Friday, May 17, 2024

Canada: Police crack down on anti-mandate protesters in Ottawa

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Most trucks supporting the Freedom Convoy 2022 agitation either vacated or towed away from the core of Canada’s capital Ottawa as the demonstration appeared to approach its end.

While the blockade was cleared, several protestors remained in and around the core, without the vehicles, but continuing their civil disobedience against vaccine mandates, passports and other Covid-19 related restrictions.

A release from the Convoy accused the police of “brutality”, saying it was shocked at the abuses of power by the law enforcement in Ottawa” and that police had “beaten peaceful protesters with batons and the stock of their guns.”

Ottawa Police denied the charges, while admitting to use of anti-riot weaponry to “stop the violent actions of the protesters”. However, the New York Times reported protesters were met with “force”, some being taken away at gun point.

Meanwhile, while Ottawa may no longer be the epicentre of the 24-days-old protests for long, these are unlikely to vanish any time soon as similar demonstrations and blockades took place in Quebec City and Surrey in British Columbia on Saturday.

While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to try and validate the extreme action of imposing an emergency, the province of Alberta will be launching a court challenge to the invocation of the Emergencies Act.

In a series of tweets, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney described it as “unnecessary”, “disproportionate” and that it “creates a dangerous precedent”, while also saying the province may also intervene in support of other court challenges. One such pending challenge is from Canada’s main civil rights group, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Trudeau chaired the seventh meeting of the Incident Response Group, and a prime minister’s office release said, “They recognised the efforts of the police forces, who have worked around-the-clock to end the occupation. Their work has resulted in at least 170 arrests, several charged and dozens of vehicles being towed since yesterday, including some blockades being removed.”Canada: Police crack down on anti-mandate protesters in Ottawa

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