Canada

170 Arrests in Ottawa as Police Continue Operation Against Protesters Opposed to COVID-19 Mandates

By Limin Zhou

February 19, 2022Updated: February 20, 2022

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OTTAWA, Canada—Wearing helmets while wielding batons and pepper spray, police smashed truck windows and pushed back against protesters on Feb. 19 as law enforcement continued to close in on the main site of the protest in downtown Ottawa.

Ottawa police said on Feb. 19 that since the law enforcement’s expanded operation began, 170 arrests have been made, 22 license plates have been seized, and 53 vehicles have been towed.

Epoch Times Photo
Police face off with demonstrators in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex Kent/Getty Images)

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A heavy police presence remained in downtown Ottawa, a day after law enforcement escalated operations against protesters opposed to COVID-19 mandates in order to clear demonstrations around the area of Canada’s Parliament Buildings.

Police have cleared many trucks and vehicles from the protest site, and more drove away on Feb. 19, but some still remain. Demonstrators also still remain in the area, with some new protesters joining on Feb. 19.

Epoch Times Photo
A police officer approaches a truck as police deploy to remove protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images)

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Epoch Times Photo
A truck leaves as protesters wave in Ottawa as police continue operations to clear demonstrators on Feb. 18, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
A police officer smashes a truck window as police deploy to remove protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Protesters in Ottawa as police continue operations to remove demonstrators on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)

The expanded police operations came following the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act. Police said they made over 100 arrests and towed 21 vehicles from the downtown core on Feb. 18.

Mounted police and officers on foot advanced on protesters on Feb. 18, knocking down some people. Some police officers were heavily armed, including with assault rifles.

Also on Feb. 19, the House of Commons resumed proceedings after suspending its sitting on Feb. 18 due to police operations on Parliament Hill.

The House is currently debating the Emergencies Act invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Feb. 14 to deal with the ongoing protests.

The Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois are opposed to the measure, saying the situation doesn’t warrant its use. The NDP have said they agree with the invoking the act by the Liberal government.

The House must debate and vote on the measure within seven days after it is brought in by the government.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman washers her eyes with snow after being pepper sprayed in Ottawa as police continue to push back protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex Kent/Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
A protester in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
A tow truck to remove trucks in downtown Ottawa as police continue operations to remove protesters on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Police confront protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Riot police in Ottawa as enforcement against demonstrators continues on Feb. 19, 2022. (Limin Zhou/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Protesters against COVID-19 mandates gather in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)

Tamara Lich, one of the organizers of the Freedom Convoy, was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 19 after being arrested on the charge of counselling to commit mischief.

Fellow Freedom Convoy organizer Chris Barber, who was also arrested, appeared before a court in Ottawa on Feb. 18. The presiding judge released Barber on a $100,000 bond and on condition that he leave Ontario and not publicly endorse the Freedom Convoy or have contact with the other major protest organizers.

Police also arrested vocal protester Pat King, who was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 19. Organizers Lich, Barber, and Benjamin Dichter say King is not one of the leaders of Freedom Convoy.

The ongoing protests against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions were inspired by a movement initiated by truck drivers opposed to the federal government’s requirement that truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border must be vaccinated for COVID-19. As large convoys of trucks and other vehicles drove to Ottawa to protest the mandate, more people who are opposed to various mandates and restrictions joined the movement.

Epoch Times Photo
Police walk by the National War Memorial in Ottawa as operations to clear protesters continue on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Police continue operations to clear protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Police confront protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Police confront protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 19, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)

With the new powers granted under the Emergencies Act, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Feb. 17 that information is now being shared by law enforcement with Canada’s financial institutions to cut off funding for the ongoing protests.

“The names of both individuals and entities, as well as crypto-wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions, and accounts have been frozen, and more accounts will be frozen. Crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers have started the registration process with FINTRAC,” Freeland said at a press conference.

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An Ontario Superior Court ruled on Feb. 17 that the bank accounts—including Bitcoin and cryptocurrency funds—of Freedom Convoy organizers be temporarily frozen.

The Canadian Press contributed to this report. 

Limin Zhou

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Limin Zhou is a reporter based in Ottawa.

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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