Canada Freedom Convoy: Nearly 100 vehicles towed amid Ottawa police crackdown
Authorities have arrested nearly 200 people and threatened ‘financial sanctions and criminal charges’ for protesters
Ottawa, Canada, police towed another 20 vehicles late Sunday night in the Canada Freedom Convoy anti-vaccine mandate protests, bringing the total up to nearly 100.
“A Coventry Road location previously occupied by an unlawful assembly is now clear,” Ottawa Police announced on Twitter. “20 vehicles were towed and a police presence will remain in place to prevent anyone from returning.”
Authorities had arrested 191 people and filed 389 charges, police announced mid-afternoon Sunday. They had also towed 79 vehicles at that point, so the later 20 vehicles brought the total to 99.
Authorities had cleared Wellington Street, Bay Street, Kent Street, Lyon Street, Queen Street, Metcalfe Street, and the Sir John A. MacDonald parkway by around 3 p.m.
Ottawa Police Service said Tyson George Billings, 44, of High Prairie, Alberta, was arrested Saturday. He was formally charged by the criminal investigations section Sunday with mischief, counseling to commit the offense of mischief, counseling to commit the offense of disobeying a court order, obstructing police and counseling to commit the offense of obstructing police. He was scheduled to appear in court later Sunday.
The department spent the morning warning anyone inside a so-called secured area without proof of exclusion would be arrested and that police would be removing all vehicles parked on certain streets.
“If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges,” Ottawa Police tweeted earlier Sunday.
The crackdown follows several days after Ottawa Police issued a notice Wednesday that anyone who did not remove their vehicles and leave “unlawful protest sites” would face severe penalties, including being placed under arrest, charged, or their driver’s or commercial vehicle operating licenses would be suspended.
Personal or business bank accounts, including virtual currency, may be subject to examination and restriction, police said. They also threatened that anyone who brings a minor to the protest site could be fined up to $5,000 and/or potentially spend up to five years in prison.
The protests in Canada have struck a chord in the U.S. and across the world. Several U.S. Republicans have shown support for the Freedom Convoy, and recently, Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., said Saturday she would introduce legislation to grant temporary asylum to those involved in Ottawa protests.
Truckers in other countries have organized their own versions of the “Freedom Convoy.” From Leeuwarden in the Netherlands to Wellington, New Zealand, to London to Canberra, Australia, truckers are hitting the road to send a clear message: stop the mandates.
Jay Cameron, litigation director at the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, which represents the Canadian Freedom Convoy in court, explained why he thinks the protests are spreading across the world.
“There is no mystery as to why protests are spreading: Humanity is objecting en masse to the abuse of bureaucratic tyrants who for two years have suspended the checks and balances which are intended to protect the citizenry,” Cameron previously told Fox News Digital.
“People have lost their jobs and their civil liberties: their freedom of religion, speech and freedoms of movement, and their democratic representatives have been largely or entirely sidelined with respect to these arbitrary and often nonsensical decisions,” Cameron added. “And now the people are making their voices heard in peaceful but firm protest against their abusers. They are saying: ‘enough’.”