Protests Grow on Ambassador Bridge as Canadian Authorities Hesitate to Act

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

Police in Canada have been somewhat successful at clearing big rigs from the Ambassador Bridge — one of the most vital links between the United States and Canada.


But the more protesters they move off the bridge, the more arrive to take their place. And in the city of Ottawa, the protesters show no sign of leaving anytime soon.

Other important bridges connecting the United States and Canada, including Coutts, Alberta, which connects to Montana, and Surrey, British Columbia, which connects to Washington state, are also under siege. In Nova Scotia, an important ferry landing has been hit with paralyzing protests.

The Canadian authorities keep threatening to forcibly remove the protesters but have yet to take any action toward that end. Naturally, their credibility has fallen to zero because of their hesitation, and the protesters remain.

Washington Post:

In the capital Ottawa, police grappled withan influx of anti-government and anti-vaccine-mandate demonstrators for a third straight weekend despiteboth local and provincial officials declaring states of emergency. Law enforcement appeared to be floundering in their attempts to get Freedom Convoy protesters to leave by threatening them with fines, prison time, and the loss of their licenses.

Ottawa police said Saturday that over 4,000 demonstrators were in the city throughout the day.

“Safety concerns – arising from aggressive, illegal behavior by many demonstrators – limited police enforcement capabilities,” the police said in a statement.

What sort of “illegal behavior”? None is specified, which is in keeping with the propaganda campaign that’s been underway since the Freedom Convoy arrived in Ottawa. The truckers and other protesters are painted as racist Nazis who are trying to overthrow the government and are disrespectful of Canadian liberty. In fact, there have been very few knuckleheads flying the Nazi or the Confederate battle flag. There are an awful lot of people waving the Maple Leaf, however, and that is unsettling to the government.

In Canada, as Trudeau and police come under pressure to do more to rein in the raucous protests, some local officials have acknowledged the potentially fraught implications of mass arrests or tougher action. Windsor’s mayor, Drew Dilkens, warned that arresting people could lead to violence, saying during a news briefing last week that some protesters believe “they are fighting for a cause that is worth dying for.”

Related: Around the World, Authorities Are Cracking Down on ‘Freedom Convoys’

The Canadian people are getting anxious, wondering why the police don’t wade into the crowd and forcibly remove them.


While police have successfully pushed back protesters from the foot of the Ambassador Bridge, more people were streaming into the area and the operation appeared to have stalled.

As the afternoon dragged on, some Canadians questioned what was behind the delay, given the order issued by a court on Friday to end the blockade and the imposition of a state of emergency declared by Ontario authorities.

“It would essentially send a message that the state is not able to retain control, where it’s attempted to do so,” Michael Kempa, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, told CBC News.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knows that if he tries to use force to clear the bridge and people are hurt or killed, he may not survive a “no confidence” vote in parliament. Many in his own Liberal Party would desert him.

So he will continue to bide his time and hope the situation resolves itself peacefully. If not, Trudeau is going to have a bigger problem than a few hundred truckers blocking a couple of bridges.




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