Police make multiple arrests as dismantling of Ottawa blockade begins

Police have not said when they plan to have all of the protesters out of Ottawa.

An integrated unit of RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Ottawa police moved in quickly on convoy protesters Friday.

By late afternoon, police said they had made more than 70 arrests.

This included two of the illegal blockade’s main leaders Pat King and Daniel Bulford.

On Thursday, two other leaders, Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, were also arrested.

A number of trucks were also seen being towed out of the downtown core.

Police officers at the corner of Sussex and Rideau in Ottawa, between the Rideau Centre shopping mall, Chateau Laurier hotel and Canadian Senate. Photo: Brett Forester/APTN News

Police seemed to largely outnumber protesters, some of whom yelled obscenities and pushed back against the officers.

Officers were seen with heavy guns, in riot gear and on horseback.

The police methodically pushed demonstrators into smaller and smaller areas to take back downtown streets that have been occupied for more than three weeks by the blockade, which started as a protest against vaccine passports.

At a press conference Friday, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the changed atmosphere in the nation’s capital was proof the Emergencies Act is working.

Police have not set a definitive timeline of when they plan to have all of the protesters out of Ottawa.

The operation will likely carry on into the weekend and possibly into next week.

With files by Brett Forester

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