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Last US-Canada border blockade breaks up, Ottawa police threaten arrest

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For the first time in more than two weeks, all border crossings between the United States and Canada are back open after the last so-called “freedom convoy” blockade broke up. Authorities in Manitoba announced they expected the last of protesters blocking the border crossing between Emerson and North Dakota to peacefully leave by early Wednesday afternoon. The video shows a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) official discussing the protesters’ departure.

“We didn’t want to rush in. It would have absolutely made no sense just going in, perhaps making arrests, issuing tickets. We probably could have had others just take their place,” RCMP Media Relations Officer Sgt. Paul Manaigre said Wednesday. “We’re going to have nobody charged. Nothing towed, nobody injured. No arrests. It’s a perfect solution.”

The Emerson/North Dakota border crossing was one of several between the U.S. and Canada to be shut down. A border blockade between Coutts, Alberta and Montana was broken up Tuesday. The Ambassador Bridge, known as largest land crossing between the United States and Canada, reopened late Sunday night after police cleared the remaining protesters over the weekend.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appeared the bulk of “freedom convoy” protests in Canada are now concentrated in the nation’s capital of Ottawa. As shown in the video above, Ottawa police began warning truck drivers Wednesday to leave immediately or risk arrest.

“You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offense and you may be arrested,” Ottawa Police wrote in a notice to demonstrators. “The people of Ottawa are being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and you are causing businesses to close. That is mischief under the Criminal Code.”

The notice also references the Emergencies Act, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted earlier this week.

“The Federal Emergencies Act allows for the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area. This means that anyone coming to Ottawa for the purpose of joining the ongoing demonstration is breaking the law.,” the notice read. “The act also provides police with a number of measures including the ability to seize vehicles that are part of this demonstration.”

The notice came a day after now-former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly resigned from the position. Despite the notice, some protesters continued to dig in their heels Wednesday.

“The drivers here are very determined,” protester David Paisley said. “Many of them have already lost their jobs, their businesses are struggling and they’re prepared to stand here until the end and communicate with the government.”

Sgt. Paul Manaigre, RCMP Media Relations Officer “It is our expectation that at noon today, just over an hour from now, the remaining demonstrators will begin to move out of the area and full access to the Emerson Port of Entry will be restored. The Manitoba RCMP will be coordinating and escorting the remaining vehicles out of this area to ensure a safe and orderly departure. This is for the safety of everyone involved.”

“Our officers will remain in the area to ensure that the highway and the border to the United States remains open and accessible to all travelers.”

“Well, you have to understand like this being a national issue, we have to take our time. We didn’t want to rush in. It would have absolutely made no sense just going in, perhaps making arrests, issuing tickets. We probably could have had others just take their place. Communication, as you can see, resulted in what we have today. In a short time, this is going to be open. To me, it is the best course of action. We’re going to have nobody charged. Nothing towed, nobody injured. No arrests. It’s a perfect solution.”

Sgt. Matt Eamer, Ontario Provincial Police: “We’re just handing out messaging from the Ottawa Police Services. I’m with the Ontario Provencial Police liaison team, these are the Ottawa Police liaison team and we’re just handing out messaging from the Ottawa police.”

David Paisley, protester: “If it means that I need to go to prison, if I need to be fined in order to allow freedom to be restored in this country — millions of people have given far more for their freedom. And in my mind, personally, it’s a small sacrifice to make in order to ensure that the freedoms of this great nation are restored. “

For the first time in more than two weeks, all border crossings between the United States and Canada are back open after the last so-called “freedom convoy” blockade broke up. Authorities in Manitoba announced they expected the last of protesters blocking the border crossing between Emerson and North Dakota to peacefully leave by early Wednesday afternoon. The video shows a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) official discussing the protesters’ departure.

“We didn’t want to rush in. It would have absolutely made no sense just going in, perhaps making arrests, issuing tickets. We probably could have had others just take their place,” RCMP Media Relations Officer Sgt. Paul Manaigre said Wednesday. “We’re going to have nobody charged. Nothing towed, nobody injured. No arrests. It’s a perfect solution.”

The Emerson/North Dakota border crossing was one of several between the U.S. and Canada to be shut down. A border blockade between Coutts, Alberta and Montana was broken up Tuesday. The Ambassador Bridge, known as largest land crossing between the United States and Canada, reopened late Sunday night after police cleared the remaining protesters over the weekend.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appeared the bulk of “freedom convoy” protests in Canada are now concentrated in the nation’s capital of Ottawa. As shown in the video above, Ottawa police began warning truck drivers Wednesday to leave immediately or risk arrest.

“You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking streets, are committing a criminal offense and you may be arrested,” Ottawa Police wrote in a notice to demonstrators. “The people of Ottawa are being denied the lawful use, enjoyment and operation of their property and you are causing businesses to close. That is mischief under the Criminal Code.”

The notice also references the Emergencies Act, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted earlier this week.

“The Federal Emergencies Act allows for the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area. This means that anyone coming to Ottawa for the purpose of joining the ongoing demonstration is breaking the law.,” the notice read. “The act also provides police with a number of measures including the ability to seize vehicles that are part of this demonstration.”

The notice came a day after now-former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly resigned from the position. Despite the notice, some protesters continued to dig in their heels Wednesday.

“The drivers here are very determined,” protester David Paisley said. “Many of them have already lost their jobs, their businesses are struggling and they’re prepared to stand here until the end and communicate with the government.”

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