Wednesday, May 25, 2022

VIDEO: Canadian police starts arresting anti-vaccine mandate protesters

Source: AP News

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Police began arresting protesters and towing away trucks Friday in a bid to break the three-week, traffic-snarling siege of Canada’s capital by hundreds of truckers angry over the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Working slowly and methodically, police led protesters away in handcuffs through Ottawa’s newly snow-covered streets, with at least one of those under arrest carrying a sign that read, “Mandate Freedom.”

Tow truck operators — wearing neon-green ski masks, with their companies’ decals taped over on their trucks to conceal their identities — arrived under police escort and set to work removing the big rigs, campers and other vehicles parked bumper to bumper and shoulder to shoulder in places.

While some protesters surrendered, many remained defiant as the crackdown unfolded, blaring their horns or singing “Amazing Grace” outside the prime minister’s office opposite Parliament Hill.

“Freedom was never free,” said trucker Kevin Homaund, of Montreal. “So what if they put the handcuffs on us and they put us in jail?”

Police made their first move to end the occupation late Thursday with the arrest of two key protest leaders. They also sealed off much of the downtown area to outsiders to prevent them from coming to the aid of the self-styled Freedom Convoy protesters.