Today’s coronavirus news: Ottawa police say 11 of 50 alleged offenses by the ‘Freedom Convoy’ are hate crimes and are conducting investigations

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

Sunday 5:36 a.m.: Thousands of protesters across Canada took to the streets Saturday for the second weekend in a row, snarling traffic, disrupting business and residential neighborhoods and leading police to compare the demonstrations to a “siege” on the nation’s democracy.

What began last month with truckers complaining about mandated vaccines for crossing the border from the United States has grown into a catch-all movement for a variety of anti-government causes, laying bare deep resentments within Canada’s political right.

While police and officials braced for rowdy crowds and potential violence, the atmosphere of the demonstrations by Saturday evening, though boisterous, remained mostly peaceful and festive.

But police in Ottawa, the capital, admitted they were overwhelmed by the crowds and warned that the noisy and disruptive protests posed a real threat.

Ottawa police are conducting criminal investigations into 50 alleged incidents connected to a long-running protest against COVID-19 measures in the city’s core.

Police say 11 of those alleged offenses were hate crimes, and four people are facing charges.

The so-called Freedom Convoy rolled into the nation’s capital last weekend, and while some people went home over the course of the week, participation emerged again yesterday.

Officials estimate 500 heavy vehicles associated with the demonstration were in the city centre.

Meanwhile, solidarity protests are ongoing across Canada.

Read Saturday’s coronavirus news.

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Reference-www.thestar.com

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