Canada Breaks Truckers

When I decided to take on the Treacherous Truckers, I had to consider if I was going to be targeted. Was I going to get death threats? I have ended my contact with Casey Farrell because he was challenging me to take them on – from the safe background. He said I was flop-flopping. He won’t tell me who his friends are – and the name of his mother. Yet he calls me all the time in hope he has an influence on what topics I post on. I accused him of bragging to his (secret) friends if there is evidence our conversations – matter. It is like writing a Letter to the Editor. Mr. Farrell has no empathy for my plights. He has his – angsts and causes! He does not like me to use his real name.

Trudeau has acted like a coward! I stuck my neck out – before he did! Does he read my blog?

“If you joined the protests because you’re tired of Covid, you now need to understand that you are breaking laws,” Trudeau said in a Friday news conference. “You don’t want to end up losing your license, end up with a criminal record, which will impact your job, your livelihood.”

John Presco

Police in riot gear block trucker protest area on US-Canada border (msn.com)

The move comes a day after a judge issued an injunction allowing police to begin clearing the bridge area and ending the blockade that has snarled supply chains and alarmed political leaders.

The judge gave demonstrators until 7 p.m. Friday to end the blockade. The number of demonstrators dwindled overnight, and a few dozen vehicles remained parked at the foot of the bridge as the sun rose Saturday, a CNN crew there said.

More demonstrators eventually drove away, including after police officers moved in Saturday morning.

“We urge all demonstrators to act lawfully & peacefully,” Windsor police tweeted shortly before 8:30 a.m., announcing their move at the bridge. “Commuters are still being asked to avoid the areas affected by the demonstrations at this time.”

Demonstrators could be arrested if they are involved in blocking the bridge, and vehicles may be seized and could be forfeited in case of a conviction, Windsor police said after Friday’s court order.

“One by one, we’ll start towing the cars if required,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said Friday, a few hours before the judge’s deadline.

The Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, also declared a state of emergency on Friday, promising “severe” consequences for those who are taking part in blockades at the bridge and elsewhere in the province, including at demonstrations in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.

People who don’t leave the blockades could face a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to one year in prison, he said.

“So let me be as clear as I can, there will be consequences for these actions, and they will be severe. We’ve already started by going after the money funding the illegal occupation,” Ford said.

Demonstrations in Canada began last month, starting with truckers who convoyed from the west to Ottawa to protest new rules forcing Canadian truckers crossing the US-Canadian border to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face quarantine in their homes for two weeks when they return.

That protest drew other demonstrators around the country in resistance to other Covid-19 preventative measures, including restrictions on gatherings and mask mandates — especially in schools.

Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with about 4 in every 5 Canadians fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And nearly 90% of the country’s truckers are fully vaccinated and eligible to cross the border, according to the Canadian government.

Yet for two weeks, demonstrators have blockaded Ottawa’s downtown core, prompting a judge there to rule Monday that they must stop honking.

And the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit is not the only affected border crossing. Demonstrators also have used semitrailers — and sometimes farm equipment and other vehicles — to block crossings between Emerson, Manitoba, and Pembina, North Dakota, as well as at the Coutts access point between Alberta and Montana.

The Canadian protests, explained

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CNN he expects more demonstrators this weekend.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Watson said. “Particularly in the neighborhoods where some of the protesters are going into restaurants and refusing to wear a mask and harassing staff and really being belligerent to the residents of our city.”

US officials warn similar protests are possible

The Canadian protests are igniting concerns among US officials that similar demonstrations may be sparked across the border. Right-wing news media outlets have raised the prospect of like-minded rallies in the US and offered positive coverage of those in Canada.

The protests in Canada already are “incredibly damaging” to many across the US Midwest, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told CNN on Friday, adding the protests have been “hurting us in Michigan since Day 1.”

“We are at an economic crisis because of this illegal blockade,” which is becoming a homeland security issue, Whitmer said.

The US Department of Homeland Security warned state and local officials in a bulletin that a convoy of truckers protesting Covid-19 vaccine mandates may soon begin in the US and potentially affect the Super Bowl in Southern California.

“The convoy will potentially begin in California as early as mid-February and arrive in Washington, DC, as late as mid-March, potentially impacting the Super Bowl LVI scheduled for 13 February and the State of the Union Address scheduled for 1 March,” the bulletin said.

In addition, a group in the US said it is organizing two trucker convoys that will head to the US-Canada border in Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday.

However, the city said Friday the group had not applied for permits to hold events.

“Nor have the organizers contacted our Special Events Office to arrange for the appropriate insurance and public safety planning that is required for all events in the City to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors,” Buffalo city spokesperson Michael DeGeorge told CNN. “It is always a concern when laws that are designed to keep people and property protected are willfully ignored.”

How Canadian officials have responded to the demonstrations

Canadian officials have generally stood firm in their appeals to end the blockades at the border and the protests in Ottawa, though those calls often have fallen on deaf ears.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Friday that the demonstrations will end.

“If you joined the protests because you’re tired of Covid, you now need to understand that you are breaking laws,” Trudeau said in a Friday news conference. “You don’t want to end up losing your license, end up with a criminal record, which will impact your job, your livelihood.”

The Trudeau government said it will send more officers to protests across the country, adding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s national police force, continues to show decisive action.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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