Number of Vaccine Rejectors Is More Than Police, The Capital Is Threatened With Paralysis
The Number of Vaccine Rejectors Is More Than Police, The Capital Is Threatened With Paralysis
The number of demonstrators camped out in the Canadian capital exceeds police officers and they are controlling the situation, the mayor of Ottawa said Sunday.
The demonstration against the vaccine obligation is entering its 10th day, and the Government has said it will not back down on the issue.
Ummatimes - The "Freedom Convoy" began as a movement against mandatory vaccines for truck drivers in Canada, but turned into an action against public health regulations and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"Convoys may disagree, but they are not above the law and there should be an amicable resolution to this as soon as possible," Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told CBC TV.
"We've been asking about vaccines and this vaccine mandate in the ballot… in the (2021) election and we're just carrying out the promises we made with the support of the vast majority of Canadians," he added.
Demonstrators have paralyzed downtown Ottawa for the past nine days, some waving Confederate or Nazi flags, and others saying they want to dissolve the Canadian government.
Amid honking horns and occasional firecrackers, the demonstrators' actions – including setting up a portable sauna, soup kitchen and a children's toy palace – have angered residents who blamed the police for doing nothing.
"The situation at this point is completely out of control due to the actions of the people who are protesting," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said on a local radio station. "There are more of them than the police," he said.
Ottawa police removed a number of demonstrators and installed new barricades on Sunday.
Police said they were "gathering information about money, digital footprints, vehicle numbers… and other evidence to be used in lawsuits."
Trudeau, who is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, has ruled out using the military to disperse protests.
Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family were moved last weekend from their downtown residence to an undisclosed location.
He previously said the convoy represented a small fringe minority and the Government would not be intimidated.
About 90 percent of cross-border truck drivers and nearly 79 percent of Canadians have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Convoy organizers said they would stop honking for four hours on Sunday "as a sign of goodwill".
"In honor of the Lord's Day, for the members of the military who have sacrificed and who continue to sacrifice a lot for our freedom, for the men and women in blue uniforms who did the extraordinary job of protecting us… members of our convoy will stop honking their horns," the group said. in the statement.
Police said they had charged four people with hate crimes and were investigating threats to public figures with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The organized action depends in part on funding from sympathizers in the US, police said.
GoFundMe removed the Freedom Convoy donation platform, angering some Republican members of the US House of Representatives who vowed to investigate the site's steps.
Former US President Donald Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk praised truck drivers.
A senior member of the Liberal Government said the ease with which demonstrators closed off the area around parliament and the incompetence of the police was a "national insult".
Several senior Conservative opposition figures who pushed for the protests, including those who took selfies with the truck drivers, did not return requests for comment.
Last week, the party fired its leader because it was deemed less enthusiastic about supporting the action.