By Tyler Durden
More than 12 hours after police in Windsor, Ontario arrived on scene to shut down “Freedom Convoy” protests at the Ambassador Bridge, it appears the crowds have finally dispersed in a predawn raid.
As police arrested the last remaining demonstrators for a protest that has continued for nearly a week and created substantial disruption for commercial traffic across the US-Canada border crossing, the focus shifted to demonstrators who gathered on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill as protests continued for another weekend.
According to the Associated Press, which cited television footage, police arrested the dozen or so die-hard protesters who remained defiantly at the Bridge until the very end.
Television images showed police arresting the few protesters who remained just after dawn near the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario — the busiest border crossing to the U.S.
Only two pickup trucks and less than a dozen protesters blocked the road to the bridge before police moved in.
Police on Saturday had persuaded demonstrators to move their pickup trucks and others cars that they used at the entrance to the crossing that sees 25% of all trade between the two countries, though it remained closed.
Meanwhile, videos from Parliament Hill flooded social media as the police put the number of demonstrators at 4K – likely a conservative estimate. The protests, which have been going on since late January, have seen similar numbers during past weekends. All told, this is at least the third weekend that demonstrators have gathered.
VIdeo from Parliament Hill showed thousands of people who came together to dance, sing, and engage in that new national pastime – mocking the CBC, which apparently blacked out coverage of the protests.
Order of Canada. Immediately. pic.twitter.com/4oVVUyjig0
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 13, 2022
Even a former correspondent complained.
So, wanted to tune in to @CBCNews for the latest on the biggest crisis in modern Canadian history. My options? The Olympics or a Fifth Estate replay.
Former CBC journalist here: This is a major #fail. Seriously – who’s in charge?
— Scott Simmie (@scottsimmie) February 13, 2022
— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) February 12, 2022
They’re gonna win. They already have won. pic.twitter.com/velspCjlEk
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 13, 2022
At one point, the demonstration seemed to center around Ottawa’s memorial to the Canadian war dead.
Thanks for clarifying because what I thought happened was Canadian Veterans had carefully moved the temporary fencing to clear the snow on the steps of the memorial to pay their respects to the fallen. https://t.co/K2TASoKQ7H
— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) February 13, 2022
The NYT and others reported that protests inspired by the truckers in Ottawa, Coutts, and Windsor have begun to pop up at border areas across Canada.
The honk has spread to British Columbia https://t.co/yYFiENUROU
— Honkmaster Poso 🎺 (@JackPosobiec) February 13, 2022
Here’s a map published by the NYT Sunday morning:
There’s another detail the NYT has been forced to begrudgingly admit: the percentage of Canadians who support doing away with all COVID restrictions has risen in recent weeks. Remember, the protests started as a reaction to unfair vaccination restrictions that would have made unvaccinated truckers essentially unable to earn their livelihoods. But it has certainly morphed into something bigger.
As Tamara Lich, one of the organizers of the protests, said in an interview with the NYT, the protesters and their supporters are determined to continue until the government – and PM Justin Trudeau, who has been in hiding after testing positive for COVID despite being recently boosted – meets their demands.
“Our departure will be based on the prime minister doing what is right, ending all mandates and restrictions on our freedoms,” Ms. Lich said at a news conference in Ottawa last week, during which she did not take questions. “We will continue our protest until we see a clear plan for their elimination.”
Amazingly, the NYT managed to find a Canadian man who emigrated in the early 1950s after serving in the German military during WWII. Having “grown up under Hitler,” 93-year-old Karl Braeker wanted to visit the protests hanging out on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to see for himself whether the demonstrators were truly “white nationalists” and “nazis” like some media reports have claimed. In his considered opinion, they are not.
Karl Braeker, 93, sat on an orange wool blanket at the Centennial Fountain under a dusting of snow. Originally from Germany, Mr. Braeker said he had served in the German military as a teenager under the Nazis, and emigrated to Canada in 1951.
“It is very deep what brings me here: I grew up under Hitler in Germany,” he said. He had come in person concerned over reports that the protesters shared white nationalistic or Nazi sentiments. From his vantage point on the fountain, he said, he felt they did not.
Watching the protests, he said, had “brought back all of my P.T.S.D.” from serving in Hitler’s army. He said that he had not slept for days when the protest first began — particularly after hearing that swastikas had been seen on flags. He asked his son to drive him here to see for himself. “I’ve always loved Canada for the freedom,” Mr. Braeker said. “I had to come here to see.”
Meanwhile, a live feed of the Ambassador Bridge showed that everything looked quiet.
Of course, now that the protest has been cleared at the Ambassador Bridge, the Canadian government will no longer be able to blame the truckers for their economic woes. It’s also worth noting that the protests have spread in the US, where the Department of Homeland Security is scrambling to stop truckers and their supporters from protesting at the Super Bowl.
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