Over the weekend, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed a state of emergency across the city in order to address the Freedom Convoy, a massive, 10-day occupation of the nation’s capital by truckers protesting vaccine mandates and governmental tyranny. Much of the central city has been shut down due to the ongoing protests.
Watson declared that the Freedom Convoy “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations.”
The mayor also called for support from “other jurisdictions and levels of government,” admitting that the protestors far outnumbered the police, rendering them control of the situation.
While the Freedom Convoy initially started as a protest against the Canadian vaccine requirement impacted truckers who cross between borders, it has evolved into a major protest against numerous public health measures and other authoritarian behaviors that have grown characteristic of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
Numerous residents across Ottawa are reportedly angered by the government’s ineffective response, which resulted in the police moving some protestors while putting up new barricades. Police added that they are collecting data regarding “financial, digital, vehicle registration,” which will ostensibly be used in nebulous criminal proceedings.
In addition, the police asserted that they would begin restricting individuals who attempt to bring canisters for refueling numerous large trucks currently blocking the majority of the roads in Ottawa’s city center.
Organizers of the Freedom Convoy declared that they will not leave until the vaccine mandates are lifted.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino vehemently protested against the intentions of the Freedom Convoy, arguing that “the vast majority of Canadians” voted in favor of vaccine mandates in the 2021 election.
The Freedom Convoy is well-organized, and it has enjoyed significant funding from sympathizers in the United States.
Recently, GoFundMe, a major fundraising platform, removed the donation page for the Freedom Convoy, which irked GOP legislators, some of whom pledged to launch an investigation.