Ottawa police have warned supporters of the Freedom Convoy that anyone helping the truckers protesting vaccine mandates could be arrested.
The warning came in a Twitter post issued shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern time that declared: “IMPORTANT: Anyone attempting to bring material supports (gas, etc.) to the demonstrators could be subject to arrest. Enforcement is underway.”
Earlier Sunday, Ottawa police announced via Twitter that more than 450 tickets had been issued since Saturday morning as part of an effort to “reduce the impacts of demonstrators in the downtown core.”
“Overnight, demonstrators exhibited extremely disruptive and unlawful behavior, which presented risks to public safety and unacceptable distress for Ottawa residents,” police said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
An estimated 500 vehicles remain in Ottawa, according to Fox News. The Freedom Convoy, which began in British Columbia, was developed as a protest against vaccine mandates. Organizers have not said when the protest will end.
“Let me assure the people of Ottawa that we have no intent to stay one day longer than necessary,” Tamara Lich, one of the convoy’s organizers, told reporters last week, according to the Post. “Our departure will be based on the prime minister doing what is right: Ending all mandates and restrictions on our freedoms.”
Don’t forget…@JustinTrudeau could end the truckers mission by simply…NOT being a tyrannical authoritarian.
— GunTalk365 (@GunTalk365) February 6, 2022
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly called the protest “a siege.”
“It is something that is different in our democracy than I’ve ever experienced in my life,” he said Saturday, according to the Post.
“The demonstrators … remain highly organized, well-funded, extremely committed to resisting all attempts to end the demonstrations safely. This remains, as it was from the beginning, an increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous demonstration.”
A report in the Ottawa Citizen said that Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said that policing the protest “is a responsibility carried out by local police services across Ontario, who have the resources and authority to ensure their communities remain safe. Politicians at all levels cannot direct the police. To be clear: police services, including the Ottawa Police Service, have full discretion and extensive existing legislative authority under the Criminal Code to respond to and manage demonstrations and take enforcement action, as appropriate, against any individuals committing crimes in their jurisdiction.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson felt differently about the protest.
“The situation at this point is completely out of control, because the individuals with the protest are calling the shots,” he said in a radio interview Sunday, according to the Ottawa Citizen. “They have far more people than we have police officers, and I’ve indicated to the chief that we have to be much more nimble and proactive when it comes to these activities.”
Former President Donald Trump on Friday issued a statement in support of the truckers.
“The Freedom Convoy is peacefully protesting the harsh policies of far-left lunatic Justin Trudeau who has destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates,” Trump said in his statement.
The statement scolded efforts to block a similar convoy in America from using social media to organize. On Wednesday, Facebook removed the personal account of a man organizing a “Convoy to D.C. 2022,” according to Fox News.
“Now, thankfully, the Freedom Convoy could be coming to DC with American Truckers who want to protest Biden’s ridiculous Covid policies. Facebook is canceling the accounts of Freedom Convoy USA, and GoFundMe is denying access to funds that belong to the Freedom Convoy. This is unacceptable and extremely dangerous in any country that values free expression,” Trump’s statement said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.