The "Freedom Convoy" protesters still occupy the US-Canada Ambassador Bridge in stance against COVID vaccine mandates set by the Canadian government.
The convoy is holding up even though Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered a State of Emergency to have the truckers evacuated from the bridge.
Trudeau declared that 'everything is on the table' to end the protest. Ottawa police were stationed on the bridge with threats to forcibly remove the truckers who have been blocking the border bridge. Officers also reportedly handed out flyers warning those refusing to retreat risk having to pay up to a $100,000 fine each. Threats were also made to have the drivers permanently lose their commercial driving license.
The blocking of the bridge went from a highly covered protest to Canadian COVID restrictions to a full blown illegal act after Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz granted an injunction. The judicial order illegalized the occupation of the bridge and gave authorities the power to arrest anyone who violated the warning.
The convoy on the bridge didn't budge. Both deadlines set for 7pm — and then midnight — never came to bare any fruit as police never moved in on the hundreds of protesters refusing to back down. Police were flashing the lights from their cars, but few officers were seen by the time they were supposed to disperse the crowd.
The convoy has gained so much notoriety now American based organization 'Convoy to Save America' is set to converge with the Freedom Convoy on the bridge that connects Ontario Canada to Buffalo, New York. The multiple convoys are set to join forces during the evening this Friday.
The trucker protest has garnered a lot of sympathy across the two countries — but they've also received plenty of criticism from people calling the convoy a right wing anti-vax demonstration. Vox even reported about sightings of confederate and Nazi flags seen at the demonstration.
"President Biden and I both agreed that for the security of people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue" Trudeau said at a press briefing on Friday. "We talked about the U.S.-based flooding of the 911 phone lines in Ottawa, the presence of U.S. citizens in the blockade and the impact of foreign money to fund this illegal activity."
Police in Ottawa have claimed that numerous 911 calls have "flooded" their phones Ottawa in recent weeks, which seemed to intend to tie up and confuse police away from the protest. They also reportedly claim a significant number of calls came from "United States addresses."
As of right now no protester has been arrested and the crowd reportedly are bolstered after defying the Prime Minister's deadline to leave the bridge.