Ottawa Police say they’re taking new measures in light of protesters becoming more aggressive and violent on Saturday, February 19.
Close to 100 police checkpoints surround downtown Ottawa as police move to push out protesters.
From throwing a bicycle at a police horse to wearing full body armour, Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has been busy this weekend trying to bring an end to the Freedom Convoy occupation.
In a tweet, Police said, “We told you to leave. We gave you time to leave.”
“We were slow and methodical, yet you were assaultive and aggressive with officers and the horses.”
“Based on your behaviour, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety.”
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DEMONSTRATORS: You must leave. You must cease further unlawful activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all unlawful protest sites. Anyone within the unlawful protest site may be arrested. pic.twitter.com/DUmfP52umU
— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 19, 2022
After reportedly using horses to disperse a crowd, Police confirmed that anyone who fell down as a result of the horses moving in got up and walked away.
“We’re unaware of any injuries,” OPS said in a tweet. “A bicycle was thrown at the horse further down the line and caused the horse to trip. The horse was uninjured.”
Protesters wearing body armour, carrying smoke grenades and fireworks on them were arrested. Other protesters launched gas canisters at police.
Videos posted to social media show what it looked like on the ground on Saturday.
Tear Gas Has Been Deployed on Peaceful Protesters in Ottawa
Does anyone still believe this is about public health and safety? pic.twitter.com/NJEmbvzptL
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) February 19, 2022
Veterans pushed and kicked off war memorial by Ottawa Police in brutal crackdown. pic.twitter.com/vjanO5svGi
— Justina Castro – Truckistan Roadman (@PJoleys) February 19, 2022
OPS have said for days that protesters blocking streets could be arrested for criminal activity and face fines or charges.
On Friday, February 18, white supremacist Pat King was arrested and hit with criminal charges including mischief and Counselling to Commit the Offence of Obstruct Police.
More to come…