A blockage on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit has disrupted traffic between Canada and the United States. Its reopening “allows for a free flow of trade again between the Canadian and US economies,” Detroit International Bridge said in a statement Sunday night.
Their grievances stem from Canada’s new mandate that truckers must be fully vaccinated or face two weeks of isolation when crossing the Canadian-US border. Others have joined forces across the country to mobilize against mask orders, locks, restrictions on meetings and other corona virus prevention measures.
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Sunday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Police expect more presence in the area to maintain order, he said.
“The state of emergency declared in Ontario and the restraining order issued by the Ontario judge came into effect on Friday,” the bridge company said.
Opponents represent a vocal minority. Data from Johns Hopkins University show that 4 out of every 5 Canadians are fully vaccinated. According to the Canadian government, nearly 90% of the country’s truckers are fully vaccinated and eligible to cross the border.
The mayor of Windsor said the siege’s economic downturn would end Sunday. “Today, our national economic crisis ended at the Ambassador Bridge,” Mayor Drew Tilkens said in a written statement.
The mayor says protesters will leave residential areas of Ottawa
On Sunday, Mayor Jim Watson said he had reached an agreement to leave the residential areas of downtown and restrict their protests in the streets directly to the National Assembly of Canada.
Truckers and their supporters have been gathering in Ottawa since January 29, with demonstrations gathering around government buildings but spreading to residential areas.
Watson acknowledged that the deal was not a long-term solution, but said in a statement to CNN that it “reflects a positive first step.”
“Freedom Conway” organizer Tamara Lich wrote to the mayor that while some residents supported and encouraged the protesters, others were harassed, according to a letter from the mayor’s office to CNN.
“We work hard over the next 24 hours to make purchases from truckers,” Lich wrote in a letter to Watson. “We hope to start modifying our trucks on Monday.”
Other border crossings were blocked
In addition to the Ambassador Bridge, protesters used semi-trailers – sometimes farm equipment and other vehicles – to block access to the Coutts border between Alberta and Montana.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba said Saturday that about 50 vehicles have blocked access to the Canadian-US border in Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota since Thursday.
“Although no injuries were reported as a result of this incident, it is harmful to pedestrians and first responders. This type of behavior is not tolerated and is being investigated,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Vanessa said in a statement earlier.