Photo: Business Insider
Over a week ago, an organization called “Freedom Convoy” that arrived in Ottawa to protest on vaccine mandates set by the Canadian government for cross-border truckers had their horns honking in full-volume, forming a blockade in downtown streets and disturbing residential neighborhoods.
Until this weekend, they were confronted with a bit of a dilemma when Canadian capital officials issued their response by ticketing protesters, seizing their fuel, and declaring a state of emergency.
The declaration of emergency will aid authorities and city staff to obtain resources they need at a quick pace, said Mayor Jim Watson in an interview. “We’re in the midst of a serious emergency, the most serious emergency our city has ever faced, and we need to cut the red tape to get these supplies available to our police officers and to our public works staff,” he said.
According to Emma Jacobs, police appeared to be unready to face the rare protest. The police said that authorities have generally been reluctant to confront protesters and their gigantic vehicles, avoiding getting anyone injured.
However, the magnitude of the situation seems to be getting bigger. Residents are starting to report harassment and belligerent demonstrators reluctant to draw back.
Since their arrival at the city in late January, thousands of protesters have been endlessly running their engines and honking their horns all throughout the day and night.
Jacobs said, “This is the seat of government, where Parliament meets and government offices are, but it’s also a residential neighborhood full of apartments where people have been going about their lives in what the mayor called ‘a living hell.”
Several people in attendance say they will remain where they are until public health mandates are eased. Others, on the other hand, demanded for additional maximum upshot like the suspension of the current government.
“Many members of the convoy and their supporters, they insist the worst behavior and the right-wing views are really a tiny part of the movement,” she said. “At the same time, many protesters repeated misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines and COVID-19.”