Canada’s protest against COVID vaccine mandates blocks Ottawa for second day By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Protesters stand on a trailer transporting tree trunks while truck drivers and supporters march in a convoy protesting against coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 29, 2022. REUTERS / Patri


By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Dozens of trucks and other vehicles blocked downtown Ottawa for another day after thousands came down to the Canadian capital on Saturday to protest against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Trucks remained parked on the street near Parliament Sunday morning, a day before lawmakers were to resume work after the holiday break. Some truck drivers said they will not leave until the mandate is overturned.

Thousands gathered peacefully Saturday, although some incidents provoked anger. A protester filmed dances on the tomb of the unknown soldier, and the appearance of flags with swastikas sparked anger on social media, and a mall in the center shut down because protesters refused to wear masks.

The rally started as a protest against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers 2022-01-24 , but turned into a demonstration against the Trudeau government with a strong anti-vaccination series.

“Large crowds remained in the center throughout the night,” Ottawa police said in a statement. “Officers encountered several challenges with protesters, including sporadic roadblocks of trucks … These high-risk situations were de-escalated and resolved without arrests.”

Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family left their home in downtown Ottawa on Saturday, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. (CBC). Earlier this week, Trudeau said the convoy represented a “small fringe minority” that does not represent Canadians’ views.

About 90% of Canada’s cross-border truck drivers and nearly 79% of the population have received two shots. Canada is now in the midst of an increase in cases of Omicron variants burdening hospitals .

Former United States President Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Texas on Saturday, praised Canadian protesters for “opposing these lawless mandates.” Last week, Teslas (NASDAQ 🙂 CEO Elon Musk also expressed his support teslas-musk -2022-01-27.

Canada’s Conservative Party supported the protest, which aimed to anger – in signs and chants – directly on Trudeau. The right-wing People’s Party of Canada, which has no seats in parliament, attended the meeting.

“We are super-spreaders of freedom,” People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier said in a speech Saturday.

But Canadians took to social media to criticize the behavior of some protesters.

Michael Cooper, a Conservative lawmaker who handed out coffee at the protest, was pictured standing near a Canadian flag with a swastika during a TV interview. He later released a statement condemning the “reprehensible” protester on Twitter (NYSE :).

Canada’s top soldier, Chief of Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre, condemned a woman filmed dancing on the unknown soldier’s grave, saying he was “sick”.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said some protesters had harassed a soup kitchen and demanded free meals because their refusal to wear masks meant they were not allowed to order at restaurants, according to an interview with CBC.

“You have the right to protest, you’ve had your protest, please move on,” Watson said.

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