The prime minister of Canada has stated that the trucker protest that has paralyzed the city of Ottawa “has to stop”
Canadians, according to Justin Trudeau, are “shocked and frankly disgusted” by some demonstrators’ behavior, which has allegedly included damage and racist insults. Truck drivers have organized a protest against Canada’s Covid vaccination regulations.
Their automobiles have clogged Ottawa’s roads, and the city has declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of trucks have been clogging the city center for over two weeks, forcing many local businesses to close.
Residents’ nerves were also ruffled by the incessant blaring of air horns. On Monday, however, they won a little success when an Ottawa court ordered the trucks to cease blasting their horns for 10 days.
While the majority of the demonstration has been peaceful, Ottawa police have expressed worry about the extreme language emanating from far-right organizations at the gathering. In addition to alleged racist and homophobic insults, Nazi insignia were exhibited, and demonstrators danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
Ottawa police have stated that they are investigating more than 60 instances, including suspected hate crimes and property damage.
“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 said during an emergency discussion in Canada’s House of Commons on Monday.
On Sunday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed a state of emergency in the city, citing “out of control.” protests.
He requested that the federal government deploy an additional 1,800 police officers as well as a mediator to negotiate with the demonstrators to “end this siege”
Mr Trudeau has offered to deliver whatever the city requires, but has not specified what that may be. He ruled out deploying the army to the city last week, saying it would be “very, very cautious”
The “Freedom Convoy” began on January 9 in western Canada as truckers protested a new law requiring them to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to enter the US-Canada border. The protests have now evolved to encompass opposition to a slew of Covid-19 regulations as well as Mr Trudeau’s government in general.
Demonstrations have also taken place in Toronto and Vancouver, among other Canadian cities. Support rallies have taken place throughout the world, including in New Zealand’s capital Wellington and Australia’s capital Canberra.
Police in Ottawa seized “thousands of litres” of gasoline cans and propane from truck drivers over the weekend, and warned that anybody spotted bringing supplies to them, including as food and toilet paper, may be jailed.