Police clear Ottawa of protesters, vehicles during tumultuous weekend

By Sunday night, the remaining trucks involved in the occupation of downtown Ottawa were towed away, and the leaders of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ had mostly been rounded up and arrested.

As of Monday morning, lead fundraiser and organizer Tamara Lich remained behind bars, and will stay there until hearing Tuesday morning whether or not she’ll be granted bail. The same was true for organizer Pat King

(Photo: Ottawa Police Service)

Chris Barber, the trucker among the organizers, was released on $100,000 bond and told he must return home to Saskatchewan. His charges include: counselling to commit the offence of mischief; counselling to commit the offence of disobey court order; and counselling to commit the offence of obstruct police. He said after a night in jail that his “organizing days are over.”

Lich is being held on charges of counselling to commit the offence of mischief. She said during her bail hearing that she had little means to post bond, and returning home to Alberta would be difficult due to her unvaccinated status. However, her husband Dwayne, who was there as her potential surety, acknowledged he flew to Ottawa via private jet – paid for by a friend – on Feb. 2.

Some truckers over the weekend refused to leave and were physically removed from their trucks and charged. Others left when police closed in.

Protesters clashed with police throughout the weekend, as police methodically pushed back demonstrators and removed abandoned vehicles. The Special Investigations Unit has been called in to investigate two incidents between protesters and police: an interaction between a Toronto police officer on horseback with a 49-year-old woman resulting in injury; and the firing by Vancouver Police Department officers of non-lethal anti-riot weapon enfields (no injuries were reported).

Late Sunday afternoon, Ottawa police reported there had been a total of 191 arrests, 389 charges laid, and 79 vehicles towed.

Owners of those towed vehicles may not get them back, if Ottawa mayor Jim Watson has his way.

“We actually have the ability to confiscate those vehicles and sell them,” Watson was quoted by CBC as saying Saturday. “And I want to see them sold. I don’t want the return to these people who’ve been causing such frustration and angst in our community.”

He wants funds to go toward covering the costs incurred by the city throughout the occupation.