OTTAWA, Ontario — Police began arresting protesters Friday in a bid to break the three-week siege of Canada’s capital by truckers angry over the country’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Some protesters surrendered and were taken into custody, police said. Some were seen being led away in handcuffs.
Police made their first move to take break up the traffic-snarling occupation late Thursday with the arrest of two protest leaders. They also sealed off much of the downtown area to outsiders to prevent them from coming to the aid of the self-styled Freedom Convoy protesters.
The capital represented the movement’s last stronghold after three weeks of demonstrations and blockades that shut down border crossings into the U.S., caused economic damage to both countries and created a political crisis for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Over the past weeks, authorities had hesitated to move against many of the protesters around the country, in part for fear of violence. The demonstrations have drawn right-wing extremists and veterans, some of them armed.