‘Freedom Convoy’ Results In State Of Emergency In Ottawa, Canada
The mayor of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency as protesters in trucks opposed to Covid-19 restrictions continue to paralyse the centre of the Canadian capital.
Thousands of truckers descended on Ottawa for the second weekend, joining a hundred who remained for more than a week. Residents are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment and fear no end is in sight after the police chief called it a “siege” that he could not manage.
The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many US Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.”
Police report that multiple arrests have been made related to the protest as Mayor Jim Watson warns that someone may get killed or seriously injured because of the irresponsible behaviour of some of those involved.
The city has asked to increase fines for many offences and to double the size of the police force to address what the mayor called “an aggressive and hateful occupation of our neighbourhoods” that has nothing to do with vaccine mandates.
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Judge bans air horns at protests
A judge will order a 10-day injunction against the use of air horns at protests — a big complaint of people living in downtown Ottawa after 11 days of disruption and noise.
The wording of the order is still to being decided on and a lawyer representing the police will be consulted as to how the ruling will be enforced.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 20:10
City wants to increase fines
Ottawa city officials have written to the chief justice of Ontario asking to increase how much they can fine people for violations of parking and noise restrictions.
The fine for idling could be increased from $100 to $1,000, a noise violation could go up to $1,000 from $490, and encumbering a roadway would also rise to $1,000 from $350.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 19:52
Ottawa Police chief asks to double size of force
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has told the city council that he needs 1,800 more police and civilian staff to deal with the “Freedom Convoy” demonstration.
The city’s police force currently employs a total of 2,100 people.
Mr Sloly has also asked for changes to noise and parking bylaws to help deal with the protest.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 19:38
What happened to the trucker GoFundMe?
Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has announced it is freezing millions of dollars raised in support of anti-vaxxer truckers in Canada and will instead refund donors in full, citing police reports of violence as the reason behind its decision.
Joe Sommerlad reports for The Independent.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 19:19
Police call for more resources
Ottawa Police have called for more resources as focus turns to seizing fuel from trucker protestors.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 19:00
Trucker gets a trim
On day 11 of the protest, it’s apparently time for a hair cut.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 18:50
Thousands of litres of fuel seized
CTV reports that on Sunday night, dozens of armed police officers and firefighters moved into a parking lot at the Ottawa Baseball Stadium on Coventry Road just before 7pm and seized 3,200 litres of fuel being stored there.
Police said the stadium, about 3 miles or 5km away from Parliament Hill, had become a staging area for the demonstration featuring a wooden structure providing meals, a bouncy castle, a sauna, and a hot tub.
Mayor Jim Watson said: “It’s disturbing when you see the protest turning into what looks like some kind of fun carnival, where they’ve got bouncy castles and hot tubs and saunas.”
He described it as “a complete insult to the people who are putting up with this nonsense” adding it showed “a great deal of insensitivity”.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 18:40
Protest sets ‘terrible precedent’
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says: “It would be a terrible precedent to say that if you show up to the nation’s capital with heavy equipment and blockade the capital city that you can force reckless change in our public policy.”
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 18:33
Class action suit against truckers
“There is a way to do a protest and this, quite frankly, is not it,” says Zexi Li, the lead plaintiff in the multi-million dollar class action lawsuit against the trucker protest filed on behalf of local residents.
The suit seeks C$4.8m in damages for private nuisance and punitive damages amounting to $5m.
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 18:20
Oliver O’Connell7 February 2022 18:02