Police in Canada’s capital city Saturday said they will don batons and helmets for their safety as they work to clear out protesters associated with the “Freedom Convoy” demonstrations.
In a Twitter post, Ottawa Police said demonstrators were “assaultive and aggressive” toward officers moving in over the weekend to clear out the protest zone in the city.
“We told you to leave. We gave you time to leave. We were slow and methodical, yet you were assaultive and aggressive with officers and the horses,” Ottawa Police said. “Based on your behaviour, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauPolice arrest at least 70 in Ottawa Police arrest ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizers in Ottawa The Hill’s Morning Report – One day, two continents, words of war MORE on Monday invoked the nation’s emergencies act to clear out the demonstration, which has dragged on for about three weeks as truckers and demonstrators protested a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“The blockades and occupations are illegal,” Trudeau told the Canadian Parliament on Thursday. “They’re a threat to our economy and relationship with trading partners. They are a threat to supply chains and the availability of essential goods, like food and medicine. They’re a threat to public safety.”
On Friday night, Ottawa Police said officers had made more than 100 arrests and towed 21 vehicles.
The news follows last weekend’s clearing out of the largest “Freedom Convoy” blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, connecting Detroit, Mich., to Windsor, Ontario, when police arrested the last of the demonstrators.
The “Freedom Convoy” protests have been mimicked in other countries, including New Zealand and France.