Canada Truckers Freedom Convoy: Feb. 24 Update

Following weeks of heavy protests from the Canadian Trucker Freedom Convoy, life is slowly resuming in Ottawa and under heavy police presence.

The fight between the people and the government ended over the weekend of Feb. 19.

According to Amanda Coletta and Amy Cheng via The Washington Post, “Ottawa was largely cleared this past weekend of the protests against the government and pandemic health restrictions that clogged the capital’s streets and frayed residents’ nerves, and blockades at major U.S.-Canada trade routes have been removed.”

The Canadian government passed the Emergencies Act in a vote of 185-to-151, allowing Trudeau “broad powers and tools to respond to national emergencies”.

Steve Bell, Ottawa’s interim police chief, has said that the powers granted with the Emergencies Act has allowed the government to put an end to what they call an “occupation”.

In a three day operation, police in Ottawa cleared out protesters with pepper spray and stun grenades. In total, arresting 191 people and bringing down 389 charges to 103 protestors.

Those charged include three key organizers of the protest.

Canadian authorities also announced that they seized 76 bank accounts connected to protesters. These accounts hold funds that total to $3.2 million CAD ($2.5 million USD).

In a series of updates to their Twitter account, Ottawa Police reported that protestors wore body armor, wielded fireworks, and acted aggressive to police.

“Protestors, we told you to leave. We gave you time to leave. We were slow and methodical, yet you were assaultive and aggressive with officers and the horses,” they wrote, “Based on your behaviour, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety.”