Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have left their home in Ottawa and moved to a secret location after a large-scale protest converged on Parliament Hill against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, media reports said on Saturday.
An anti-vaccine demonstration dubbed ‘Freedom Convoy’ against regulations imposed on cross-border truckers grew into a demonstration against the Trudeau government’s regulations on Coronavirus. Reports from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation indicate that truckers and other protesters converged in the Capital city on Saturday calling for an end to mandatory vaccination mandates for COVID-19 and other public health restrictions.
The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that some groups of people, including children and elderly people, carried signs with obscenities and aggressive rhetoric aimed primarily at the Canadian prime minister.
Some protesters danced on the prominent war memorial, prompting Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand and Canada’s top soldier Gen. Wayne Eyre to condemn the protesters.
Following hundreds of protesters flooding into the Parliament precinct, despite a freezing warning, the police are on high alert.
Similarly, Anita Anand condemned the behavior, describing it as “beyond reprehensible.” “It is important that Canadians treat the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National War Memorial with solemnity as a mark of respect for those who have fought and died for our country,” she said.
According to reports, police did not have a precise estimate of how many people would attend by Saturday evening. Nearly 10,000 people were expected to attend by day’s end, the police said. During a media conference on Friday, Trudeau expressed his concern about a violent protest, although he said the group represented a “small fringe minority” who did not represent Canadians’ views.