Conflicts & War

Anti-vaccine mandate protesters block busy Canada-US border crossing

Ottawa/Washington, Feb 8 (EFE).- Canadian anti-vaccine mandate protesters on Tuesday extended their blockade of Ottawa to jam the main border crossing between Canada and the United States.

Trucks of the so-called Freedom Convoy have blocked Ambassador Bridge, which connects the city of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) with Detroit (Michigan, US) and is the busiest single land border crossing in North America, handling 27 percent of annual trade between Canada and the US, according to the US Department of Transportation.

The protests began at the end of January after Canada and the US imposed a mandate requiring cross-border truck drivers to be fully vaccinated.

The Windsor Police reported Tuesday on their social networks that “congestion” continues in the area and urged drivers to look for “alternate” routes, such as the Blue Water Bridge, which connects Sarnia (Ontario) with Port Huron (Michigan).

On Monday, Windsor Police asked protesters not to “endanger members of the public, jeopardize public peace or participate in illegal events. Those found committing crimes will be investigated & charged.”

Meanwhile, capital Ottawa remained blockaded by hundreds of Freedom Convoy vehicles.

Groups of people on Tuesday crowded around the cabs of the trucks that sit idling to keep the heating going as temperatures have dropped to -24°C for the past few nights.

The vehicles are adorned with flags and signs such as those thanking truckers for occupying downtown Ottawa to preserve “freedoms,” and others displaying a simple message: “Fuck you, Trudeau.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday night in the House of Commons that the protesters are “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy and our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop.”

“The people of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighborhoods.”

On Sunday the mayor of Ottawa declared a state of emergency.

The so-called Freedom Convoy, organized by truck drivers opposed to the mandate, has attracted more than 3,000 trucks to Ottawa and between 10,000 and 15,000 protesters, including anti-government activists, conspiracy theorists and far-right organizations.

More than 60 percent of Canadians oppose the protests, according to a survey released Tuesday. EFE


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