Corona protests: Ottawa declares a state of emergency

Status: 07.02.2022 00:40 a.m

The Mayor of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency over ten days of truck driver protests in the Canadian capital. The step reflects “the serious danger and threat to the security of citizens”.

Mayor Jim Watson has declared a state of emergency because of the ongoing protests against corona measures and vaccination regulations in the Canadian capital Ottawa. This measure was necessary because of the “serious danger and threat to the safety of local residents” from the ongoing protests, it said in a statement. The city needs more support from other municipalities and from the government.

Several arrests for various crimes

The police again called on the demonstrators to leave the city center. There was a disturbance of the peace overnight. Since Saturday, they have issued more than 450 fines, including for dangerous driving and noise pollution. Several people were taken into custody and almost 100 cases, including allegations of hate crimes, are being investigated, the police said.

According to Police Commissioner Peter Sloly, an estimated 5,000 people took part in the protests on Saturday. Around 1,000 trucks and other vehicles would have blocked parts of the city center. Residents were asked to stay away from downtown.

Trucker convoy as the start of the protests

The protest in Ottawa began a week ago with the arrival of a convoy of hundreds of trucks. The so-called Freedom Convoy (“Convoy of Freedom”) and demonstrators have been holding out in the city near Parliament ever since. The protests were triggered by vaccination requirements for truck drivers returning from the United States that were introduced in January.

The protests are now directed against government pandemic restrictions as a whole. A majority of the Canadian population supports the pandemic measures, according to a recently published poll. In Canada, more than 77 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

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