Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency in relation to the Freedom Convoy, which has protested in the city for over a week.
"Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government," the statement reads.
"It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders."
This news comes just days after Mayor Watson celebrated GoFundMe's removal of the Freedom Convoy fundraiser. On Sunday, convoy organizers were asked about Ottawa's attempts to end the protest. According to one organizer, the Mayor of Ottawa is trying to "starve out the convoy."
During the press conference with organizers, Ottawa police announced that anyone who provides material support to the truckers may be subject to arrest.
"IMPORTANT" they stated. "Anyone attempting to bring material supports (gas, etc.) to the demonstrators could be subject to arrest. Enforcement is underway."
"That's fear," the organizers said in response.
"It goes back to the early discussion about Mayor Watson's collective punishment strategy of trying to punish the business owners and the convoy owners," an organizer said. "And that's one more... escalating, escalating, escalating."
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