Ottawans bracing as protest numbers expected to swell this weekend
Police say military aid, court order might be needed to end demonstration
People who live in downtown Ottawa are bracing as a nearly week-long protest against COVID-19 public health mandates looks poised to continue, with the police chief concerned that policing alone may not end the “intolerable” and “unprecedented” demonstration.
The ongoing and volatile protest has spurred residents to make their own stand — at the Ottawa Police Service’s headquarters on Elgin Street.
Rhys McGaw, a downtown resident, and others gathered for a second night on Wednesday to object to what they view as inaction by police.
“In my neighbourhood, on my street, down the street, in the stores of Centretown or Lowertown — that’s where people are just running amok,” McGaw said.
“They’re looking for a fight. They’re drunk. They’re belligerent. They’re aggressive.”
McGaw said he doesn’t want to be harassed for wearing a mask and feels those flouting public health regulations are dangerous for doing so.
City councillors brought the anguish many residents are feeling to police during a Wednesday afternoon briefing.
“I’m sorry for the living hell that you’re enduring,” said Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans, chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, to residents.
“We live in the nation’s capital. We expect protests and demonstrations, but we don’t expect this.”
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Source: CBC News
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