On Sunday, Canadian police arrested all the protesters who remained at the most heavily-trafficked bridge between the United States and Canada, as part of the ongoing vaccine mandate protests.
Politico reports that the protesters were arrested near the Ambassador Bridge, which connects the Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario to the American city of Detroit, Michigan, a key hub of the automotive industry; the bridge is responsible for as much as 25 percent of all trade between the two neighboring countries. The few vehicles that remained were towed that same day.
“Enforcement will continue in the demonstration area and there will be zero tolerance for illegal activity,” Windsor police said in a statement after arresting the peaceful protesters. “The public should avoid the area.”
Despite the arresting of protesters in Windsor, the broader anti-mandate protest has continued in the nation’s capital city of Ottawa. Since late January, thousands of protesters, consisting mostly of truck drivers, have occupied the capital near the Parliament building in opposition to mandates requiring all truck drivers to be vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus.
The protests have been largely successful, resulting in multiple provincial governments rescinding various mask and vaccine mandates. However, many wealthy and elite residents of the capital city have demanded a harsh law enforcement crackdown on the protesters for disturbing their daily routines, often by honking their horns, playing loud music, and chanting and cheering.
Artur Wilczynski, a former national security official with Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, angrily tweeted that “the whole city is furious at being abandoned by the people who are supposed to protect us,” and that “they have completely abandoned the rule of law. @OttawaPolice have lost credibility. #OttawaPoliceFailed.”
Another former government official, Catherine McKenna, tweeted that “Amazingly, this isn’t just Ottawa. It’s the nation’s capital. But no one — not the city, the province or the federal government can seem to get their act together to end this illegal occupation. It’s appalling. … Just get your act together. Now.”
Multiple government officials, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, have declared a state of emergency over the peaceful protests. There have been calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who fled the city at the start of the protests, to call in the military for a harsh crackdown on the protesters. But while Trudeau has falsely labeled the protesters as Nazis and a “fringe minority,” he has not yet ordered any such military action.