Ottawa Bans Bikers 2022: As Ottawa Prepares For Potential Protests, The Police Chief Vows To End The Biker Rally…!!

Ottawa Bans Bikers 2022: As Ottawa Prepares For Potential Protests, The Police Chief Vows To End The Biker Rally…!!

The police chief of Ottawa has vowed to prevent an upcoming biker rally from reaching the city’s downtown core, as residents prepare for a possible rerun of the so-called “Freedom Convoy” anti-government protests that paralyzed the Canadian capital earlier this year.

Thousands of bikers are expected to arrive in Ottawa on Friday for the “Rolling Thunder” rally, which is ostensibly held in honor of military veterans.

The rally’s organizer, Neil Sheard, has denied that it is a protest, but prominent anti-vaccine figure Chris Sky has been advertised as a “special guest” speaker, and Veterans for Freedom, a group that opposes public health measures, is also a part of the event.

Organizers had planned to march on Parliament Hill on Friday and then meet at the war memorial the next day. However, the interim police chief, Steve Bell, warned that the bikers would be met with a “heavy police presence” and road closures.

ottawa bans bikers

“We will not tolerate unsafe or illegal conditions that could lead to another protest, as we saw in February,” Bell told the police services board on Monday. Bell said there was no indication that the Rolling Thunder rally would become a long-term occupation like the trucker protests, but that things could change quickly. “I want to be clear with both organizers and participants: you will be held accountable for your actions before, during, and after the events.”

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The city is still reeling from the February protests, when hundreds of commercial trucks blocked the streets in front of Parliament Hill, honking their horns at all hours of the day and night and defying multiple orders to leave.

That event began as a protest against public health measures but quickly morphed into a broader anti-government movement, with protestors calling for Justin Trudeau’s government to face criminal charges.

Following weeks of disruption, the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, allowing officials to freeze bank accounts and suspend the commercial licenses of truck drivers involved. On Monday, the federal government announced an investigation into the use of the rarely used legislation.

After nearly a month of protests, police stormed the blockades and arrested nearly 200 protesters. Authorities in Ottawa later revealed that the protests had cost the city more than C$36 million (US$28 million, £22 million).

“I do not want our children, seniors, and other vulnerable residents to be re-traumatized.” “Our businesses should not be forced to close again,” Ottawa city councilor Catherine McKenney wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Zexi Li, a downtown resident whose annoyance with non-stop truck honking prompted a C$306 million class-action lawsuit against the convoy, told the Guardian that she and others are concerned that “mistakes will be made again” as officials try to prepare for the influx of bikers.

“Without a doubt, the protests caused a loss of trust in the city, in our officials, and in the police.” “We were completely let down by the people who were supposed to protect us,” she explained.

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Sheard warned earlier this week that the event could devolve into a “free-for-all” as bikers are forced to deviate from a previously planned route after police said they wouldn’t allow vehicles into the downtown core.

“We keep hearing that things should not have gotten as bad as they did if certain steps had been taken from the start,” Li explained. “Well, we now know what those steps are. So, in theory, all that remains is to take those steps.”