OTTAWA (Ontario) -- Friday's arrests were made by police to end the three-week-old siege on Canada's capital that was started by truckers protesting the Covid-19 restrictions.
Police said that some protesters surrendered to police and were taken into custody. Some were led away in handcuffs. The Ottawa Police Service reported that 100 people were arrested for a variety of charges, including mischief.
Police said that at least 21 vehicles were removed from downtown to be used as anchors by protesters. Police said that they continued to drive protesters out of downtown and created a "secured zone" where public assembly was temporarily banned.
At a Friday press conference, Steve Bell, interim chief of police, stated that "we're in control" and would continue to push for progress.
He stated that it would take some time to completely remove the demonstration as it enters its fourth weekend.
Bell criticised protesters who brought their children to the city's central, which is awash in police and sometimes tense. He said that one officer received minor injuries after a clash between protestors and officers on Friday.
Bell stated, "Get the kids out of here." They don't need to be there. They are not safe there."
Two protest leaders were arrested by police as they attempted to end the traffic-snarling occupation late on Thursday. To stop the Freedom Convoy protesters from entering the area, police also closed off large swathes of downtown.
After three weeks of protests and blockades, the capital was the last stronghold for the movement. It caused economic damage to both Canada and the United States and created a political crisis in the hands of Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister.
Authorities have resisted many protestors in the country over the past few weeks due to fear of violence. Right-wing extremists, veterans, and some of them armed, have been attracted to the demonstrations.
Police and government are facing accusations of allowing the protests to gain strength and spread. Trudeau invoked Canada's Emergencies Act Monday to empower law enforcement authorities to declare blockades illegal, tow trucks away, arrest drivers, suspend their licenses, and freeze their bank accounts.
Ottawa police stated on Thursday that they are preparing to end the protest, and remove more than 300 trucks. Ottawa's interim chief of police warned: "Actions are imminent."
Protesters in trucks, motor homes and tractors protested the Canadian vaccine requirement for truckers entering Canada. However, the demonstrations quickly morphed into an attack on Trudeau's government and COVID-19 precautions.
The largest border blockade, at the Ambassador Bridge, between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, impeded the flow and production of auto parts between both countries. After dozens of protestors were arrested, authorities lifted the siege.
On Wednesday, the final blockade in Manitoba was lifted peacefully.
Protests have received support from right-wing extremists, and have been cheered upon and given donations by conservatives in the U.S.
Many Ottawa residents were upset by the bumper-to-bumper occupation. They complained of being intimidated and harassed on the streets.