On Sunday as the Freedom Convoy organizers held a press conference to discuss their actions in Ottawa, 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."
They noted that this was one of the early strategies, to stop trucks coming in with fuel to refuel the trucks, so they brought it in carry-cans. "Now they're blocking that. So the reality is find another way around it."
"Also highly questionable as to whether that's legal or not, and that gets back to the issue of Charter rights versus some local municipal bylaw that says you're not allowed to pull a wagon down the street," a representative of the convoy said.
"And also remember that anytime Mayor Watson or other politicians like him talk about leadership, anybody who's been in a leadership role knows it's very difficult because your job is to listen and deescalate situations," co-organizer Benjamin Dichter said, noting that he wishes Watson well in retirement after his political career comes to an abrupt halt over this.
"I guess my legal comment," said the convoy's attorney, "would be the notion that the government can arrest a Canadian for providing food to another Canadian is perhaps the most unCanadian thing I've heard so far."
"If I may, from a law enforcement perspective," said another with the team who specializes in intelligence. "You don't have to follow orders. I hear that all the time. 'Oh, they're just following orders. They're just following orders.' You don't have to follow an order if you feel that it's unjust. So it's time for law enforcement to step up. Okay? The truckers have done more to stand up for me and my family than my own brothers and sisters in law enforcement. And this is what law enforcement should have done months ago in my opinion. They are supposed to be the protectors of the country."
"I've seen I've seen mothers get arrested in hockey rinks for watching your kids play sports. It's disgusting," said co-organizer Tom Quiggen. "That's the line. Where's the line get crossed, where you're no longer willing to suffer what the management is telling you to do?"
"There are children in the convoy," said another. "Truckers have brought their families, they brought children and for for some official to order that they should not provide food for children or gasoline to keep the trucks running so that the kids can stay warm inside the truck. I cannot actually believe my ears. You have to know who is there. People are think that there's a bunch of great big six foot four burly men in that are here. That's not that's not true. That's not right. And that's horrible."
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