Canadian police arrest hundreds of protesters and clear Parliament Street in an effort to end the siege

The heart of the protests was in the street directly in front of Parliament Hill. This is the collection of government offices which includes the Parliament buildings.

Canadian police arrest hundreds of protesters and clear Parliament Street in an effort to end the siege


 

OTTAWA (Ontario) -- On Saturday, police aggressively resisted protesters in Canada’s capital. They tow away trucks and arrested dozens of protesters, before finally retaking control over the streets in front the country's Parliament buildings. Hundreds of trucks were forced to leave under increasing pressure. This raised hopes that authorities will be able to end the three-week-old protest against COVID-19 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

The heart of the protests was located on the street right in front of Parliament Hill. This is the collection of government offices which includes the Parliament buildings. The street had been occupied since late last month by protesters and their vehicles, becoming a carnival on weekends.

"They are trying push us all away," declared Jeremy Glass, a protester from Shelburne, Ontario. Authorities forced the crowds further away from the Parliament buildings. "The main camp has been seized. It is now out of our hands.

Canadian authorities also declared that they used emergency powers in order to seize 76 accounts linked to protesters. The total amount was approximately $3.2 million ($2.5million U.S.).

They also shut down a bridge from Quebec into the capital to stop protestors returning.

According to police, protesters were still aggressive and pepper spray was used to protect officers.

Protest organizers claimed that they had directed truckers to leave Parliament Hill around midday. They also decried the actions of the police as "abuses" of power.

"To move the trucks, it will take time," organizers stated in a statement. "We hope (police will) show judicious restraint."

Ottawa police had earlier tweeted that they addressed protesters and said, "We told you leave. We gave you plenty of time to leave. While we were methodical and slow, you were aggressive and aggressive towards officers and horses. We are taking action based on your behavior and adding helmets to our safety.

One protester was said to have thrown a gas canister at police and was taken into custody as they moved.

Police said at least 47 people were detained Saturday. Police said that more than 100 people were detained on Friday. They were mostly charged with mischief and almost two dozen vehicles were towed. This included all those who blocked one of the major streets of the city. Steve Bell, interim Ottawa Police Chief, said that one officer sustained minor injuries, but that no protesters were injured.

Four protest leaders were among those who were arrested. One was released on bail, while the other three were still in jail.

Police escort arrived at the scene and began removing hundreds of large rigs, campers, and other vehicles that were parked near Parliament. Before hauling it away, police broke through at least one camper's door.

Friday morning saw hundreds of police in riot gear descend into the protest zone. They began leading demonstrators in handcuffs along the snowy streets, while truckers holding out their horns blared their horns.

After weeks of protests and blockades that closed border crossings to the U.S., the capital and its paralyzed streets were the movement's last stronghold. Trudeau was put through one of his most difficult tests yet. Some blame America's influence, while others shook Canada’s reputation for civility.

The Freedom Convoy protests were initially focused on Canada's requirement that truckers enter the country with a vaccine, but quickly morphed into a wide-ranging attack on COVID-19 precautions as well as Trudeau's government.

Ottawa residents complained about being intimidated and harassed by truckers. They obtained a court order to stop their incessant honking.

Trudeau described the protesters in a "fringe" manner. Canadians have generally accepted the COVID-19 regulations, with the majority of Canadians vaccinated. This includes an estimated 90% Canadian truckers. Some of the mandates for vaccines and masks that were imposed by the provincial governments are rapidly falling away.

The largest border blockade was at the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor, Ontario and Detroit. It stopped the flow of parts between the two countries, and forced the industry into a halt in production. After dozens of protesters were arrested, authorities lifted the siege.

On Wednesday, the final border blockade in Manitoba was lifted across the border to North Dakota.

Protests were cheered and have received donations from conservatives in America.

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