February 25, 2022

Ottawa police going ‘on the offensive’ to end trucker protest – National | Globalnews.ca

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly says his officers can now go “on the offensive” to put an end to the trucker protest, as the so-called “freedom convoy” demonstration in Ottawa enters its eleventh day.

“We needed more resources to deal with an occupation than with a demonstration. I have worked continuously, 18-hour days, to get those resources. Our partners have started to bring those resources to bear,” Sloly said.

“Now we can go on the offensive. That’s what we’ve been doing, to great effect.”

Read more:

Ottawa police, politicians seek swift end to trucker convoy

Ottawa police announced over the weekend that they would begin cracking down on numerous offences, including threatening to arrest anyone bringing “material supports” — including gasoline refills — to the trucker convoy.

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Police said “multiple vehicles and fuel have been seized” on Sunday. There were also a handful of arrests made, charges laid, and more than 60 criminal investigations underway in connection with the protest, according to police.

Click to play video: 'Trucker protests: Jagmeet Singh calls for emergency debate on response to convoy, pandemic'

Trucker protests: Jagmeet Singh calls for emergency debate on response to convoy, pandemic

Trucker protests: Jagmeet Singh calls for emergency debate on response to convoy, pandemic

Sloly said the biggest development was the GoFundMe’s shutdown — which he, alongside the city, took credit for bringing offline.

“We went after the funding. Our efforts, combined with the city’s efforts, eliminated the GoFundMe. $10 million (is) no longer accessible to the demonstrators,” he said.

The police will “aggressively” pursue any “other funding avenues” for the demonstration he said.

“We will be relentless in pursuing the funding that has enabled this demonstration to continue to this point,” he said.

What began as a protest against Ottawa’s vaccine mandate for truckers at the Canada-U.S. border has morphed into opposition to all public health measures including mask-wearing and vaccination, and now calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to resign.

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There have since been numerous reports shared online by residents since the protest started detailing instances where they say people associated with the convoy tried to break into their homes, attacked them on the streets, and threatened them with rape or death for wearing masks.

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Singh urging emergency debate in House amid trucker convoy ‘crisis’

Ottawa Police Services declined to provide any information when asked how many alleged death threats, rape threats or assaults by convoy members they have received.

Liberal MPs slammed the protestors’ recent actions during a press conference they held on Monday.

“From what we are witnessing on the ground and hearing from residents, this is the furthest thing from a peaceful protest,” said Ottawa-area Liberal MP Mona Fortier.

“We call on the protestors to stop and respect the communities we represent.”

Fortier wasn’t alone in her condemnation. Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi said there are “no words” to accurately describe “the agony” of what his community has gone through.

“For residents of downtown Ottawa, this continues to be a horrific experience,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Politicians seek end to trucker convoy protests amid state of emergency'

Politicians seek end to trucker convoy protests amid state of emergency

Politicians seek end to trucker convoy protests amid state of emergency

Meanwhile, the city declared a state of emergency on Sunday — which Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations.”

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Sloly also called for increased support from other levels of government in order to put an end to the demonstration.

“We are making significant progress,” Sloly said, but “we need more resources to drive those successes even further.”

“We need more resources, more help. With what we’ve got, we’ve made significant impact, but we’re going to need a lot more to really get on top of this situation.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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