Canada-US bridge blocked by Freedom Convoy (VIDEOS)
Canadian truckers forced the closure of the US-bound route from Ottawa to Michigan across Ambassador Bridge on Monday as part of ongoing Freedom Convoy protests in the region. Police in Ontario confirmed the next day that the route has reopened, with the protesters dissipated and the traffic backlog cleared.
Footage showed demonstrators blocking the busy route with their truck convoy, with the Michigan Agri-Business Association expressing concern about the impact of the protest on the supply chain. The demonstration created delays of around four hours for people waiting to cross, before the route was listed as “temporarily closed” on Monday evening by Canadian officials.
The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, MI and Windsor, ON shut down by a trucker convoy blockade.pic.twitter.com/OxscOpcXfc— Milhouse Van Houten 🇨🇦🚛🚚🚛🛻🇨🇦 (@Milhouse_Van_Ho) February 8, 2022
The Freedom Convoy protesters initially opposed the introduction of a rule in Canada requiring truckers to get vaccinated if they are to cross the US-Canada border, with the movement growing into a stance against wider Covid restrictions.
Last month, Canada began denying entry for unvaccinated American truckers seeking to cross the border, while the US introduced a reciprocal arrangement for Canadian drivers. The first protesters arrived in Ottawa shortly after, with vehicles reaching the city on January 28.
US, traffic paralyzed from Detroit to Windsor tonight. US - Canada border blocked by Canadian truckers after the Ambassador Bridge. Over 25% of all merchandise trade between the US and Canada passes through this border. pic.twitter.com/tIxkjEf6ZX— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) February 8, 2022
Windsor, the Ambassador Bridge closed due to the protest of the truckers. After Coutts, another strategic US - Canada border crossing is blocked. pic.twitter.com/9wbjirVWqv— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) February 8, 2022
The blockades and protests in Ottawa saw the city’s mayor, Jim Watson, declare a state of emergency on Sunday over concerns that the Freedom Convoy posed a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.”
“We have witnessed peaceful demonstration and observed multiple acts of humanity, which define what it means to be Canadian,” the demonstrators said in a statement prior to the bridge blockade.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the truckers during a speech in the country’s House of Commons, calling the Freedom Convoy a threat to “our democracy and our fellow citizens’ daily lives.”