Protesters defy police threat with fuel cans
Hundreds of protesters appeared to mock Ottawa Police’s threat to arrest anyone caught providing fuel to demonstrating truckers by marching through the city carrying red fuel cans this week.
The police warned on Sunday that anyone caught providing “material support,” such as fuel, to the truckers protesting against Covid-19 restrictions would be arrested in an attempt to starve the demonstration of resources.
However, hundreds of protesters responded to the threat by carrying red fuel cans – mostly empty or filled with water – through the streets of Ottawa.
One video showed protesters marching towards parliament with fuel cans in hand, while another showed a man carrying two cans labeled “Got gas?”
After the “fuel ban” it is now illegal to bring gas cans to the Freedom Convoy Peaceful Protest — here is what the streets of Ottawa looked like tonight. God bless these people 🙏🏻😂 pic.twitter.com/kswVn4vtVS— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 9, 2022
Freedom convoy protesters in Ottawa are carrying around jerrycans in protest to the arrests of individuals with fuel on their person and seizures of fuel and propane last night. pic.twitter.com/MVKX4EiLnI— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) February 7, 2022
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly complained to CTV News on Monday that protesters had been “deliberately filling jerry cans with water, literally drinking out of them to show the police that they weren’t gasoline.”
“Meanwhile, they were carrying gasoline in other containers that would have been carrying water,” he claimed.
Police have seized fuel from the protesters and prevented supplies from being replenished as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to rail against the truckers.
During a speech in Canada’s House of Commons on Monday, Trudeau claimed the protesters were trying to “blockade” democracy and attempted to portray those demonstrating as far-right extremists.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency in the city on Sunday and called the protest a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.”
The truckers have been protesting near the Canadian parliament since January 28 against Covid-19 restrictions which require them to either be fully vaccinated or face quarantine periods while crossing borders as part of their duties.