Police begin operation to clear demonstrators blocking a bridge linking Canada to the US after a court order to end the blockade took effect.
Canadian police say they are enforcing a court order to clear protesters occupying a key bridge on the Canada-US border, after a judge granted an injunction to end the blockade by people opposing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The police action on Saturday comes after demonstrators blocked the Ambassador Bridge, a vital link between Windsor, Ontario, prompting calls from US President Joe Biden to end the blockade. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised Biden quick action to end the crisis.
On Friday, a judge granted an injunction to end the occupation, while the province of Ontario declared an emergency.
Hello, I’m Mersiha Gadzo and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Canada’s truck protesters.
Here are the latest updates:
Paris police disperse COVID protesters near Arc de Triomphe
Meanwhile in Paris, police have thrown volleys of tear gas grenades near the Arc de Triomphe monument to disperse protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 restrictions.
Paris police intercepted at least 500 vehicles attempting to enter the French capital, in defiance of a police order, to take part in protests inspired by Canada’s “Freedom Convoy”.
Protesters seen dismantling main encampment: Reporter
Jacob Lorinc, reporter for the Toronto Star daily newspaper has said on Twitter that protesters have begun dismantling their main encampment.
Protesters are now dismantling their main encampment. pic.twitter.com/tC1bLtBHPC
— Jacob Lorinc (@jacoblorinc) February 12, 2022
There are some 40 protesters remaining at the site, along with “three long-haul trucks blocking the entrance and about a dozen pickup trucks,” he wrote.
“There are two snipers on the roof of the border customs building,” Lorinc said.
‘Blockades must stop’: Minister
Federal Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has said that the “illegal blockades are impacting trade, supply chains & manufacturing.
“They’re hurting Canadian families, workers & businesses,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Glad to see the Windsor Police & its policing partners commenced enforcement at and near the Ambassador Bridge. These blockades must stop.”
The illegal blockades are impacting trade, supply chains & manufacturing. They’re hurting Canadian families, workers & businesses.
Glad to see the Windsor Police & its policing partners commenced enforcement at and near the Ambassador Bridge. These blockades must stop. https://t.co/VY0MfW3Wa7
— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦 (@FP_Champagne) February 12, 2022
Windsor police starting ‘enforcement’
The Windsor police say an operation has begun with its “policing partners” to remove demonstrators at the Ambassador Bridge.
“We urge all demonstrators to act lawfully & peacefully,” it said. “Commuters are still being asked to avoid the areas affected by the demonstrations at this time.”
The Windsor Police & its policing partners have commenced enforcement at and near the Ambassador Bridge. We urge all demonstrators to act lawfully & peacefully. Commuters are still being asked to avoid the areas affected by the demonstrations at this time.
— Windsor Police (@WindsorPolice) February 12, 2022