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Police arrested at least eight people over the weekend as hundreds of bikers and others in cars and trucks waving Canadian flags took the streets of the capital, less than three months after a similar trucker’s movement paralyzed Ottawa for more than three weeks, Reuters reported.
The rallies, known as “Rolling Thunder” by its organizers, began Friday. Organizers have not been clear about the convoy’s goals, saying they are in support of “freedom” and military veterans.
One of the main organizers said that he is planning to lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in a show of respect for veterans.
Local media noted that some of the organizers were people who participated in the “Freedom Convoy” earlier this year, according to CNN. The weeks-long demonstrations began after truckers and protesters occupied the streets of the capital in protest of Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
The February protests prompted the Canadian government to invoke rarely-used emergency powers to clear Ottawa’s streets and arrest dozens who blocked the downtown area near parliament.
Over the weekend, Ottawa’s police – which came under fire for its handling of the “Freedom Convoy” protests – said they would prohibit motor vehicles from stopping or parking on streets downtown.
They also warned they would detain anyone who was arrested in connection with the February demonstrations and ordered to stay out of Ottawa.