Ottawa protesters defy growing calls to end occupation of capital

Monday - 07/02/2022 18:16
One homemade sign on a protester’s car appeared to equate the vaccine mandate with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Truckers and their supporters continue to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa, on Sunday. Photograph: Patrick Doyle/Reuters
Truckers and their supporters continue to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa, on Sunday. Photograph: Patrick Doyle/Reuters

Protesters against Covid vaccine mandates have defied government calls for them to end a 10-day occupation of Canada’s capital, a day after the city’s mayor declared a state of emergency and promised to “get the city back”.

Ottawa police have described the protest as a “siege” on the city, where hundreds of trucks and cars have blockaded the downtown areas. On Sunday, Mayor Jim Watson warned that officials were “losing this battle”, and a civil class-action lawsuit was filed against protesters over the incessant horn blasting and disruption to daily life.
 

A man holds a Canadian flag near Parliament Hill as demonstrators continue to protest the vaccine mandates implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.
A man holds a Canadian flag near Parliament Hill as demonstrators continue to protest the vaccine mandates implemented by the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, on Monday. Photograph: Dave Chan/AFP/Getty Images


Swastikas, Confederate flags and QAnon symbols have all been seen at the protests. Hundreds of signs hung from the front gates of parliament, accusing the government of stripping away Canada’s freedoms and demanding that people “wake up”. With temperatures hovering below freezing, protesters warmed up around small fires.

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