Ottawa Police March On Freedom Convoy: ‘Starting To Feel Like The Beginning Of The End’
Police officers walk past trucks blocking a street during a demonstration in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Police told demonstrators camped out on the streets of Canada’s capital that they must leave or be subject to arrest under new emergency powers invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario’s provincial government. Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg
David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal and local law enforcement is reportedly beginning a sweep through downtown Ottawa to remove Freedom Convoy protesters that have occupied the area since late January.

Protest organizers operating the YouTube account Live From The Shed said on a livestream Friday morning that police officers are sweeping the streets, arresting protesters, and pushing others out of the secured area that law enforcement set up earlier this week. According to the protesters, tow trucks are stationed nearby and are believed to be waiting to clear the area of trucks.

“The tow trucks are not labeled, they’ve had their plates removed and their companies covered so they are hiding their identities from the world,” one of protesters on the livestream said.

National Review fellow Nate Hochman, who is in Ottawa to cover the Freedom Convoy protest, tweeted Friday that “thousands of police” have surrounded the protest area near Parliament and are beginning to move in on the protesters.

“Thousands of police have surrounded the Ottawa convoy over the course of the past 90 mins. More continue to come in to back up the front line, which has been methodically pushing in, foot by foot. An air of panic on the ground. Starting to feel like the beginning of the end,” Hochman tweeted.

The Ottawa Police Department reported Friday several hours into the sweep that officers have arrested 21 and towed away 21 vehicles from the Freedom Convoy.

Police have “box[ed] in” protesters in downtown Ottawa, cutting off paths to leave the area and are conducting “mass arrests,” according to one protest organizer. Police are breaking into vehicles to arrest people who have seemingly locked themselves inside.

Michael Thiessen, president of Liberty Coalition Canada, has posted video of the police moving in on protesters. Other videos show officers in riot gear with gas masks and armed with clubs.

In the interior of the protest area, some Freedom Convoy protesters have built of walls of snow in an apparent attempt to slow down law enforcement slowly sweeping and clearing the protest area.

Earlier Friday, police appeared to arrest one YouTuber who had been covering the Freedom Convoy protest in livestreams over his account. The YouTuber ZOT appeared to be taken into custody Friday morning before law enforcement began their sweep of the area during ZOT’s livestream. The streamer is met by several officers at the end of a hour-long video posted to his account Friday morning saying he is under arrest. Ottawa police did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.

The crackdown comes after police arrested two of the convoy’s organizers, Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, on Thursday. Ottawa police confirmed the arrests on Friday. Barber is facing several charges of “counselling to commit the offence of mischief,” “counselling to commit the offence of disobey court order,” and “counselling to commit the offence of obstruct police.” Lich has been charged with “counselling to commit the offence of mischief.”

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