday to Monday.
It comes after a Canadian-inspired occupation of the city was threatened by groups opposed to Covid vaccination mandates.
Citing ‘risks of public order disturbances’, the Paris police headquarters has banned protests aimed at ‘blocking the capital’ and police will put in place measures to protect roads and detain those who violate the ban , The Associated Press reported.
Gino SpocchiaFebruary 10, 2022 10:25 a.m.
DHS warns police of U.S. trucker protests
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned police across the country that anti-vax protests – similar to those taking place in Canada and New Zealand – could erupt across the country.
The DHS even warned that the protests could disrupt the Super Bowl or the State of the Union address.
In a memo DHS officials shared with law enforcement partners, he said DHS “has received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities across the United States to protest, among other things, against the vaccination mandates”.
He added, “The convoy will potentially begin in California as early as mid-February, potentially impacting the Super Bowl scheduled for February 13 and the State of the Union address scheduled for March 1.”
It’s still unclear how serious the plans for such protests are, but The Hill reported that a group called “The People’s Convoy” on Facebook is already planning a “Freedom Convoy March to DC 2022.”
Facebook updates from organizers say truckers will arrive at Coachella Valley in Indio, Calif., on March 4 for a rally “to defeat unconstitutional warrants.”
Maroosha MuzaffarFebruary 10, 2022 10:00 a.m.
New Zealand police arrest over 120 anti-vax protesters
New Zealand police arrested more than 120 people during an anti-vaccination protest outside Parliament on Thursday.
The arrests came shortly after Speaker of Parliament Trevor Mallard decided to close the ground.
Police have called in more than 100 officers from other parts of the country to help quell protesters, ABC News reported. He said that in the evening, the police arrested more than 120 people and charged many of them with trespassing or obstruction.
Supt Corrie Parnell, Wellington District Commander, told the media: ‘Police repeatedly called on protesters to leave and began clearing people from the compound.
He added: “While the police recognize people’s right to protest, this must be conducted in a way that does not unfairly impact the general public.”
Maroosha MuzaffarFebruary 10, 2022 9:15 a.m.
Canadian police threaten to arrest truckers
Canadian police on Wednesday threatened to arrest protesting truckers as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the protest “unacceptable”.
Mr Trudeau said: “Lockdowns, illegal protests are unacceptable and have a negative impact on businesses and manufacturers. We must do everything to put an end to it.
Police said in a statement that “we inform you that anyone who blocks streets or assists others in blocking streets may commit a criminal offence.”
“You must immediately cease all illegal activity or you could face charges,” the statement said.
Maroosha MuzaffarFebruary 10, 2022 08:18
White House says Ambassador Bridge blockade ‘poses risk to supply chains’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge poses a risk to U.S. auto industry supply chains because the border crossing is a critical passage from Canada.
Ms. Psaki was responding to a question regarding the anti-Covid mandate protests in Canada that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for nearly two weeks and led to a near-stop at the crucial crossing between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan.
Olivier O’ConnellFebruary 10, 2022 04:59