Canadian police move in, begin arresting protesters in Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers that allow authorities to forcibly dismantle the downtown Ottawa 'Freedom Convoy.'

Updated: February 18, 2022 - 9:51am

Police in Ottawa, Ontario, early Friday morning began arresting truckers and other protesters who've entrenched themselves on the Canadian capital city's Parliament Hill for roughly three weeks in opposition to national COVID-19 restrictions.

Some members of the so-called "Freedom Convoy" are reportedly beinfg led away in handcuffs.

The two leaders of the protest were taken into custody Thursday as authorities began to break up the occupation.

Outsiders are also currently being kept away from the city's downtown.

While gaining international support for their efforts, the protesters have also been criticized for creating problems, including the blocking of the Ambassador Bridge into the U.S. that resulted in supply-chain delays. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has struggled with a political response to the situation, invoked Canada's Emergencies Act, which handed law enforcement officers the authority to declare the truckers' blockades illegal and begin forcibly removing both the protesters and their vehicles.

Beyond the physical removal of the protesters, authorities have also been granted the ability to suspend the licenses of the truckers and freeze their bank accounts.

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