Ottowa police to protesters: ‘Stop clogging streets or be arrested’

Protestors show their support for the Freedom Convoy of truck drivers who are making their way...
Protestors show their support for the Freedom Convoy of truck drivers who are making their way to Ottawa to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates by the Canadian government on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Vaughan. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)(Arthur Mola | Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 10:49 AM EST
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(WMBF, NBC) - In recent days, police and government officials appear to have ramped up efforts to bring the nearly two-week demonstration to an end.

Ottawa police are warning protesters to stop clogging the streets or they could be arrested.

“The unlawful act of blocking streets in the downtown core is resulting in people being denied the lawful use, enjoyment, and operation of their property,” the Ottawa Police Service said in a statement addressed to the protesters.

The statement from Ottawa police added: “It is a criminal offense to obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property.”

On Sunday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a “state of emergency,” saying the demonstration posed a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents” as police began to block fuel from reaching demonstrators.

Ottawa Police said people committing “unlawful” activity may face charges for committing a criminal offense, and could be arrested without a warrant.

“Offence-related property, including vehicles, may be seized as part of the offense. The vehicles may be detained and, following a conviction, possibly forfeited,” the statement read.

The statement said, “Charges or convictions related to the unlawful activity associated with the demonstration may lead to denial in crossing the USA border.”

So far, at least 85 police investigations have also been opened in connection with the protests, including for alleged hate crimes, mischief, property damage and theft, while more than 1,300 tickets have been issued.

Tim Coderre, the volunteer convoy coordinator, said he believed the demonstrations will only grow.

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