Ottawa police have forcibly evicted many of the truck drivers and other anti-vaccine protesters who had blocked the center of the Canadian capital for more than three weeks.
The agents used pepper spray, grenades firecrackers and batons†
The images, which have traveled around the world, show violent struggles between hundreds of protesters and police officers, some on horseback.
Those who resisted were thrown to the ground and handcuffed from behind.
Arrests and seized trucks
More than 170 people have been arrested and 38 vehicles seized after two days of offensives.
Police assured this Sunday that the operation in Ottawa is still underway and avoided predicting when it will end.
Acting Police Chief Steve Bell explained that some protesters have moved from Parliament Hill – the center of the protest – to nearby neighborhoods and assured those areas will also be evacuated.
Is about one of the largest police operations in Canadian history†
Police confirmed on Twitter that they have used tear gas on some protesters “in an effort to stop aggressive behavior and for the safety of officers”.
The crackdown on the self-proclaimed Freedom Convoy began Friday morning when hundreds of police officers, some with riot batons, descended on protesters’ encampment in downtown Ottawa.
Some of those present refused to leave. They lined up in front of the approaching officers and… United in the arms they sang the national anthem“Oh Canada”.
The police reported that several of those arrested were wearing bulletproof vestsfireworks and smoke grenades.
He accused some of them of throwing gas cylinders at officers.
Police also criticized protesters for taking children to an illegal protest, which in Canada carries a fine of up to five years in prison.
The investigation into the protests will continue in the coming months, police said.
The agents acted under the emergency law, which was activated Monday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This law gave the government extraordinary powers such as impounding trucks and persecuting people who traveled to the capital to join the blockade, as well as to impose fines and revoke driving licenses.
The snowball effect
The protest began in January, when a convoy headed for Ottawa to oppose the mandatory vaccination mandate for truck drivers crossing the US-Canadian border.
Over time, it grew into a broader movement of resistance to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the government of Justin Trudeauwith support concentrations across the country.
Authorities cleared the bridge between Windsor, Ontario and the US state of Michigan last weekend.
Protests by truck drivers at border crossings in Coutts, Alberta, Surrey, British Columbia and Emerson also dispersed this week.
Only the blockade of Ottawa remained, which had paralyzed much of the city center for more than three weeks.
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