The Canadian prime minister has stated that a demonstration by truckers which has slowed in the city of Ottawa “has to stop”.
Justin Trudeau said Canadians were “shocked and frankly disgusted” by protesters’ behavior and actions, which have been described as including vandalism as well as racial discrimination.
The drivers of the Lorry have been protesting for the Canadian government to repeal Covid vaccine guidelines.
Their vehicles have been gridlocked Ottawa and an emergency situation is in effect for the entire city.
Since the beginning of February the plethora of lorries has caused the city’s centre to come to a standstill and forced several local businesses to close.
Residents’ nerves were affected by constant blaring air horns. However, on Monday they won a win after an Ottawa judge ordered that truckers had to stop the horns for a period of 10 days.
Although the majority of the protest was tranquil, Ottawa police have said they are concerned by the extremist rhetoric emanating from extremist groups during the gathering. In addition to the allegations of homophobic and racist assaults, Nazi symbols have been shown and protesters danced around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
Ottawa police have announced that they are looking into more than 60 instances which include hate crime allegations or property destruction.
“I want to be very clear – we are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless,” Mr Trudeau addressed MPs during an emergency meeting in the Canadian House of Commons on Monday.
“We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags, we won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonour the memory of our veterans.”
This past Sunday Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared the capital city under a state of emergency. the capitalcity, and claimed these protests are “out of control.”
The federal government was asked to send an additional 1,800 police officers, as well as mediators to work with the protesters in order to “end this siege”.
Trudeau has pledged to send whatever the city needs. Trudeau has said he will help the city in any way that it needs however he did not go into detail on what that might mean. In the last week, he had ruled out the possibility of deploying troops in the city, saying one should remain “very, very cautious” regarding doing so.
The known as Freedom Convoy began on 9 January in the western part of Canada when truckers protested against the new rules that require that they be vaccinated against Covid-19 before crossing the border between Canada and the United States. The protests have since expanded to express anger over the numerous restrictions imposed by Covid-19 as well as at the Trudeau administration in general.
Demonstrations have also swept across various other Canadian cities in Canada, including Toronto in addition to Vancouver. In the world, there have been rallies for support in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington as well as Canberra within Australia.
Over the weekend, the police confiscated “thousands of litres” of propane and fuel cans from truck drivers in Ottawa and warned anyone who tries to bring items to them, such as the most basic items such as toilet paper and food items may be arrested.
A few Ottawa residents have complained that the police’s response was weak and that the weekend crackdowns came too late.
A trucker John Van Vleet, stated to the BBC that the BBC wasn’t “completely wrong” and there was “nothing but love, unity and peace” at the rally.
Officer in charge Peter Sloly said officials were continuing to “aggressively go after” any groups or individuals who were financing the protest following an GoFundMe page that collected C$10 million ($7.9m; PS5.8m) was closed and donations stopped.
A city split
For city blocks in the middle of the capital city large trucks are parked. Some are covered with banners demanding an end to mandates for vaccinations, or just “Freedom”.
Around 500 such trucks are at the heart of downtown Ottawa and a lot have been in the area for the past 12 days.
The fences that surround the Parliament building are covered with hundreds of handwritten protest posters to show the support of their cause.
The protesters insist they are an issue that to which all Canadians should be applauding However, after almost an entire fortnight of blaring trumpets and shutting down streets by police and blockaders the majority of residents in Ottawa think otherwise.
“They’ve done their protest and should have been sent home a long time ago,” David, the owner of a local business stated.
Affixed to a sign that opposes these protests claimed there have been some cheers and thumbs-ups from people passing by. However, he’s also been shouted at by protesters or hit and pushed by protesters as they’ve attempted to steal the sign.