Police set up fencing and bring in reinforcements to try to break up Freedom Convoy’s anti-warrant protest
Police began erecting fences around the Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa, Canada, and brought in additional officers in an effort to clear the protest. The move comes after the truckers were threatened with arrest under emergency powers signed into law by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Video footage captured Thursday showed buses full of police arriving in downtown Ottawa and officers allegedly conducting crowd control drills. Meanwhile, workers were seen installing metal fencing near the protest, which has paralyzed traffic in the center of the Canadian capital for almost three weeks now.
Shortly after the videos were released, Ottawa Police announced that “Residents are seeing a significant increase in the number of police on our streets. The force also said that barriers and fences are erected around the “heart” from downtown Ottawa, cutting off the protest from the rest of the city. Only those who live and work in this area will be allowed to cross the barriers.
“Illegal protesters must leave the area and will not have access”, Ottawa Police said on Twitter.
The cops on Wednesday started distribution leaflets to demonstrators, warning them that they could be arrested if they refused to leave. The notices also said that thanks to emergency powers Trudeau signed into law on Monday, those traveling to Ottawa to join the protest are now also breaking the law and risk having their vehicles seized.
“We will take over the entire city center and all the occupied spaces”, Acting Police Chief Steve Bell told city councilors on Wednesday evening, adding that his officers “remove this illegal demonstration” and “bring our city back to a state of normality” in the coming days.
The emergency powers Trudeau invoked also allow the government to order the freezing of bank accounts linked to the protest and to suspend the trucking licenses of participants.
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