Canada’s capital city is still in a virtual standstill for the third day Monday to protest the country’s vaccine mandates. During the weekend, a”Freedom Convoy” of trucks joined by thousands of demonstrators, while other sympathetic truckers blocked a border highway into the United States.
The Canadian chaos clogged Ottawa’s downtown near parliament throughout the weekend and brought criticism from officials including Ottawa’s mayor. In fact, multiple convoys began arriving in capital on Friday, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his family were moved Saturday to an undisclosed location in Ottawa.
“This afternoon, a large presence of police continues throughout the downtown core and the movement of protestors and trucks continues to be managed,” the Ottawa police said in a statement.
Last Friday, the truckers from western Canada have organized the first convoy to drive from Vancouver to the Canadian capital to demonstrate against coronavirus-related restrictions. In particular, the drivers protested against a recent vaccination requirement for truck drivers crossing the long US-Canada border.
Showing their solidarity with the convergence on Ottawa, the truckers Sunday staged what police described as a “complete blockage” of Highway 4 in Canada’s western Alberta province along the US border. The road is a major artery for commercial goods between the nations. In addition, barricades were installed Sunday to block vehicle access to the area around the war memorial, after several illegally parked vehicles were towed away.
Commenting on the situation, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson fumed over what he called “threatening” behaviour by some of the protesters, particularly against the media. “Stop the bully tactics and show some respect to fellow Canadians,” he wrote on Twitter.