Police dodge ‘farm machinery traveling at high speeds’ at Alberta border blockade as protest enters fifth day

Edmonton — Tensions are rising at the U.S. border crossing near Coutts, Alta., As a blockade enters its fifth day, with protesters snarling traffic and bucking police demands.

Alberta RCMP officers had attempted to clear the logjam of trucks on Tuesday, saying the blockaders were breaking the law by blocking critical infrastructure, but their efforts ultimately failed.

The blockade has been in place since Saturday on the north side of the crossing between Alberta and Montana to protest vaccination mandates put in place this month for truck drivers going across the Canada-US border.

Its drawn condemnation from politicians across the country and brought cross-border traffic to a standstill, while causing headaches for nearby residents.

Early Wednesday morning, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Curtis Peters said there was “in the ballpark of (100) to 200” vehicles still blocking traffic and that’s including “some farm machinery.”

Peters also addressed Tuesday’s attempts to clear the border blockade: “We did have some dangerous situations with officers and vehicles, tractors and stuff like that, that went around our roadblocks and came through ditches.

“We had members take evasive action to get out of the way of farm machinery traveling at high speeds,” said Peters. “But I’m not aware of a physical altercation between protesters and police.”

Peters said there was a “head-on collision” between protesters and a civilian trying to leave, too, and that an “assault had occurred there.”

The protest has coincided with the “Freedom convoy” protest that has choked the streets of Ottawa with truckers and their supporters calling for an end to all COVID-19-related vaccine mandates.

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