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Canadian police begin clearing bridge blockade

Police officers hold a line as protesters against COVID-19 restrictions march in Windsor, Ontario, on Saturday. Associated Press/Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Canadian police begin clearing bridge blockade

Most Canadian protesters who had helped blocked traffic for nearly a week at a vital bridge spanning the U.S.-Canada border between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, began leaving peacefully on Saturday morning as scores of Canadian police arrived to clear out the demonstration. By the time officers moved in on Sunday, only a few remained. Police arrested 12 people and towed seven vehicles. Traffic resumed on the Ambassador Bridge by Sunday night. The bridge blockade in protest of Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions, including a vaccine mandate for truckers, disrupted the busiest land shipping route between the two countries this week, prompting temporary shutdowns at several U.S. and Canadian auto factories. On Friday, a Canadian court ordered an end to the blockade by 7 p.m. that day. Authorities have threatened fines of $100,000 Canadian dollars and a year in jail for those who refuse to leave.

What is happening elsewhere? Other demonstrators had blocked three other Canadian border crossings as of Friday afternoon. In Ottawa, the capital, where protesters have vastly outnumbered police, semitrucks have occupied city streets for two weeks. Similar protests against COVID-19 mandates have also spread to countries such as New Zealand, the Netherlands, and France. In Paris on Saturday, police fired tear gas at protesters who evaded police checkpoints and blocked traffic. French authorities said they made 14 arrests and handed out more than 300 tickets.

Dig Deeper: Read Maria Ferraro’s report on the Ottawa trucker protest and Canadian pastors who have expressed their support.

Daniel James Devine

Daniel is editor of WORLD Magazine. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former science and technology reporter. Daniel resides in Indiana.


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