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Police clear Ottawa protest

A protester sings “O Canada” while being arrested in Ottawa, Ontario, on Friday. Associated Press/Photo by Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Police clear Ottawa protest

Hundreds of officers, some in riot gear and carrying automatic weapons, descended on Canada’s capital on Friday and handcuffed demonstrators as truckers blared their horns. The protest started on Jan. 28 over vaccine mandates for truck drivers and grew to incorporate opposition to most of Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions. By Saturday afternoon, authorities had arrested about 170 people, and the streets in front of Parliament in Ottawa were clear. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted Canada’s Emergencies Act on Monday, giving law enforcement authority to tow away trucks, arrest drivers, suspend licenses, and freeze bank accounts. The activation of the Emergencies Act is still awaiting Parliament’s approval, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is fighting the measure in court.

Will the protesters return? To keep the protests from escalating, Canadian authorities announced they had used emergency powers to seize 76 bank accounts connected to participants. On Saturday, they also closed a bridge into Ottawa from Quebec to prevent a renewed influx of protesters. While some vowed to stay on Ottawa’s streets, organizer Tom Marazzo told reporters they had “decided to peacefully withdraw. … We will simply regroup as a grassroots movement.”

Dig deeper: Read Craig A. Carter’s article in WORLD Opinions on how the invoking of the Emergencies Act affects civil liberties.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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