The last truck being taken to Canada’s capital this Sunday (20) calmed down for the first time in three weeks after a police operation ended a long protest against anti-Covid measures.
Activists clear the snowy streets of downtown Ottawa, where riot police clashed with protesters for two days.
The last of the demonstrators stayed until late on Saturday, singing protest songs from the 1980s and setting off fireworks in front of a four-metre-high security fence, which was hastily erected around parliament.
But when the city got cold, the protest turned into a street party.
On Sunday morning, police guarded several checkpoints that restricted access to a large area of downtown Ottawa, while a strong contingent of security forces occupied the area occupied by truck drivers.
Ottawa police issued a reminder to ban traffic on that perimeter, except for local residents and workers.
Two men were arrested during the morning, taking the number of detainees to 191.
According to officials, since hundreds of trucks, vans and other vehicles were parked there on January 29, 57 vehicles have been pulled out of the city so far.
For the first time in weeks, residents of Ottawa were shocked by the constant honking that has become a hallmark of the protests.
– Fighting continues – After being expelled, several protesters told AFP they would continue to fight for their cause.
Although health measures have been eased in Canada as the number of Covid-19 cases has plummeted, protesters have vowed to press for a full lifting of restrictions, which are among the strictest in the world.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government faces civil liberties union lawsuits and criticism from political rivals over its decision to invoke emergency powers rarely used to quell protests. Does matter.
Polls show that Canadians, once quite sympathetic to the truck driver-led movement, now reject it.
The so-called “Freedom Train” began a month ago against mandatory vaccinations for border crossings with the United States. As the days passed, it gained followers and inspired similar protests in other countries.
At least three protest leaders were detained and charities worth 32 million Canadian dollars and bank accounts linked to the movement were frozen.