Police in Ottawa said Friday that the ongoing protest against COVID-19 restrictions by truckers in the city was “increasingly dangerous” and that authorities will take action to curtail it.
Police Chief Peter Sloly said that, in addition to the hundreds of truckers currently in Ottawa who have shut down part of the city, hundreds more are expected to arrive this weekend, according to Reuters. The protesters first showed up Jan. 29 in opposition to a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers and other pandemic restrictions in Canada.
Just as Ottawa police start ticketing trucker convoy protesters, the lawyers show up. Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is on the ground representing the demonstrators. pic.twitter.com/GnZYowiyuT
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) February 3, 2022
“This remains … an increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous demonstration,” Sloly said. He added that the truckers are “well-funded” and “extremely committed.”
Calls have grown for the truckers to be forced out of the city streets as some have smashed property and threatened reporters and officials, according to Reuters. Sloly said police would be deploying an additional 150 officers downtown to help restore order.
Vehicles will begin being towed if the protesters do not follow orders to move, the chief said. He added that the police have discovered two operations centers in the city, with more support flowing in from across the country as well as from the United States. (RELATED: Facebook Removes Group Planning Anti-Mandate Convoy To DC)
In the U.S., some truckers are planning a similar “freedom convoy” of their own from California to Washington, D.C. to protest COVID-19 mandates.