As thousands of protesters entered Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were moved from their home to an undisclosed location somewhere in the city on Saturday afternoon due to security concerns, CBC reports.
A "Freedom Convoy" of some 2,700 trucks entered the Canadian capital city of Ottawa Saturday to protest Trudeau's COVID-19 policies, Reuters reported. According to the Independent, around 100 big rigs blockaded a main street running past the Canadian parliament building.
The convoy, which approached the capital from all sides, began as a protest against a vaccine mandate for Canadian truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border but grew into a wider expression of discontent with the government's COVID-19 policies.
"These demonstrations are national in scope, they're massive in scale," Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly said Friday, expressing concern about the possibility of violent "lone wolf" individuals carrying out violent acts.
The protest has drawn criticism from many sides. The Canadian Trucking Alliance condemned the convoy. Nova Scotia banned people from congregating along the highways to support the protesting truckers. A Washington Post cartoonist drew a convoy of tractor-trailers with "Fascism" written on the side of each one. Trudeau said Friday that the convoy members and their supporters hold "unacceptable views," The Guardian reported.
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B.J. Dicher, an organizer of the convoy, urged the demonstrators to remain peaceful. "We cannot achieve our goals if there are threats or acts of violence," he said.