Ottawa police begin siege to ARREST protesters and tow away big rigs using new Trudeau ’emergency’ powers

Ottawa Police have begun their siege to end the Freedom Convoy protest by force, arresting protesters and towing away big rigs after setting up a perimeter around the city:

POLITICO – Police in Ottawa have started arresting protesters and removing big rigs that have swamped the heart of the Canadian capital for three weeks.

A systematic law-enforcement push Friday came a couple of days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave authorities unprecedented powers by invoking the federal Emergencies Act for the first time ever.

Police started to crack down on the demonstrators Thursday evening by making targeted arrests of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, two organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy protest that first rumbled into the capital on Jan. 28.

The city was bracing for a major operation.

The potential of a clash between police and protesters was enough for the House of Commons to cancel Friday’s sitting. The Senate also shut things down for the day.

Steve Bell, the interim chief of the Ottawa police, warned protesters Thursday that action was imminent. “Your time in our city has come to an end,” he said.

Police established a perimeter around the downtown core with nearly 100 checkpoints for entry.

The protest area, where hundreds of trucks are blocking the streets, was quieter Friday morning than it had been in recent weeks.

But many defiant protesters refused to budge, sitting in their idling trucks right in front of Parliament Hill.

A sound stage, which has been the main rallying point for the demonstrators, blasted hip hop Friday and people danced as though police weren’t closing in. People around the protest site are waving Canadian flags and holding placards demanding “freedom.”

The Emergencies Act has enabled police to compel heavy tow truck operators to help haul the large vehicles entrenched on the city’s streets. Protest leaders have threatened tow truck drivers who help police.

A convoy of more than a dozen heavy tow trucks in front of the University of Ottawa rolled into the occupied zone after police made a number of arrests Friday.

The slow response by authorities to the trucker convoys, which have also blockaded critical border crossings, have rattled Canadians’ faith in their public institutions.

Here’s video of how this is going down in Ottawa:

This tweet here sums it up pretty well:

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