NEWSMAX: Police, including some on horseback, pushed into crowds of demonstrators to clear them from the streets of downtown Ottawa on Friday, arresting more than 100 and hauling away vehicles that have been blocking the core of the capital for more than three weeks in a protest against pandemic restrictions.
Fearing escalation or violence, Ottawa police had sought to disperse them with fines and threats of possible arrest, but on Friday hundreds of them moved in despite the frigid temperature and freshly fallen snow, slowly clearing one part of the city.
There were tense moments during the day as some protesters were dragged from their vehicles, and others who resisted the police advance were thrown to the ground and had their hands zip-tied behind their backs.
The protesters showed “assaultive behavior,” forcing mounted police to move in “to create critical space” in the late afternoon, according to a police statement. As this happened, one person threw a bicycle at a horse and was arrested for harming a police service animal.
Dozens of trucks still occupy the downtown area, though fewer now because several left when the arrests began. Police have also arrested the three most prominent organizers, two on Thursday and one on Friday.
“We will run this operation 24 hours a day until the residents and community have their entire city back,” Steve Bell, Ottawa’s interim police chief, told reporters.
Officers set up 100 road blocks near the protest site to deny people access and starve them of food and fuel. Police said they had towed 21 vehicles on Friday.
Commenting on the arrest of its leaders, Freedom Convoy 2022, an umbrella group representing the protesters, said: “We will continue to hold the line. We refuse to bow to abuses of power. The world is watching, Canada.” READ MORE AT NEWSMAX.
? WATCH FULL FASCISM ON DISPLAY IN OTTOWA ?— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 18, 2022
Police ripping children from their parents. Assaulting peaceful protesters. Arresting grandmothers. Harassing media. Pure Gestapo tactics.
Share this so people see the TRUTH: They want to criminalize dissent. Power over everything pic.twitter.com/XdUCvb78Pc
Police in Ottawa are now breaking into protestor’s vehicles.— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 18, 2022
More clashes break up between order follower police officers and protesters pic.twitter.com/3fAcYG6Mws— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) February 18, 2022