Police are cracking down on “Freedom Convoy” anti-vaccine-mandate demonstrations in Canada’s capital, making multiple arrests, issuing hundreds of tickets, and seizing vehicles and fuel as Ottawa’s mayor declared a state of emergency, the Washington Post reports. The emergency declaration was designed to give officers more “flexibility” to respond to the sometimes thousands of truckers and their supporters who gathered to denounce coronavirus measures, said Mayor Jim Watson. He said the declaration reflects the “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.” Fireworks were shot off, drivers blared horns and streets remained blocked for the second weekend in a row. Watson admitted authorities were “outnumbered” and “losing this battle” against groups who were “calling the shots.” Ottawa police said they had launched over 60 criminal investigations amid the ongoing protests, including thefts, hate crimes and property damage. At least seven arrests were made for property damage and other acts of “mischief.” More than 500 tickets issued this weekend were notices of “excessive honking” and seat belt violations. Officers issued more than 550 tickets over the weekend, including to trucks with no insurance and obstructed license plates. Protests began in the city in late January, when people gathered to demonstrate against rules implemented by the U.S. and Canadian governments that require foreign truck drivers to be fully vaccinated to enter their countries.
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