What to know about the protests by Canada's truckers

Follow live updates on the trucker protests in Canada . Truckers protesting vaccination mandates park their rigs in the middle of inter...


Follow live updates on the trucker protests in Canada.

Truckers protesting vaccination mandates park their rigs in the middle of intersections in Canadian cities, blocking traffic and, in some places, bringing daily life and business to a standstill.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa said, “We are in the midst of a serious emergency, the most serious emergency our city has ever faced.

Here’s what you need to know about how a handful of people turned Canada, whose constitution calls for “peace, order and good government,” into an unlikely springboard for a nascent global movement.

On January 22, convoys of truckers left British Columbia en route to Ottawa, Canada’s capital, to protest against a vaccination mandate – imposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government – for truckers entering the country from the United States.

Mr Trudeau initially called the protesters a ‘small fringe minority’ – a majority of Canadians say they support public opinion health measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus – but the protesters are having an outsized impact for their small numbers.

After initially blocking traffic in Ottawa, truckers later staged similar protests in other cities, including Toronto, Quebec and Calgary, as well as in the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, a vital link for the automotive industry.

In Ottawa, protesters hunkered down in tent camps and tables with hot coffee and mittens.

The goal is to disrupt the daily activities of residents and slow down the economy in order to force federal authorities to roll back pandemic restrictions.

Mayor Watson called the protests unbearable and declared a state of emergency. During the first 11 days of the protest, truck horns rang for up to 4 p.m. a day.

Some residents say they have been harassed in the street. The police were investigate a possible arson attempt in the lobby of a downtown building.

Some automobile manufacturers operated factories in reduced capacity and canceled shifts due to delays created by blockages. Car manufacturers have been particularly affected by the partial closure of the Ambassador Bridgewhich normally moves $300 million worth of goods a day.

The organizers of the protest raised approximately C$10 million, or about $7.8 million, through GoFundMe for the Freedom Convoy cause, though only a small fraction of that amount was disbursed. After consulting with police, the company ended the campaign and said it would refund the rest of the money to donors, citing “violence and other illegal activity” during the protests.

Mr. Trudeau declared a national public order emergency on February 14the first time a Canadian government has taken such a step in half a century.

The declaration allows police to seize trucks and other vehicles used in blockades, and allows the government to formally prohibit blockades in designated areas like border crossings and the City of Ottawa. The tow trucks, who have been reluctant to cooperate with the police, will now be forced to work with law enforcement or face arrest.

A few days earlier, Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, had declared a state of emergency for the entire province. and made a court order calling on protesters to pull back from the Ambassador Bridge or face heavy fines or jail time.

The order went into effect at 7 p.m. Friday and the number of protesters dwindled that evening. But on Saturday, dozens of protesters still refused to leave the bridge.

National and local police evacuated the demonstrators and, by Saturday afternoon, there were only a dozen vans left. On Sunday morning, Canadian police closed in on the small remaining crowd and made arrests. Officers had warned protesters they would be charged with criminal mischief.

“Your right to make a political statement does not outweigh the right of thousands of workers to earn a living,” Mr Ford said of the protests.

The protests, which were once narrowly targeted, have turned into a sprawling campaign in some cases supporting far-right anti-government grievances.

Tamara Lich is a key organizer of the “Freedom Convoy” that arrived in Ottawa. She previously worked as the secretary of the relatively new Mavericks Daya center-right group that was started to promote the separation of the three Prairie Provinces from the rest of the country.

Maxime Bernier is the leader of the far-right People’s Party of Canada, whose members are well represented among protesters in Ottawa. The party has no seat in the Federal Parliament.

James and Sandra Bauder are the leaders of a group calling itself Canada Unity, another main organizer of the truck convoy. According to Sky News, Mr Bauder “is a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory and has openly called for Mr Trudeau to be tried for treason over his Covid policies”.

Speaking at a press conference in Ottawa, Ms Lich said: ‘Our departure will be based on the Prime Minister doing what is right, ending all warrants and restrictions on our freedoms.

Mr. Bernier has denounced the vaccination mandates and has already risen up against immigration and multiculturalism.

Prepare for more protests. Far-right figures from several countries, including the United States, Australia and Germany, hailed the protests. Copycat convoys have already appeared in Australia and New Zealand.

Brian Brase, a trucker, noted he was organizing a similar effort in the United States. According to messages posted on social networksthe convoy can start in Sacramento and head to Washington, DC

Isabella Grullon Paz contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What to know about the protests by Canada's truckers
What to know about the protests by Canada's truckers
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