Thousands opposed to COVID-19 rules converge on Parliament Hill, with more en route
A convoy of thousands of truckers and other protesters have descended on Parliament Hill to call for an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions — a raucous demonstration that has police on high alert for possible violence even as organizers urge the growing crowd to be peaceful.
Hundreds of protesters on foot flooded into the parliamentary precinct on Saturday in the midst of an extreme cold warning, joining a lineup of truckers that started to arrive on the scene late Friday night. Many more are expected to descend on the downtown core in the hours ahead, as truckers and their supporters leave muster points in the east and west ends of Ottawa destined for Parliament Hill.
The convoy has snarled traffic throughout the region, clogging arteries that lead in and out of the city centre. Police estimate as many as 10,000 people will be on hand by day’s end. Law enforcement urged everyone to avoid travel to the downtown as it deals with the surge of people.
The trucks that have gathered along Wellington Street in front of the Parliament Buildings are adorned with banners denouncing public health measures and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Some warn that communism will take hold in Canada if COVID-19-related restrictions continue. Dozens of truckers are blasting their horns to announce their presence.
WATCH: An on-the-ground look at the Parliament Hill protests