Pics: Canadian police starts arresting protesters; few surrendered, others were taken into custody

Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 08:37 PM(IST)

Police in Ottawa have begun arresting protesters from the “freedom convoy." 

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Arrests begin

Police in Ottawa have begun arresting protesters from the “freedom convoy." 

While some protestors surrendered and were taken into custody, others were seen being taken away in handcuffs. 


'Action is imminent'

The arrests come in after the Ottawa police made it clear on Thursday they were preparing to end the protests and remove more than 300 trucks.

The city’s interim police chief warned that “action is imminent."


Leave or be arrested

The demonstrators, who were blocking Ottawa streets for the past 20 days have been given an ultimatum by the police: leave or be arrested. 

"You must leave the area now," read a notice issued by Ottawa police. Police also warned that anyone who was charged or convicted for taking part in the illegal demonstration could also face travel bans to the United States.


'I'll keep coming back'

There are still a lot of trucks holding the line, said trucker David Shaw, 65. If arrested, he added: "I'll keep coming back."

Jan Grouin, a fellow protester, decried Justin Trudeau's decision to impose a state of emergency, saying it was "a little overreacting maybe to think that we are terrorists."


A methodical and well-resourced plan

Ottawa interim police chief Steve Bell said that a methodical and well-resourced plan would be implemented over the coming days "to take back the entirety of the downtown core and every occupied space."

"Some of the techniques we are lawfully able and prepared to use are not what we are used to seeing in Ottawa," he said.

"But we are prepared to use them... to restore order."


Timing could not have been worse

Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana, asked Canadian and US leaders in a letter signed by 16 Republican US governors to exempt truckers from having to take vaccines and abide by quarantine requirements when crossing the border between the two countries.

"The timing of your decision to terminate the vaccine and quarantine exemptions could not have been worse, as North America already faces grave supply chain constraints," said the letter addressed to US President Joe Biden and Trudeau.


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