Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing more than 20 trucks that had been blocking the city of Ottawa for three weeks.
Agents of Sûreté du Québec (SQ) were in the front row of the Canadian Senate that afternoon. Their presence caused outrage among many protesters in the area. “You don’t even have the right to be here!” A woman in French wore a flag and hurled insults at the Prime Minister. Around her, Quebec protesters began to sing the French version of the Canadian national anthem.
The SQ is one of seven police forces sent to the federal capital. Currently paralyzed for 22 daysFor a function possible by notificationsEmergency From the Government of Canada, but also from the Government of Ontario and the Ottawa Municipality. The process will “take time,” admitted Steve Bell, Ottawa’s new interim police chief.
In the evening, one hundred protesters were arrested and 21 vehicles were towed away. According to police. Several other truck or van drivers had decided to leave the area on their own, while a hundred police officers in different uniforms progressed slowly but surely.
Amid the roar of police drones, officers on horseback sometimes advanced towards the hostile crowd in order to push them back. An opponent took the opportunity to throw his bicycle at the feet of a service animal and was soon arrested for injuring it, according to authorities.
Police security has been beefed up on the streets of Ottawa for two days. Many officers were dressed in riot control or carried tear gas canisters. Some were armed. Parliament closed its doors on Friday, the first time this has happened October 2014 shooting.
A slow process
“We have kept the ground condition under control and we continue to move forward to clear our streets,” said Steve Bell, who heads the operations. “This systematic and well-coordinated program will take time and we will see to it,” he said, promising that his agents would work “24 hours a day”.
The protesters, who have been living in the city center for three weeks now, showed no sign of wanting to leave. Many warnings That they received. Dozens of people gathered to block the road leading to police as they tried to clear the road leading to parliament on Friday. Thus the police and the protesters waited face to face for several hours and the police advanced very quietly.
As they advanced, the police arrested one by one those involved in the hostilities. Seeing the rope tighten, the rebels, standing a short distance to the west, began erecting low ice walls around the convoy trucks, hoping to reduce police attacks. At the time these lines were written, only a small portion of the occupied territory had been liberated, i.e. located east of the National War Memorial, which includes the streets of Sussex and Rydo.
The protesters oppose
On most other streets of the capital, occupied by heavy trucks, the atmosphere was calm and even festive. The hopping fort set up a few days ago in front of the eastern constituency of Parliament was still in full view. In the afternoon, it was air-conditioned like the inflatable spa that was installed.
A few truckers also hoped to leave the area, with officers slowly but relentlessly advancing towards them. Police officers focused on verifying the identification of the struggles from there.
Among the protesters, some still could not believe that the police would pursue them. “Am I in jail? I have been reading the Bible since I was 16. ”
“I have been arrested several times. Just give your name. In three days you will be released and we will meet here, ”a protester mounted on a palace in front of the prime minister’s office building facing parliament. “Amen, brother,” replied another.
Ottawa police say protesters are holding children between themselves and peace officials. Chief Bell said he was “shocked.” “The children will be taken to a safe place,” police said on Twitter, but none of them were removed in the afternoon to be handed over to youth security services. Protesters reportedly attacked officers and “tried to take weapons from them.”
Trolleys have arrived
The first heavy tow trucks appeared near a collection of small, isolated trucks east of downtown. Everyone had their logo covered. Operators wore balloons, perhaps the temperature was felt to be -23C, but to be anonymous, some have received threats from truckers taking part in the protests in recent weeks. The Emergency Measures Act Allows the federal government to force the towers to lend a hand to the police.
Patrick King, the main organizer of the trucking convoy, filmed his arrest and broadcast it live on Facebook on Friday. He was charged with advising others to commit a misdemeanor, advising others to commit an offense preventing a police officer, and advising others to violate a court order.
On Thursday evening, two of his co-organizers were arrested. Chris Barber will face the same three counts. Tamara Lich was accused of advising others to do wrong.
Parliament was adjourned and the debate adjourned
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