Trucker and Founding Organizer of Freedom Convoy Arrested as Crackdown Accelerates
Ottawa, ON — A trucker who is a founding organizer of Freedom Convoy was arrested today in the streets of the nation’s capital.
After spearheading a weeks-long historic protest in Ottawa, truck driver Chris Barber was detained on Thursday by officers with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS).
In a video captured by a fellow protester, Barber is seen being arrested by two OPS officers.
“Call my wife,” Barber said. “Put this on social media right away.”
The outspoken trucker stood calmly and peacefully while police searched him before placing him in the back of a cruiser.
He is expected to be charged with criminal mischief, but it is unclear what additional charges will be forthcoming.
Barber’s arrest comes as OPS Interim Chief Steve Bell is vowing to arrest any remaining protesters even warning that demonstrators who have their children with them could face up to five years in prison.
In a press conference on Thursday, Bell said law enforcement will soon end the protest.
“Overnight and into today, we’ve begun to harden the perimeter around the protests,” he said. “We’re installing fencing and other barriers throughout the area.”
The Interim Chief also announced police created a “secured area” from Bronson Avenue to the Canal, the Queensway to Parliament Hill.
OPS has set up 100 checkpoints only allowing certain people into the “secured area.”
According to Bell, the only people who will be allowed in include those who:
(a) reside, work or are moving through that area for reasons other than to participate in or facilitate the assembly;
(b) are acting with the permission of a peace officer or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;
(c) are a peace officer; or
(d) are an employee or agent of the government of Canada or a province who is acting in the execution of their duties.
Additionally, police are warning truckers who choose to remain in Ottawa could have their rigs seized, insurance revoked, bank accounts frozen and Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) certificates suspended or cancelled.
The harsh penalties were made possible when, earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the federal Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada’s history.
It is an unprecedented and highly controversial decision that is already being challenged in court by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.