On Saturday, police in Canada’s capital donned helmets and batons and sometimes brandished firearms as officers worked to clear protesters associated with the “Freedom Convoy” demonstrations.
In a series of updates on its Twitter page, Ottawa police said protesters were acting aggressively toward officers who moved in over the weekend to clear the protest area. One protester threw a gas canister at officers, while other protesters wore body armor or brandished fireworks and smoke grenades.
“Protesters continue to be aggressive and violent towards officers,” police wrote on Twitter. “They refuse to comply with orders to move. You will have seen officers use a chemical irritant for the purpose of stopping aggressive behavior and for officer safety.”
“We told you to leave. We gave you time to leave. We were slow and methodical, but you were aggressive and aggressive with the officers and the horses,” the force added in another message. “Based on your behavior, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety.”
Police have set up around 100 security checkpoints around the city center of the Canadian capital.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauNew Mexico Rep to introduce bill offering sanctuary to Canadian truckers protesting vaccination mandates Monday invoked the National Emergencies Act to eliminate the protest, which lasted about three weeks as truckers and protesters protested the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“Blockades and occupations are illegal”, Trudeau said Thursday in the Canadian Parliament. “They pose a threat to our economy and our relationships with our trading partners. They pose a threat to supply chains and the availability of essential goods, such as food and medicine. They pose a threat to public safety.”
On Friday evening, Ottawa Police said officers made more than 100 arrests and towing of 21 vehicles.
The news follows last weekend’s release of the largest Freedom Convoy blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit to Windsor, Ont., when police arrested the last of the protesters.
The Freedom Convoy protests have been emulated in other countries, including New Zealand and France.
Updated at 1:39 p.m.