Ottawa declares emergency over trucker protests
Jim Watson, the mayor of Ottawa, has declared a state of emergency in response to more than a week of truckers’ protests against Covid restrictions, stating that the city was completely out of control. At the moment, demonstrators outnumber police and pose a threat to residents’ safety, said Watson. There have been reports of racial attacks in addition to the protests. Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has been paralyzed as vehicles and tents block essential roads. The protestors call themselves the Freedom Convoy and begun their efforts last month after a new rule that all truckers must be vaccinated to cross the US-Canada border was introduced. The protests have since morphed into addressing broader Covid health restrictions.
The protestors are gathered in downtown Ottawa near Parliament Hill. The group’s demands have continued to grow, now including ending all vaccine mandates nationwide. The protestors have expressed their opposition of the government lead by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mr. Watson spoke to Canadian radio station CFRA, stating that the protestors were continuously blaring horns and sirens, setting off fireworks, and partying. The state of emergency should address some of the critical difficulties brought on by the disruptive protests.