Police begin arresting anti-vaccine protesters blocking downtown Ottawa
The Ottawa Police reported this Friday that they began arresting anti-vaccine protesters who since January 29 have blocked access to the Parliament of Canada, in the center of the capital.
In a message on Twitter, the Police reported that there is a wide deployment of agents on Nicholas Street, in the center of the city, and that the protesters have been required to leave the place immediately.
Those who have surrendered to the authorities are being detained.
Police reminded protesters that under both federal and provincial law, those who do not immediately leave the scene and remove their vehicles from the street face “severe penalties. “
For its part, the House of Commons (which together with the Senate makes up the Canadian Parliament) suspended its session this Friday precisely to avoid possible incidents while the police operation lasts.
The center of Ottawa remains confined by the Police and can only be accessed by passing through one of the checkpoints set by the authorities to prevent more protesters from joining the concentration.
On Wednesday, the Police already warned that the truck blockade of anti-vaccine protesters in the center of the Canadian capital is “illegal” and warned them that they would be arrested if they did not raise their protest.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergencies Act that gives the government extraordinary powers to end the protests, which had spread across several border crossings with the United States.
The Emergencies Law allows the authorities to seize the protest trucks and prosecute those who travel to the capital to join the blockade.
Anti-vaxers can face fines, lose their driver’s licenses (many of them are truck drivers), and be denied crossing the US border.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly resigned on Tuesday after several days of criticism for the body’s inability to control the blockade of more than 400 trucks and hundreds of people contrary to health measures against the covid-19 pandemic.