In an attempt to disband the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, Canadian police are taking a tough stance, arresting at least 100 people and crushing demonstrators on Friday.
The Police are Armed and Serious
On Friday, police horses and policemen in riot gear, many carrying guns, moved in on the Freedom Convoy.
They began forcing their way through hundreds of people, including children, while demonstrators locked arms and sung the national song in an attempt to stop them.
There were scuffles among police and demonstrators, with members of the Freedom Convoy erecting makeshift snow barricades to help them protect themselves against the cops.
Four prominent protest organizers are among the roughly 100 persons arrested — mostly on mischief charges — and two dozen protesters’ vehicles obstructing critical routes have been towed out of an estimated 350 protestors’ vehicles.
According to the Associated Press, police have declined to divulge the number of remaining demonstrators or vehicles.
Interim Despite footage shared on social media of police horses stomping protestors at the convoy. Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell maintained that no demonstrators were harmed.
The Ottawa Police Department sought to defend their actions by claiming that “a bicycle was hurled at the foot of one of the animals in an attempt to hurt it,” but their version of events has been called into question.
— Daniel James Dulhunty (@dulhunty) February 19, 2022
For the very first time during the three-week, anti-coronavirus demonstration, police looked to outweigh demonstrators; they used this advantage to block downtown Ottawa with 100 roadblocks and starve the resupply convoy.
The demonstrators claimed the police are attempting to make a case study of them, saying that some blockade participants are being deterred from leaving the place by police departments.
This is notwithstanding the police playing messages designed to encourage them to leave — which, if true, would effectively guarantee their detention.
However, some trucking companies have officially started to leave the protest area, with a number of trucks leaving in an attempt to avoid detention.
The large percentage of the truckers — many of whom are former soldiers — appear to be sticking to their policy of staying “for as long as needed Canada is a free nation again.”
“Freedom has never been free,” Montreal trucker Kevin Homaund told the Associated Press. “So what if they shackle us and throw us in jail?”
Control is the Key Word Here
Chief Bell stated officers will “continue pushing forward to regain control of our neighborhoods” and will “work day and night until this is achieved.”
UPDATE: waiting further clarification but some of the people trampled seem to be ok, possibly one person taken to the hospital during the protests due to a heart attack as police were pushing back … will continue to monitor the situation. This according to people on the ground
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) February 19, 2022
To prevent possible boycotts from fans of the truckers, those running the tow trucks moving convoy cars covered the insignia of the businesses they operated for and donned neon-green ski masks to conceal their identity.
Police pulled campers, trucks, and autos, with cops smashing the door of at least one campsite before taking it away.