Tens of thousands of Canadians turned the nation’s capital into a parking lot on Saturday, in what is arguably Canada’s biggest mass protest in the nation’s 154-history. Even with the police closing most bridges into Ottawa, the city center is jammed with trucks and people.
Civil disobedience is not a regular feature of Canada. But last week, truckers took to the roads from British Columbia to New Brunswick, and pointed their wheels toward Ottawa, where they rallied at the capital against the government’s vaccine mandates.
On Friday, the prime minister told reporters that the convoy was a “small fringe minority” who “do no represent the views of Canadians.” The House of Commons security team warned Parliament members to head “somewhere safe” and to hide if they saw any protests near their homes, according to Canadian press.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family hustled out of town to an undisclosed location for their safety. With a crowd that large and spontaneous, there was likely to be a troublemaker or two. A few protesters danced on the nation’s war memorial, and a flag with a swastika on it was spotted, although it’s impossible to know if these were incidences created by the intelligence community in Canada or the United States. The images of the Canadian flag with the swastika appears to be a protest flag that equates Canada’s government with the Nazis, but the meaning is being interpreted by the mainstream media as white supremacy.
A Sikh leader in Canada who is the leader of the New Democratic Party said the event was led by white supremacists.
The convoy was estimated to be 70 kilometers long and had 50,000 participants, with hundreds of thousands who turned out along the roads to cheer the truckers on as they rolled through the country. It is being spoken of as the longest truck convoy in world history.
There were no reports of violence or injuries at the Ottawa rally on Saturday. As night fell in eastern Canada, many of the protest participants curled into their bunks in their trucks and were preparing to spend the night. The weather is bitter cold in Ottawa tonight with wind chill temperatures tonight expected as low as -35.
Hotels.com shows that all hotel properties in the city were either booked or not taking reservations for Jan. 29-31.
(Photo from Twitter)