Police Start Clearing Out Canada-US Bridge Protestors
- Canadian police have moved in to clear out Freedom Convoy protestors blocking the Ambassador Bridge.
- Demonstrators protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates shut down traffic on the Canada-US bridge for a fifth day Saturday.
- A judge ordered them to leave Friday after hearing arguments that the blockade was causing economic harm.
Police have started moving in to clear out protestors that have been blocking a crucial bridge on the US-Canadian border for the past five days.
Authorities in Windsor, Ontario, began removing demonstrators from the Ambassador Bridge on Saturday.
“The Windsor Police & its policing partners have commenced enforcement at and near the Ambassador Bridge,” Windsor Police wrote in a tweet Saturday morning. “We urge all demonstrators to act lawfully & peacefully. Commuters are still being asked to avoid the areas affected by the demonstrations at this time.”
The attempt to clear the bridge came after an Ontario Superior Court judge on Friday ordered protestors to leave after hearing arguments that they were blocking traffic, impeding trade, and hampering the production of vehicles.
Roughly $360 million of goods are transported via the bridge every day, roughly 25% of the value of all trade between the US and Canada, according to Reuters.
The blockade has caused a shortage of fruits and vegetables for some grocery stores in Canada, particularly those in rural areas, that rely on imports from the US.
Ford is reportedly considering sending car parts to its Windsor factory by plane rather than truck after the blockade cut off the supply of auto parts to the plant. General Motors and Stellantis previously told Insider production at their Canadian factories was also impacted by supply shortages from the blockade.
Demonstrations began when Canadian truckers drove to the country’s capital, Ottawa, late last month, to protest COVID-19 lockdown measures and vaccine mandates in the country. The so-called “Freedom Convoy” has since spread to other cities in Canada and attracted more supporters beyond truckers, including right-wing protestors also opposed to the vaccine mandates.
Their demonstrations have sparked discussions for staging similar protests in other countries. In the US, federal officials have warned that a similar convoy could target the Super Bowl, though law enforcement says there is no “legitimacy” to the threat.