Canadian protest against COVID vaccine mandates locks Ottawa down for second day

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OTTAWA — Dozens of trucks and other vehicles blocked downtown Ottawa for a second day after thousands of people descended on Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the mandates of vaccination against COVID-19.

The trucks remained parked in the streets near parliament on Sunday morning, a day before lawmakers were due to return to work after the holidays. Some truckers said they would not leave until the warrant was overturned.

Thousands of people gathered peacefully https://www.Reuters.com/world/americas/ottawa-set-massive-protest-against-canadas-vaccine-mandates-2022-01-29 on Saturday, although some incidents have provoked anger. A protester filmed a dance at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the appearance of flags bearing swastikas sparked anger on social media, and a downtown shopping center closed because protesters refused to wear masks .

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The rally began as a protest against a vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers https://www.Reuters.com/world/americas/canadas-trudeau-slams-fear-mongering-over-covid-vaccine-mandate-truckers- 2022-01-24, but turned into a protest against the Trudeau government with a strong anti-vaccination streak.

“Large crowds remained downtown throughout the night,” Ottawa police said in a statement. “Officers encountered several difficulties with protesters, including sporadic blockages of roads by trucks…These high-risk situations were defused and resolved without arrest.

Due to security concerns, Trudeau and his family left their downtown Ottawa home on Saturday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported. (CBC). Earlier this week, Trudeau said the convoy represents a “small marginal minority” that does not represent the views of Canadians.

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About 90% of cross-border truckers in Canada and nearly 79% of the population have received two injections. Canada is now in the midst of a spike in Omicron variant cases that is straining hospitals.

Former US President Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Texas on Saturday, praised Canadian protesters for “bravely resisting these lawless mandates”. Last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk also voiced his support https://www.Reuters.com/world/americas/anti-vaccine-canada-truckers-roll-toward-ottawa-praised-by- teslas-musk-2022-01-27.

The Conservative Party of Canada supported the protest https://www.Reuters.com/world/americas/beleaguered-trudeau-rival-embraces-trucker-protest-despite-concerns-violence-2022-01-28, which targeted a much of his anger – in signs and songs – directly at Trudeau. The right-wing People’s Party of Canada, which holds no seats in parliament, attended the rally.

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“We are super-spreaders of freedom,” Popular Party leader Maxime Bernier said in a speech on Saturday.

But Canadians have taken to social media to criticize the behavior of some protesters.

Michael Cooper, a Conservative lawmaker who handed out coffee at the protest, was pictured standing near a Canadian flag bearing a swastika during a TV interview. He then released a statement condemning the “reprehensible” protester on Twitter.

Chief of Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre denounced a woman filmed dancing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, saying he was “sickened”.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said some protesters harassed a soup kitchen, demanding free meals because their refusal to wear masks meant they didn’t have to order from restaurants, according to a CBC interview. .

“You have the right to protest, you had your protest, please move on,” Watson said. (Reporting by Steve Scherer editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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