The Canadian capital’s mayor, Jim Watson, decided on the extraordinary measure, after more than a week of massive protests against vaccines and restrictions to reduce COVID-19. Mobilization blocked the nation’s capital and protesters assured they would not stop until the measures were lifted.
Ottawa is under a heavy “siege”. This is how the police chief describes the magnitude of the protests, which have extended to other cities in Canada as well.
COVID-19 vaccine movements and far-right groups have paralyzed Canada’s capital, including the streets around Parliament. Thousands of people, including hundreds of truck drivers, arrived in Ottawa over the weekend to join those already demonstrating since last week.
Essentially to show their performance, the performances began on 28 January. Disapproval against any measures imposed by the government to reduce the spread of the pandemicBut in recent times they have grown like foam.
For more than a week, people are battling with continuous traffic jams and sound of horn day and night.
Amidst this scenario, Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency. The official assured that Ottawa is “out of control” and that it is experiencing the “most severe” change to order in its history.
The measure gives local authorities some additional authority over the immediate purchase of goods and services, which supports faster purchases of equipment needed by frontline workers and first responders.
In addition, it highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and government officials, Watson said.
Amid criticism from residents who believe the police have not done enough to stop the chaos, in recent hours the institution began to fine and arrest protesters who violated municipal rules.
At least seven people have been arrested and 100 others fined, according to Canadian state television.
Police have admitted not being able to control the situation and have requested reinforcement agents from the Canadian Mounted Police and police forces from other nearby municipalities.
Trump supporters accused of supporting protests
Some Canadian and US officials say Prominent figures in American politics, including former President Donald TrumpThey will support the protest in Ottawa.
“Canada-US relations used to be mostly about solving technical problems. Unfortunately, Canada is currently experiencing the involvement of radical American politicians in internal Canadian issues. Trump and his supporters are a threat not only to the United States but to all democracies,” said Bruce Heyman, who was the US ambassador to Ottawa under the Barack Obama administration.
Meanwhile, prominent US Republicans, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, voiced disapproval after fundraising portal GoFundMe removed a donation page for protesting Canadian truckers.
Canada’s Attorney General Ken Paxon said “patriotic Texans donated to the noble cause of Canadian truckers,” while Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the support from the neighboring country “a business.”
Gerald Butts, a former senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said on his Twitter account, “For some high-level American politicians, patriotism means hiring a crowd to surround the G7 capital.”
For the time being, organizers of the mobilization have assured they will not give up their protest until the Canadian government lifts all restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic.
With Reuters, EFE and local media