Police threaten Freedom Convoy protesters — Analysis
Ottawa Police accused the anti-mandate demonstrators of creating violence on themselves, refusing obeying orders, being obedient and being “assaultive and aggressive”Officers and horses. After shocking footage of officers beating demonstrators and riding horses to their deaths, the statement was made.
“We told you to leave. You were given time to go. While we were patient and systematic, your aggressive behavior towards officers and the horses was unacceptable. Based on your behaviour, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety,”Ottawa Police released a statement Saturday morning.
A day earlier officers started arresting demonstrators in Ottawa. This was in response to the Freedom Convoy trucker demonstration, which had caused traffic jams in Ottawa for over three weeks. The footage shows officers smashing windows of vehicles to detain the owners, beating anyone who refuses, then launching an assault rifle into the crowd. Two people were arrested, one of them an elderly woman with a wheelchair.
Ottawa Police initially claimed that protesters were not being trampled but that instead they had fallen over. The Ottawa Police claimed then that one of their horses had been hit with a bicycle, though video footage refutes this claim.
Online outrage erupted after footage was posted of police officers beating protesters. This brutal crackdown was also condemned by Wall Street Journal and Financial Times editorial boards, along with elected Canadian officials.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for emergency powers Monday to begin the clearing out of demonstrators. Trudeau’s unprecedented invocation of the Emergencies Act allowed the government to suspend the trucking licenses of those participating in the protest, to freeze bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets belonging to participants and their supporters, and to suspend the right to free assembly in certain areas.
Ottawa Police immediately surrounded the area protesting the Act, arrested the leaders and expelled the media. They also began seizing cars and making arrests. Officials in the Canadian capital also threatened to take protesters’ pets and declare them “relinquished,”Animal rights activists fear that this situation could result in their death.
While some of Canada’s provincial premiers have relaxed their mask and vaccine rules since the protest began, Trudeau has shown no indication that he plans to lift the vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers that sparked the demonstration in the first place. A nationwide requirement that Canadians leave Canada with a vaccine is still in effect.
Jason Kenney, Alberta Premier, called Trudeau on Friday to remove these rules. “pointless”And “ineffective.” Kenney also called Trudeau’s freezing of bank accounts “undemocratic, disproportionate, and bordering on authoritarian.”