WATCH Canadian truckers defy court injunction, maintain border blockade — Analysis
Truckers who oppose vaccination mandates refused to stop despite threats of arrests or fines
Canadian protestors opposed to Covid-19 curbs, vaccine mandates, have defied both a court order and warnings from the government to keep their days-long blockade on the Ambassador Bridge. It has paralyzed commerce and traffic at the most busy land border crossing into America.
According to videos circulating on social media, demonstrators overwhelmingly voted to continue occupying access roads to the bridge minutes before Friday’s order by the Ontario Superior Court took effect at 7pm local time. After the protesters sang the Canadian National Anthem, some were shouting in the crowd. “Freedom!”Canadian flags are waved.
Between 100-200 people had reportedly crowded the entrance to the bridge leading up to midnight when the state of emergency declared by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday kicked in. Police officers, who have been given sweeping powers to detain and fine people who refuse to disperse, handed out pamphletsThe penalties included Can$100,000 (US$78,000) in fines and imprisonment for a period of one year.
Blockade of the bridge that connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan began Monday. It was triggered by ongoing Freedom Convoy trucker protests against cross-border vaccine mandates and quarantine mandates. Two other access routes between the countries were also blocked in similar fashion, both from Manitoba and Alberta.
Describing the border blockades as “unlawful activity,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday that “everything is on the table” when it comes to the government’s options to end the protests.
He said the situation was still “a long way” from having to call in the military, but warned that the government needed to “be ready for any eventuality.”
The court ordered injunction at the Ambassador Bridge has kicked in, and there’s more people gathered than at any time since the blockade began, hold the line 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/B4rOZCOtio
— Adalia Brand (@BrandAdalia) February 12, 2022
Trudeau’s comments came after a conversation with President Joe Biden about the need for urgent action to reopen the border crossings. Alejandro Mayorkas, US Homeland Security Secretary and Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary had previously called upon their Canadian counterparts. “use federal powers”To lift the blockade
Ontario declares a state of emergency due to protests by truckers
Windsor police warned people that they would be arrested if they didn’t comply with the court order. However, there has been no report of anyone being taken into custody. The timing and manner in which authorities will begin issuing penalties and other measures are still unknown.
Officials from Ottawa said that on Friday they would also seek an injunction by the court to expel protestors from the capital.
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