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OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian truckers who received notices by police to leave or potentially be arrested said law enforcement was “over-stepping” with another “scare tactic,” and vowed to stay.
“Those who are willing to give their life for this cause, need much more than being threatened with arrest, with fines, with losing insurance,” trucker Csaba Vizi told Fox News Digital.
Canadian truckers have been protesting in Ottawa since late January calling for an end to COVID-19 mandates. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history. By Wednesday, police began handing out notices warning demonstrators to leave or potentially face arrest for “committing a criminal offense” by “blocking the streets.”
Canadian trucker Mike Anderson holds up the notice warning demonstrators to leave or potentially face arrest. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
“It’s not a piece of paper that’s going to make me leave,” one trucker told Fox News Digital. “I’m here to stay.”
Trucks line the street directly outside the Parliament of Canada (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
“I think it’s cute,” Wendell Thorndyke told Fox News Digital. “They turned the police into meter maids,” he continued.
A Freedom Convoy demonstrator holds a “Hold The Line” sign while dancing in Ottawa, Canada. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Many felt police were wrongly using a “scare tactic” in an effort to get the Freedom Convoy to leave Ottawa.
Police handed out notices to Freedom Convoy demonstrators who remained in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
“It’s just a power play on them trying to scare us,” Mike Anderson said.
The notice to demonstration participants handed out by police officers on Wednesday. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
“The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says we can peacefully protest” and that document is “basically saying that it’s wrong,” he continued.
“This is another way of them over-stepping what they are actually allowed to do,” the trucker told Fox News Digital.
Man waves a Canadian flag on the 20th day of the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Trucker Clarence Penner felt similarly. “Everything we’re doing is 100% peaceful and within our Charter rights,” he said. “If anyone is going to be breaking the law, it’s them.”
All truckers who spoke to Fox News Digital said they would not leave and expected most others feel the same way.
Penner, for instance, said while the warning may “ruffle some feathers for some,” most will not to be scared since they anticipate police “would try every last card in their backpack.”
Vizi was frustrated with police who almost had him arrested Wednesday morning for honking his horn (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Vizi agreed that some might be intimidated, but said he was committed to staying.
“Somebody can go take my house, I don’t care at this point” Vizi said. “Probably, my bank account is froze.”
“I’m broke financially anyway so take it, who cares?” Vizi continued.
Children play outside the Parliament of Canada at the Freedom Convoy. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Canadian trucker Steve Ness told Fox News Digital: “I have a son, I don’t want him seeing dad in handcuffs. But I’m not too scared, I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s still peaceful.”
Also saying he’d be staying indefinitely was trucker, Mike Fabinski. “I’m not moving, I’m staying all the way,” he said. “This is the price you pay for freedom, you got to do what you believe.”
Trucker Mike Fabinski shows the police notice and says he is staying until the end. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Like Fabinski, Canadian trucker Matt Mackenzie remained committed to the protest: “As long as it takes, if we were afraid of pieces of paper, we had no business coming in the first place.”
Canadian trucker Wendell Thorndyke says he has no plans on leaving Ottawa. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Another laughed when asked if he’d be leaving soon. “Oh, I live here now, I’m going to change my address,” Thorndyke told Fox News Digital.