Freedom Convoy organizers arrested
Ottawa Police arrested at least two top organizers behind the Freedom Convoy protests against Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday, as the Canadian government continues its attempts to shut down the demonstration.
Organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber were arrested after Ottawa Police received emergency powers and worked to shut the protests in Canada’s capital down.
Footage showed organizer Chris Barber being arrested by police as he walked down the street before he was placed into a police vehicle and driven away. Organizer Tamara Lich was also arrested later in the day. The charges against the two organizers are currently unknown.
Interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell had warned on Thursday that a crackdown on protesters was “imminent.”
“To those in the protest, if you want to leave under your own terms now is the time to do it,” Bell said, threatening to “employ lawful techniques to remove the unlawful protesters.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers on Monday to end the protests, freezing bank accounts associated with the demonstration and even threatening to take away the pets of those involved.
“We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” Trudeau said.
The Canadian government has accused the protesters of trying to overthrow the government and has sought to brand the truckers – who started protesting in Ottawa last month over Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates – as far-right extremists.