Protesters in Canada lift US border blockade

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AP
Washington Hispanic:

Truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions in Canada were dismantling the last remaining blockades on the border with the United States on Wednesday, an official source said.

However, the siege that the malcontents maintain on the capital, Ottawa, seemed to be intensifying.

The official specified that the protesters were leaving Emerson, Manitoba, on the other side of North Dakota and that the authorities hope to be able to reopen the border crossing shortly.

The official asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to release this information to the press.

Meanwhile, Ottawa police began handing out flyers Wednesday warning drivers to leave immediately or risk arrest, in a bid to break the nearly three-week siege of the capital by truckers.

“Police liaison” officers in yellow vests went by each of the trucks parked in front of Parliament to warn drivers that they could also lose their licenses and see their vehicles seized under Canada’s Emergencies Act.

The police also began fining vehicles.

Some truckers broke the order and one protester yelled, “I’m never going home!” Some threw the warning in a toilet placed in the street. At least one lorry driver drove away from the Parliament grounds.

It was not immediately clear when, or if, police might step in to forcibly evict the trucks, but protest leaders braced for action on Wednesday.

“If that means I need to go to prison, if I need to be fined to allow freedom to be restored to this country, millions of people have given much more for their freedom,” said David Paisley, who traveled to Ottawa with a friend who is a truck driver.

Marie Eye, a 43-year-old woman from Quebec who was making soup for the protesters, said the warnings were “just a piece of paper” and she doubted the police had the ability to remove the platforms or the protesters.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergency Law, which gave authorities the power to ban blockades and remove trucks.

Since late January, protesters in trucks and other vehicles have packed the streets of the capital and obstructed border crossings, denouncing vaccine mandates for truckers and other COVID-19 precautions and condemning the liberal Trudeau government.

The protests have garnered support from right-wing extremists and have drawn cheers and donations from conservatives in the United States.

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