Canadian police announced Monday that seven people have been arrested and more than 100 have been issued tickets in connection to “demonstration-related enforcement” in Ottawa.
This comes after Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon as approximately 500 trucks and vehicles with the “Freedom Convoy” continued to linger in the streets of the Canadian capital to protest vaccine mandates and other coronavirus-related restrictions.
Ottawa Police Service issued a warning earlier Monday that “anyone found bringing fuel to the demonstration trucks in the red zone could be subject to arrest and charges.”
Multiple vehicles and fuel have been seized. Five of the seven arrests were for unspecified mischief. A sixth person was charged for driving while prohibited and a seventh for mischief “relating to property damage of a downtown business,” police said in a press release.
More than 100 Highway Traffic Act and other “Provincial Offence Notices” were issued for offenses including excessive honking, driving the wrong way, defective muffler, no seat belt, alcohol readily available and having the improper class of driving license, police said.
So far, 60 criminal investigations related to the demonstration have been opened, primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage. Confederation Park has been fully cleared and fenced.
Ottawa Police Service has received 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers to assist with demonstrations.
Watson said in a statement Sunday that declaring a state of emergency “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations.”
“This is a siege — it is something that is different in our democracy than I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said on Saturday. “We do not have sufficient resources to adequately and effectively address this situation.”
The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many U.S. Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.” Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called the ongoing protest “an occupation.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday that he and the state’s attorney general would investigate GoFundMe after the crowdfunding online platform shut down the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” official fundraising campaign. Faced with fraud allegations, GoFundMe then walked back its stance about redistributing the funds and said it would be refunding the thousands of donors automatically.
The convoy has since turned to the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo to collect donations.
Fox News’ Jon Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.