A person arrested during a protest in support of Dutch farmers in downtown Ottawa

Vehicles and pedestrians carrying Canadian and Dutch flags converged on the streets of downtown Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, expressing solidarity with farmers protesting new government environmental regulations in the Netherlands.

Freedom Fighters Canada organized the “We Move As One” rally in cities across the country, including a “slow moving” convoy to Ottawa and a rally across the street from the Dutch Embassy blocks from Parliament Hill.

Ottawa Police say one person was arrested on Public Mischief and Obstruction charges after “a large group of uncooperative vehicles attempted to enter the city center, causing disruptions to the regular flow of traffic in various parts of the town and refused to leave.

Police say officers were deployed to the city center to monitor vehicle movements, temporarily close freeway exit ramps. 417 in the core and enforce the “vehicle exclusion zone” that prohibits vehicles from parking or stopping near Parliament Hill.

The Ottawa statute says 103 parking tickets were issued within the temporary prohibition zoneand 12 vehicles were towed.

Dozens of vehicles participated in the “slow-moving” convoy along the highway. 417 to the center of the city, where hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Albert Street. Farmers in the Netherlands have been holding a series of demonstrations to protest the new environmental goals by the Dutch government.

“The government is trying to put all these family farms out of business,” Jerry said. “I read about a farmer who has to sacrifice 95 percent of his dairy products just because he lives next to a forest.”

“When we had our truck rally, they supported us,” said a woman who was taking part in the rally.

Ottawa Police and Bylaw Services established a temporary no parking and no stopping zone in an area from Bronson Avenue on the west to the Rideau Canal on the east, and Wellington Street on the north to Laurier Avenue on the south. The no stopping zone and the no protest zone includes the area where the Dutch embassy is located.

“To effectively allocate resources throughout the city, officers have been deployed to the downtown area and surrounding areas to minimize disruption to residents, businesses and visitors; monitor convoy movements,” police said on Twitter late Saturday. “Temporarily close the 417 Freeway off-ramps to deter vehicle protesters from entering the city center; interact with protesters; enforce the vehicle exclusion zone; remind protesters of the Law of Highway Traffic; communicate with the public and protesters and manage a rally and snake march through the city center with road closures to ensure public safety.”

Signs at the rally included “Freedom”, “Hold the Line”, and “Support Farmers or Eat Crickets”.

“We want freedom of conscience, ability to live, ability to farm, buy as many animals as you want, grow as many as you want,” Stephanie said. “The freedom to sell what is produced and not have government agencies buy it and destroy it.”

Police reported seeing farm equipment on city streets, reminding farmers that the equipment is not allowed in the area.

“We want to remind everyone that in Ontario you can’t drive farm equipment on a highway like the 417 and 416 unless there is no other access to the farmland you are working on, and the land must be adjacent to a highway. of the 400 series. police said on Twitter.

Convoys were scheduled to travel from Brockville, Kemptville, Renfrew and Arnprior to far west Ottawa ahead of the downtown rally. Freedom Fighters Canada outlined etiquette for the protest, including “not blocking any road, exit, bridge or highway” during the event and “ensuring that flags are properly secured”.

Farmers in the Netherlands have been holding a series of demonstrations to protest the new environmental goals by the Dutch government.

Authorities have revealed plans to reduce emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and ammonia by 50 percent by 2030, to help protect more than 150 nature reserves in the country.

In recent weeks, farmers and supporters have protested outside government offices and on highways, blockading food distribution centers across the country.


Ottawa police have issued a warning to motorists about possible protests in the city center.

“There is zero tolerance for vehicle-based demonstrations or events within the designated area of ​​the city in the city center,” police said. said on Twitter.

“Groups that choose not to respect these designated areas will be met with an immediate police response that will include law enforcement and comprehensive towing options.”

Police say vehicle-based rallies or events are prohibited within an area stretching from Bronson Avenue in the west to Waller Street in the east, and Wellington Street/Rideau Street north to Laurier Avenue in the south. , along with Booth Street, Sussex Drive. and Mackenzie avenue.

Ottawa Police say vehicle-based demonstrations or events are prohibited within the highlighted area. (Ottawa Police Service/Twitter)

Roads remain open, police say.

“The city center remains open and accessible. The only exception is vehicles that want to do a vehicle-based demo,” says OPS.

–With archives from The Associated Press

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