The Ambassador Bridge will reopen on Sunday — Windsor Police

0

Content of the article

Police launched another offensive on Sunday morning, pushing south along Huron Church Road from the Ambassador Bridge to Tecumseh Road, clearing out the few remaining protesters in the process in hopes of reopening the border crossing later in the day .

Advertising

Content of the article

After a relatively quiet night, police began making arrests and towing vehicles.

Windsor Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Betteridge told reporters that 12 people were charged with mischief and seven to ten vehicles were towed. A few of the vehicles carried people inside with whom the police had to “negotiate” to leave.

No injuries among protesters or officers were reported.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens on Sunday thanked the law enforcement agencies involved “for their determined but compassionate approach to the occupation.” He also thanked the townspeople who were affected and who “respected the process necessary to find a solution”.

In a written statement, Dilkens went on to say, “Elected leaders, myself included, will be judged in due course on how we responded to the COVID-19 public health crisis. As the virus mutates, our response has and must continue to evolve.

Advertising

Content of the article

“As Canadians, there are more things that unite us than divide us and we must all find the resolve to approach those with different points of view with tolerance and respect.

Dilkens urged provincial and federal leaders to “refrain from divisive political rhetoric and redouble our efforts to help all Canadians heal as we emerge from nearly two years of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions. pandemic”.

What almost looked like a party atmosphere on Saturday afternoon and evening with loud music – hundreds of people gathered at Huron Church, some even playing hockey or soccer – turned into something more serious.

Police began the new push in the early hours of Sunday morning. At around 8 a.m., 20 protesters were still in the blockade area of ​​Huron Church, just south of College Avenue.

Advertising

Content of the article

Police began moving south soon after and told everyone to leave the area.

Three vehicles remained parked on Huron Church at the time, prompting police to intervene and arrest their occupants before having them towed away.

A man who identified himself as Danny told the Star he was not worried about being arrested.

“The only reason we’re here is for freedom,” he said. “For you, me and everyone else.
“But I’m ready to be arrested because if you don’t do what you believe in, your rights, everything will be taken away from you.”

Danny said blocking an international border “just took money out of the government.

“It’s the only way to get their attention.”

As police advanced, about 10 vehicles, including the cab of a transport truck, parked on Huron Church, just south of Tecumseh, revved their engines and honked their horns. They left together moments later heading east on Tecumseh Road.

Advertising

Content of the article

By 9 a.m., media, protesters and spectators had been pushed south down Huron Church Road and into a plaza at the intersection of Tecumseh Road. All demonstrators and their vehicles left the roadway or were removed from it.

Gone is the loud music, dancing kids, food tents and jovial attitudes that occupied the freeway hours earlier.

Gathered in the plaza at the southeast corner of the intersection, the remaining protesters were told that several business owners had called police to complain about their presence on the property. OPP liaison officers advised protesters that they must leave the property or be arrested for trespassing. Most immediately walked onto the adjoining public sidewalk. A few complained audibly before doing the same.

Advertising

Content of the article

Less than an hour later, police began towing vehicles from the plaza parking lot. They then advised the few dozen demonstrators present to also leave the sidewalk.

Police continue to block all access to the Huron Church, as well as access to several roads in the expanded area.

In a written statement released shortly after noon, Windsor Police said their “exercise” of discretion during the long protest “should not be confused with a lack of enforcement”. The police tried to “avoid creating an unstable situation and potentially endangering the public”.

Police used “a phased approach”, ensuring “open lines of communication and ongoing negotiations with protesters”, the statement said. Police told protesters their actions were illegal and they could be charged with mischief.

Advertising

Content of the article

“Throughout this protest, police have respected the protesters’ freedom of expression and their right to peaceful assembly,” Windsor Police said in a written statement shortly after noon. “The importance of public safety remained the number one priority for officers, with the goal being a peaceful resolution. Our commitment to professionalism, keeping lines of communication open and exercising appropriate police discretion guided our response to this major event.

Residents will continue to see a police presence in the area “to maintain a safe environment”.

More soon

Police begin arresting protesters on Huron Church Road near the Ambassador Bridge.
Police begin arresting protesters on Huron Church Road near the Ambassador Bridge. Photo by Julie Kotsis /Windsor Star
Police aggressively move media away from Huron Church as they advance towards protesters.
Police aggressively move media away from Huron Church as they advance towards protesters. Photo by Julie Kotsis /Windsor Star
Police officers are seen behind a concrete barrier erected overnight near the Ambassador Bridge.
Police officers are seen behind a concrete barrier erected overnight near the Ambassador Bridge. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.