Tensions between the thousands of Canadian truckers and Ottawa police reached a boiling point Friday, as over 100 protestors were arrested.
Hundreds of officers, some on horseback or in riot gear, closed in on the clogged streets of Ottawa, Ontario and dragged away protestors in handcuffs through the snow. Authorities removed 21 vehicles from the streets, as the two sides clashed, with many protestors remaining defiant. Authorities said that most protestors were arrested on charges of mischief.
Ottawa police issued a warning Friday afternoon to “Freedom Convoy”, threatening to arrest anyone within the unlawful protest site. The group had been in Ottawa protesting the country’s vaccine mandates, blocking the streets, many wielding Canadian flags and “F*** Trudeau” banners.
“You must leave,” Ottawa police said, via Twitter. “You must cease further unlawful activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all unlawful protest sites. Anyone within the unlawful protest site may be arrested.”
According to Ottawa Police, one individual was arrested for allegedly attempting to harm a police service animal after throwing a bicycle at a horse’s feet. Per videos posted on Twitter from the scene, police appeared to ride through the crowd on horses, trampling a few protestors that had fallen.
After the videos spread throughout social media, Ottawa police released a statement saying they were unaware of any injuries.
“We hear your concern for people on the ground after the horses dispersed a crowd,” Ottawa police said. “Anyone who fell got up and walked away. We’re unaware of any injuries. A bicycle was thrown at the horse further down the line and caused the horse to trip. The horse was uninjured.”
OutKick’s Clay Travis called out Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter Friday, for his handling of the protest.
“Justin Trudeau had two options with the Canadian truckers,” Travis wrote. “1. Announce an end to mask & vaccine mandates while lying & claiming covid success. (This is what Democrat US governors did.) 2. Attack peaceful protesters. He chose option two:
“This is not only a failure of governance and a descent into authoritarian tyranny, it’s also imbecilic rule. By attacking the Canadian truckers he’s making his own country a world pariah & elevating the truckers to heroes. He gains nothing and loses massively.”
“Illegal blockades and occupations have threatened businesses, endangered jobs, and obstructed communities for three weeks now,” Trudeau wrote. “This week, to restore public order and protect Canadians as the situation evolves, our government invoked the Emergencies Act.
“We’ll continue to make sure municipal, provincial, and federal authorities have the resources they need, and do whatever is needed to keep people safe and get the situation under control – and we’ll make sure your rights and freedoms are protected. That remains our top priority.”
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