Overnight Ottawa police stormed the massive trucker protest in the city’s center, seizing fuel and arresting several protesters in an attempt to freeze out the truckers protesting in the Nation’s capital against vaccine mandates.
On Sunday, Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency saying the peaceful protest posed a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.” Most, if not all of the violence perpetrated has been by counter protests or those against the trucker protests. Earlier this week a man drove his vehicle through the protesters, striking and injuring four. Also this week, a man seemingly against the truckers launched into an antisemitic attack, telling truckers with accents to “go back to their country.”
Protests started in response to a vaccine requirement for truckers implemented by the Canadian government on January 15th requiring all truckers crossing into the country from the United States to be fully vaccinated or face a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Truckers staged massive convoys and convened in Ottawa, the nation’s capital to protest these mandates. They have been camped out for over a week.
Protest organizers used GoFundMe to raise funds to support the truckers protesting with food, fuel, and other supplies. On Friday. GoFundMe caved to the demands of Canadian Government Officials abruptly froze and delisted the campaign. After first saying they were going to repurpose the funds raised to other “GoFundMe campaigns,” the company began the process of refunding donors after pushback and a flurry of chargebacks. Several US State’s Attorney Generals have announced they are opening investigations into the popular crowdfunding campaign site for their handling of the funds. In a Zoom call, the Ottawa police chief thanked the Mayor and his staff for working to shut down the GoFundMe.
According to the Ottawa Police, seven people were arrested on Sunday in relation to the protest, charged with mischief, allegedly for the high crime of bringing fuel and supplies to the truckers and other minor crimes including driving infractions. A statement issued this morning stated the Ottawa police service seized “multiple vehicles and fuel.”