Ottawa police make 7 arrests and tow 24 vehicles during Rolling Thunder bike rally weekend | CNN


Ottawa police arrested seven people and towed 24 vehicles Friday as the Rolling Thunder bike rally got underway in the Canadian capital.

In a statement, police did not mention the rally by name but said they were responding to “demonstrations” in the city.

Residents have been on edge ahead of the event following the so-called Freedom Convoy protests earlier this year that lasted weeks.

“There have been no reported injuries, and police remain in full control of city streets,” police said in the statement.

More than 500 participants were expected to travel to Ottawa this weekend, according to event organizers.

Law enforcement officials have been bracing for protests.

Participants were warned by police that displaying symbols of hate like swastikas “will result in charges.” The agency also cautioned that “the targeting of any community events will result in a police and enforcement response.”

The city was paralyzed by the Freedom Convoy protests in January.

They began with truckers who opposed the Covid-19 vaccine mandate that directed all Canadian truckers crossing the US-Canadian border to be fully vaccinated or face quarantine in their homes for two weeks when they returned.

Eventually, the protests drew others who opposed coronavirus restrictions at the time.

Hundreds of vehicles formed convoys that converged on Ottawa, and many pedestrian protesters joined the vehicles. The demonstration clogged the downtown area as well as key routes between the US and Canada.

The protests ultimately dissipated after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, resulting in the arrests of protesters and the removal of vehicles and blockades.

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