Police Warning, Ticketing Truck Drivers To Leave Canada’s Capital

by Shelby Scott

The Canadian truckers‘ Freedom Convoy has seen international attention in the last two weeks. During which, truck drivers occupied the North American nation’s capital in protest of increased COVID-related mandates. Now, the protests have clogged Ottawa, Canada’s capital. As a result, law enforcement warned the truckers to head on out, or risk arrest, ticketing demonstrators in the process.

According to ABC News, the truck drivers’ demonstrations across Canada see one last “stronghold” outside Ottawa’s Parliament. The convoy finally lifted their blockade of Ambassador Bridge earlier this week. The border blockade clogged the primary trade route between Canada and the United States. For the first time in weeks, Americans and Canadians alike may travel between the two nations.

However, prior to quitting the blockade, law enforcement in Ottawa began making arrests and issuing bright yellow warnings. They also detailed further consequences tied to continued demonstrations should participants disregard the warnings. Consequences include prosecution, loss of licenses, and even vehicle seizure. The last saw approval through Canada’s Emergency Act.

As a result of law enforcement’s involvement, tensions rose. The outlet reported truckers’ horns rang through Canadian streets, police ready to take action against the demonstrations. After issuing tickets amid the crowd, one of the convoy’s demonstrators emphasized, “I will never go home!” while others threw the paper warnings into a toilet placed within the street.

As Canada’s law enforcement became increasingly involved amid the truck drivers’ central-city demonstrations, some protestors shared their outright refusal to fold.

“If it means that I need to go to prison, if I need to be fined in order to allow freedom to be restored in this country–millions of people have given far more their freedom,” said David Paisley, a friend of one of the convoy’s truckers.

Fears of Violence Inspired Canada Law Enforcement’s Slow Response

Since becoming involved, law enforcement has put their faces at the forefront of the convoy’s protests. However, the outlet reminds us that their action was delayed, for fear of inciting increased violence. As the truckers occupied Canada’s capital, locals experienced harassment. Some even saw intimidation while simply trying to navigate the clogged streets. As such, authorities were forced to intervene.

Further, the outlet reports delays in law enforcement involvement came from a lack of manpower.

Once law enforcement officials began making arrests and Canada’s government ordered the dissipation of the border blockade, the truckers’ convoy saw their numbers significantly decrease. Once seeing a massive 4,000 demonstrators, officials recorded just 360 vehicles remained at the city’s core.

Michael Kempa, a criminology professor at the University of Ottawa, said of Canada’s protestors, “They don’t want to give this up because this is their last stand, their last main hub.”

As such, it makes sense law enforcement continues to see difficulties in disbursing the remaining participants. Once the convoy officially sees its end, their concerns will likely see less media coverage, removing pressure from government officials regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.