Amid the Canadian trucker protests, it’s been reported that at least 100 people associated with the Freedom Convoy demonstrations were arrested in Ottawa on Friday (2/18).
Associated Press reports that interim Ottawa Police Chief, Steve Bell, said authorities arrested the 100 Freedom Convoy protesters mostly on mischief charges. Police have also seized dozens of cars. This includes all of those blocking one of the city’s major streets. Bell said that police are continuing to push forward to take control of the city’s streets. “We will work day and night until this is complete.”
The media outlet also reveals that among those arrested were at least four Freedom Convoy protest leaders. The “crackdown” on the protest began in the morning. Hundreds of police then made their move into the protest zone. They began to lead protesters away in handcuffs as remaining truckers blared their horns.
Meanwhile, tow truck operators arrived under police escort. They were able to remove big rig trucks, campers, and other vehicles that were shoulder-to-shoulder near Parliament. Police also were seen smashing through the door of one TV camper. They then hauled the vehicle away.
Authorities further reveal that late in the afternoon protesters had assaulted officers. They also tried to take weapons. Some began to dismantle equipment at a stage where they played music for weeks. Many of the Freedom Convoy protesters also continued to stand their ground. Kevin Homaund, a trucker from Montreal, shared with AP, “Freedom was never free. So what if they put handcuffs on us and they put us in jail?”
Despite the scuffles, trucks began leaving Parliament Hill in the afternoon. Ontario Premier Doug Ford observed, “There are indications we are starting to see progress.”
Meanwhile, authorities did not disclose how many protesters or vehicles remain downtown.
Freedom Convoy Spokesman Recently Mocked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Invoking Emergency Powers to Stop Protest
Earlier this week, the Freedom Convoy spokesman Benjamin Dichter spoke on Hannity about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoking emergency powers to stop the protest, which kicked off at the end of January. The demonstration was against the COVID-19 mask and vaccination mandates throughout the country.
While speaking about the Prime Minister’s move, the Freedom Convoy spokesman stated, “When I say peacefully protesting, I would call it more of a demonstration. Because what are we guilty of? Some trucks parked illegally? Ok, I’m not sure that that warrants the response from the government.”
Dichter goes further by declaring that one of the things the government did include in the emergency action is to force tow truck companies to come in and two the trucks. “And if they refuse to tow the trucks, then the government can say, ‘Fine, we’re canceling your business license and fining you.”