Crowd Security

Rolling Thunder ends quietly

A large police presence in Ottawa over the weekend ensured that the “Rolling thunder” biker rally ended with more of a whimper than a bang. There were, however, a few confrontations which resulted in at least 10 arrests, some 40 vehicles being towed and more than 760 tickets issued. [node:read-more:link]

Capital braces for weekend rally

With a convoy of 500-1,000 motorcyclists expected to arrive in Ottawa this weekend for rallies near Parliament Hill and the Canadian War Museum, police say they are prepared to enforce the full letter of the law to ensure the situation remains peaceful. The “rolling thunder” organization includes a military veterans’ club which says its aim is to “restore fundamental freedoms for all” while upholding the law. [node:read-more:link]

Government covers protest policing costs

The Ottawa Police Service says the federal government will cover all costs incurred during the “freedom convoy” protest that paralyzed the capital’s downtown for several weeks earlier this year. The overall policing costs, including RCMP support, amounted to some $35 million. [node:read-more:link]

Reduced convoy back in Ottawa

Five weeks after police pushed a “Freedom Convoy” protest out of Ottawa, some of its participants returned over the weekend. Hundreds began the convoy in a community on Quebec’s south shore and picked up protester along the way to the capital, where they were escorted through the downtown core before making their way to a town in Eastern Ontario. Police reported no incidents but organizers say they’ll be back. [node:read-more:link]

More charges for convoy organizers

Key organizers of the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks last month, are facing additional criminal charges. The occupation, which began as a protest against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations, are said to have cost the capital an estimated $36.6 million, most of it for police services. [node:read-more:link]

France bans police drones

The Council of State, France’s supreme court of administrative justice, has banned “without delay” police use of drones for surveillance of public protests in Paris. The council, which also is a legal advisor to the national government, issued the directive as parliament debates a contentious security bill which would permit the surveillance in support of law and order. [node:read-more:link]

Another Russian ceasefire in Ukraine

Russia today announced yet another ceasefire in its invasion of Ukraine and opened a few humanitarian corridors as a prelude to a third round of talks. However, previous measures have fallen apart as bombardments resumed shortly thereafter; hundreds of thousands of fleeing civilians were forced to shelter March 6 as Russians shelled several cities. Some of the new corridors would funnel Ukrainians toward Russia or Belarus, a prospect rejected by Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Liberals revoke Emergency Measures Act

Now that order has been restored in Ottawa and Canada's border crossings, the Prime Minister says the government can revoke the Emergencies Act. The House of Commons had just approved the strong measures on Monday night. The crisis had raged at full bore and full volume for 20 days previous to the announcement of emergency powers which immediately froze financial support and made tow trucks into essential services. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protest organizers arrested

As hundreds of protesters in the so-called “freedom convoy” of coronavirus vaccination opponents continued late Feb. 17, police made several arrests, including two key protest organizers. Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, who called others to “hold the line” as she was being taken into custody, face charges of mischief and counselling to commit mischief. [node:read-more:link]

Militant protestor remains in custody

An Alberta judge has refused to release a controversial preacher accused of inciting violence during the recent border blockade at the province’s border with Montana. Art Pawlowski of Calgary, charged with public mischief and interrupting essential operations, had encouraged protesters to withdraw, saying that “for freedom to be preserved, people must be willing to sacrifice their lives.” [node:read-more:link]

PM urges an end to protest

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called on the organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” to wind up their protest which has paralyzed downtown Ottawa for more than a week. They were “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy and our fellow citizens' daily lives,” he said during an emergency parliamentary debate Feb. 7. “The people of Ottawa don't deserve to be harassed in their own neighbourhoods.” [node:read-more:link]

Christians tread where GoFundMe won’t

Christians tread where GoFundMe won’t After GoFundMe announced that it had frozen at least $8 million in donations to the “Freedom Convoy” that has paralyzed downtown Ottawa for 11 days, a U.S.-based Christian crowdfunding organization has raised more than $3.5 million as of today. The development is raising concerns about possible foreign interference, among other things. [node:read-more:link]

Interim Tory leader fudges on protests

Candice Bergen, the Manitoba MP who is interim leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, advised senior caucus members last week not to tell members of the anti-vaccination convoy to leave Ottawa. She said in an email that because the mood of the protest “may shift soon,” the Official Opposition should “make the protests the prime minister’s problem” in seeking a peaceful solution to the blockade. [node:read-more:link]

Senator quits Conservative caucus

Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson has quit the Conservative caucus because it had not condemned the trucker anti-vaccination convoy that had paralyzed the capital for a week. He said on the weekend that he is “very disappointed that I have not seen in our current leadership a condemnation of the continued lawless occupation, hostage-taking of the downtown core in the heart of our parliamentary democracy.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa bracing for protest surge

The Ottawa Police Service said today that it will increase its presence and further restrict access to the city's downtown core as it prepares for another weekend of noisy protests by anti-vaccination activists. The OPS “surge and contain strategy” will involve traffic control barricades and more aggressive law enforcement, including downtown neighbourhood patrols to address residents’ concerns about protesters’ abusive behaviour. [node:read-more:link]


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