‘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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‘Freedom convoy’ boosted by social media reach
Tens of thousands of messages about the Ottawa protest have reportedly been shared on Telegram, the social media platform favoured members of the American far right.
Politico also found more than 7,000 posts on Facebook about the truckers’ convoy on US-based Facebook pages, with those posts collecting more than 10 million interactions from 22 January 22 to 5 February.
On Telegram, messages for truckers reportedly advised them to avoiding confrontation with counter protesters, who “are there to bait you”, and which could be captured by news outlets.
The report said both platforms had allowed Republicans and critics of Covid regulations to call for support and fund-raising for the Ottawa ‘freedom convoy’, as well as inspiring other protests in Canada, the US and across the world.
Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told Politico that “Rightwing US political figures and content creators…really gave it a boost that made it global,” said
“Donations from abroad are quite a common part of any large crowdfunding campaign,” he added. “But the scale of this one is unprecedented.”
Gino Spocchia8 February 2022 11:40
Canadian driver charged with hitting four people
A 42-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly ran over four people at an anti-vaccine mandate protest in the Canadian province of Winnipeg on Friday.
The incident, which reportedly took place outside the legislature building in Manitoba, comes amid the more than week-long protest against Covid mandates in Ottawa.
Read the full story here:
Gino Spocchia8 February 2022 11:20
Ottawa police chief says protesters ‘highly organised’
Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly has described the trucker protest as “extremely committed” and suggested that people from the US were helping to organise and fund the protests – which have stretched into a second week.
He told Politico that protesters were able to resist “all attempts to end the demonstrations safely” as a result of “significant elements from the United States”, in an interview on Monday.
Thousands of posts on Telegram, a social media platform used by the far-right, have meanwhile seen groups with tens of thousands of members share information and updates on the Canada protests – as well as links to fundraisers for the truckers – the outlet reported.
Gino Spocchia8 February 2022 11:00
New Zealand copycat protest ‘not the majority’, says PM
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the Canada-inspired ‘freedom’ convoy that has descended on the country’s capital.
Ms Arden said those protesting Covid rules did not represent the majority view and that “it would be wrong to in any way characterise what we’ve seen outside as a representation of the majority”.
Her first in-person address to parliament in a year came as the protesters vowed to camp outside the parliament building until all Covid-19 curbs are lifted, reported Reuters.
The New Zealand prime minister – whose government has enforced some of the strongest Covid regulations on its citizens – added: “The majority of New Zealanders have done everything they can to keep one another safe.”
Protesters against Covid rules imposed in New Zealand on Tuesday
Gino Spocchia8 February 2022 10:40
ICYMI: Canada asks US Republicans to stay out of domestic affairs
Canada’s public safety minister said that the US officials should stay out of his country’s domestic affairs after several GOP leaders supported truckers protesting vaccine mandates.
Marco Mendicino said that “we need to be vigilant about potential foreign interference … Whatever statements may have been made by some foreign official are neither here nor there. We’re Canadian. We have our own set of laws. We will follow them.”
The comments come after many US Republican leaders — including Donald Trump — supported demonstrators. Mr Trump even called Justin Trudeau a “far-left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.”
Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 10:20
Canadian truckers being treated like a terror group, Tucker Carlson says
Tucker Carlson has said that “people in charge” in Canada are not “really thinking the consequences of their actions through.”
He said on Fox News that Canadian truckers are being “treated like a terror group.”
The Fox News host said: “It’s not Al Qaeda. These are Canadian citizens who drive trucks for a living, but they’re being treated like a terror group.”
He added: “Thousands of truck drivers have descended on Ottawa, the capital city, to protest the tyranny of Justin Trudeau’s government. Justin Trudeau does not like truck drivers. He thinks they’re revolting. Justin Trudeau likes private equity barons and tech moguls, the only people who give him money. Trudeau is not in Ottawa right now. In fact, he and his family fled when the truck drivers arrived and they’ve been in hiding ever since. So when the revolution he has been calling for finally arrived, Justin Trudeau wasn’t there to see it. He ran away in terror, kind of sad.
“According to Justin Trudeau, possessing gasoline in the city of Ottawa is now a crime. Now, to be clear, Ottawa didn’t declare the state of emergency because the truckers lit a courthouse on fire or shot someone or levelled a church. BLM did all of those things, but Justin Trudeau strongly supports BLM,” Mr Carlson said.
Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 09:50
Police in Canada seize thousands of litres of fuel
Police said on Monday that they have seized thousands of litres of fuel and removed an oil tanker as well in an attempt to end the truckers’ 11-day protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
Police in Canada also claimed that they have noticed a reduced number of trucks and protester numbers had fallen significantly as well.
Meanwhile, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has asked for reinforcements for police officials.
In a letter to Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Monday, Mr Watson wrote: “The occupation has turned into an aggressive and hateful occupation of our neighbourhoods. People are living in fear and are terrified.”
Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 09:08
Court grants ‘honking injunction’ against ‘Freedom Convoy’
A court in Canada has granted an injunction preventing truckers participating in the ongoing “Freedom Convoy” against Covid-19 vaccine mandates from honking as a part of their protest.
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Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 07:00
Canadian truckers block off Michigan border bridge as protest against vaccine mandates hits day 11
Demonstrators blocked traffic on the Ambassador Bridge that links Detroit and the Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario, preventing other motorists from passing.
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Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 06:30
Truckers asked to stop honking
Truckers protesting the government’s vaccine mandates have been ordered to stop honking their horns.
For the next 10 days, a judge in Ottawa — Hugh McLean — has ordered that truckers silence their horns.
In a ruling on Monday, Judge McLean said: “Tooting a horn is not an expression of any great thought I’m aware of.”
The honking of horns had become a definitive feature of the truckers’ protests and residents and business owners in Ottawa had complained of this.
Meanwhile, protest organisers on Sunday had also called for a temporary stop to the honking until midday as a “gesture of goodwill” towards residents.
Maroosha Muzaffar8 February 2022 05:30