August 8, 2022

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Canadian police arrest two leaders of protesting truckers

Armed police in Ottawa have begun seizing fuel from lorry drivers protesting against Canada’s vaccine...

Armed police in Ottawa have begun seizing fuel from lorry drivers protesting against Canada’s vaccine mandate after a state of emergency was declared over the “worst crisis the city has ever faced”.
im Watson, the Canadian capital’s mayor, declared the emergency amid an unprecedented, crippling, 11-day occupation by truckers.
Lorries were yesterday blocking Canada’s parliament, the central bank and buildings including the office of Justin Trudeau, the prime minister.
“The situation at this point is completely out of control,” Mr Watson said. “The individuals with the protest are calling the shots. They have far more people than we have police officers.”
He called on Mr Trudeau to appoint a mediator to end the occupation. “Right now, we’re at a complete standoff.”
The “Freedom Convoy” began as a protest against the mandate requiring truckers to provide proof of Covid vaccination upon entering from the US but it has since evolved into a rallying point against Mr Trudeau’s measures to fight the pandemic. The liberal leader has refused to meet with members of the groups, which he described as a “fringe minority”.
Anger over his policies has galvanised thousands of demonstrators in cities across the country.
Late on Sunday night, heavily armed police seized a tanker truck with more than 3,500l of diesel fuel from a staging area used by the drivers, as protesters yelled: “Shame, shame!”  
Police issued a warning to the public that they could be subject to charges if they were found to be supplying demonstration trucks with fuel. Ottawa Police said it had launched more than 60 criminal investigations in relation to the protests, including thefts and property damage.
They say a well-organised supply chain – including a community kitchen and bouncy castles for children – has sustained the protesters and could continue to do so for weeks.  
The occupation has relied partly on funding from “sympathisers” in the US, police added. Donald Trump and Elon Musk are among those who have praised the truckers.
Polls have shown that a majority of Canadians support public health measures to contain the pandemic.
However, the number of Canadians who would like to see restrictions end has risen in recent weeks, and the demonstrations have tapped into pandemic fatigue across the country. 
Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

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