Police have moved in on a group of protesting truckers, who have been blocking a key US-Canada border crossing for almost a week.
“Freedom Convoy” activists have been at Ambassador Bridge, one of the busiest crossings between the two countries, as part of a demonstration against Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions.
About 20 protesters milled about outside on Saturday morning, while others stayed in their pickup trucks and cars.
Image: Protesters sang the Canadian national anthem as police prepared to move them on. Pic: AP
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Officers started dispersing people after protesters refused to move following a court injunction which gave them until 7pm on Friday to clear out.
Those who did not leave were warned by police that they could be arrested and their vehicles could be seized.
State of emergency declared
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It comes after a state of emergency was declared in Ontario, meaning people who illegally block roads, bridges, walkways, and other critical infrastructure could be fined $100,000 or serve up to a year in jail.
Image: Police lined up at Ambassador Bridge after a court injunction was passed. Pic: AP
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Drivers have bottled up the bridge connecting Windsor, in Ontario, and Detroit in Michigan, since Monday.
Hundreds more truckers have paralysed downtown Ottawa over the past two weeks and blocked two other border crossings in Alberta and Manitoba.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the decision to declare a state of emergency was “responsible and necessary” and confirmed he had spoken to US President Joe Biden about the matter.
Image: A protester interacts with police officers
He added that he understands protesters are frustrated by the pandemic but warned that the blockades “are hurting everyday families”.
Copycat convoys head to Paris
Meanwhile, copycat convoys have driven to Paris, France, in protest of COVID restrictions – despite a police ban being in place.
Image: Copycat demonstrations have been taking place in Paris. Pic: AP
There are no clear leaders or goals, but it comes on the back of months of protests against the French government’s vaccination programme and anti-virus rules.
More than 7,000 police officers were deployed to toll booths and other key sites to try to prevent a blockade and protesters have been warned of heavy fines and other punishment if they defy the ban.
Source : Sky News