“These occupants are dangerous. They have trucks. There are rumors that they have weapons.

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The protest movement against the restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country.

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In Ottawa, protesters showed no signs of tiring after a week of unrest in downtown and near Parliament Hill.

But they could face their first legal challenge, at their expense. An Ottawa attorney has appeared in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of city residents, demanding millions of dollars in damages and interest, and an injunction “prohibiting the continuation of this nuisance.” ”.

Judge Hugh McLean indicated that he will not make a decision before Monday.

Ottawa and several other Canadian cities are going to great lengths to ensure that demonstrations remain peaceful.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) expected other protesters to bring reinforcements over the weekend, with the arrival of some 400 trucks and 2,000 foot protesters.

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Tensions remained high as many residents expressed frustration, calling the rally an occupation.

By mid-afternoon, thousands of protesters warmed themselves with small bonfires outside the West Block building, which houses the House of Commons. They grilled sausages and handed out plates, under tarps. Two men rode through the streets of the city on horseback, one with a flag supporting former US President Donald Trump.

PAHO indicated that some 20 highway exits and roads would be closed all day.

It appears that resistance to the demonstrations in the country’s capital is building, as a group of counter-demonstrators planned to march through the city center.

“Everyone expects it to be a nice and safe event,” said Ottawa resident Mackenzie Demers, organizer of a counter-demonstration. “That said, there is always the underlying danger for all visible minorities and all people in the LGBTQ community.

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“These occupants are dangerous,” Demers added. “They have trucks. There are rumors that they have weapons.

Some residents questioned the wisdom of the protest.

“I feel like it’s a pointless and stupid gesture, and the degradation of our political climate put me off this morning,” said Ottawa resident Jeremy Owen, who organized an online petition calling on the SPO to expel the protesters.

In Toronto, several hundred protesters rallied on the south side of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, chanting “Liberté!” in French over a reggae beat blasting out of the speakers. Some carried signs that read: “Freedom not obligation” or “Let yourself be guided by love, not by fear.”

Toronto police said they have arrested a 22-year-old man for lighting a smoke bomb. The man will face charges of assault with a weapon, mischief and administration of a noxious substance.

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Nearby, some 200 health care workers and supporters marched from the University of Toronto to a hospital, brandishing signs that read: “No jerks” or “N95 masks for everyone.”

Demonstrations were also held in Quebec City, Fredericton and Winnipeg. Others were planned for Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and in the Alberta border town of Coutts.

Several police forces say they have learned from the Ottawa demonstrations. They have created strategies aimed at protecting essential infrastructure such as essential service roads and hospitals, while also preventing acts of violence.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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