Ontario’s provincial police mobilised outside Ottawa’s downtown on Thursday, seemingly poised to crack down on the protesters after three weeks of demonstrations.
Police officers were seen getting into their vehicles early in the morning after they had gathered in a conference centre close to the airport. The police started to scatter from a sizable parking lot.
Canada Live Updates: Police Mobilize as Protest Clampdown Looms
The city’s buses headed to the west end remained motionless on a street close to the conference centre for five minutes before at least two police officers boarded them.
The reason for the presence of the Ottawa police officers stationed at the parking lot entrance was a mystery.
Construction workers erected a 12-foot-high wire fence surrounding the Parliament building in downtown during the early morning downpour. Anti-police demonstrators were getting ready for a confrontation. There was Andrew Broe, a truck driver who claimed to have been texting protest leaders.
He instructed them to remain in their cars, lock the doors, and refuse to let anyone inside, not even the cops.
A loosely organised group of truckers objected to a vaccination requirement when crossing into Canada, sparking the protests. With the aid of right-wing activists, the effort expanded to include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a variety of pandemic measures.
It would be good if the clampdown happened so that Mr. Trudeau’s leadership would be damaged and the local economy would be harmed.
Due to truckers’ obstruction of important border crossings and other routes, automakers were compelled to shut down their facilities. In Ottawa, several individuals harassed locals and obstructed streets, causing a constant cacophony in often calm residential neighbourhoods.
Although many of the demonstrators are members of fringe organisations, some are just sick of the epidemic limitations that have been placed on them. Violence has been little or nonexistent.
The police response has angered many Canadians and residents of Ottawa, and last week the city’s police chief resigned amid criticism of the department.
Prime Minister Trudeau made the extraordinary decision to declare a national public order emergency in order to put an end to the protests. Targets of the action included the demonstrators’ personal and corporate bank accounts, as well as protest fund-raising, which has been decried as illegal.
It’s About Time Emergency Powers were Deployed in Canada After 50 Years.
On Wednesday, interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell assured the City Council that his department has everything necessary to quell the demonstration. He cited operational concerns in support of his claim that police are ready to adopt methods that “are not what we’re used to seeing in Ottawa” as part of a “lawful escalation.”
We’re reclaiming the entire downtown, Mr. Bell proclaimed. The president believes that a well-funded strategy can put an end to this occupation.
On Wednesday, Ottawa police also began giving warning letters to lingering protesters, threatening consequences if they didn’t leave the area.
As part of a gang of 13 persons charged with plotting a violent response should the police try to disperse a barricade at the Coutts border crossing between Alberta and Montana, four people were charged on Tuesday with conspiring to murder police personnel.
Government officials and law enforcement officers have gradually been more aggressive in their response to the protests taking place all throughout the nation after originally being reluctant to do so.
The border barriers at Coutts, Ontario’s Windsor, which connects to Detroit, and Manitoba’s Emerson, which Wednesday crosses into North Dakota, have all been removed.