Canada’s capital cleans up after weeks of protests

Canadian police on Sunday (Feb 20) secured the center of the capital with a fence while janitors picked up trash and cleared snow. The developments come after two days of tension and 191 arrests ended a three-week occupation of demonstrators in Ottawa.

The demonstrators had previously used hundreds of trucks and vehicles to block the city center since January 28. That prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to exercise his rare powers of emergency. A total of 76 vehicles have been towed, police said.

The few remaining people on Sunday (20/2) packed the logistics post of the “Freedom Convoy” set up in the parking lot near the highway. The post was previously used to provide supplies to the protesters who spent the night in front of parliament.

The police ordered the post guard to leave immediately otherwise he would be arrested and fined.

“We’re running out of support for convoys and people downtown – food, fuel, basic necessities,” said Winton Marchant, a retired firefighter from Windsor, Ontario. “This was our post, and we were packing.”

The demonstrators had wanted to end a cross-border COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers, but the blockade turned into a demonstration against Trudeau and the Canadian government. [vm/rs]