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Ottawa declares state of emergency over COVID-19 protests

Freedom Convoy Rally in Vaughan
Posted at 8:55 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 10:55:58-05

TORONTO (AP) — The mayor of Canada's capital declared a state of emergency, and a former U.S. ambassador to Canada says U.S. Republicans must stop interfering in the domestic affairs of its neighbor as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa's downtown.

Mayor Jim Watson says the declaration highlights the need for support from other levels of government.

Thousands descended on Ottawa on the weekend, joining a couple hundred who have remained since last weekend.

Residents are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption, and harassment and fear no end is in sight.

The "freedom truck convoy" has attracted support from former President Donald Trump.

The mandate, which began on Jan. 22, requires that anyone entering the U.S. be vaccinated.

As of Jan. 15, essential drivers, including truck drivers, must prove they've been vaccinated to cross Canada's borders.

The demonstrators have outraged many Canadians due to their crude behavior, including dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, urinating on the National War Memorial, and carrying signs and flags with swastikas, the Associated Press reported.

The news outlet reported that the protestors wouldn't leave until all COVID-19 mandates and restrictions were gone.