Mounted Police Knock Protesters Down, as Over 100 Are Arrested in Ottawa

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OTTAWA, Canada—Police put the number of arrests at over 100, and the number of vehicles towed at 21 on Feb. 18 as law enforcement escalated its confrontation with protesters in Ottawa.

Mounted police and officers on foot advanced on crowds to push them away from the designated secured area, in some instances knocking down protesters.

The police slowly pushed back the crowd for most of the day, but in the afternoon increased pressure by deploying pepper spray and using police on horseback to gain more ground while advancing against the protesters.

Some police officers carried assault rifles and what appeared to be rubber bullet launchers.

Earlier in the day, protest organizer Benjamin Dichter took to Twitter to urge protesters to leave and pleaded with the OPS to let the truckers “leave in peace.”

“One of Freedom Convoy Canada drivers had his truck windows smashed by Ottawa Police, guns drawn & dragged out of his vehicle by force. It’s time to leave. Ottawa Police please allow the remaining trucks to leave in peace.”

Dichter confirmed to The Epoch Times that the decision to leave was made by convoy leadership.

“We had a meeting with all the road captains and they came to the conclusion that it is the safest option,” he said.

Meanwhile, protesters could be seen making snow barricades on Wellington and Metcalfe streets to slow the police advance toward the core of the protest in front of Parliament Hill.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) called out the OPS for telling media earlier in the day to stay away and warning that “anyone found within areas undergoing enforcement may be subject to arrest.”

“Warning journalists about safety risks in the protest zone is reasonable. Threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs is not,” wrote the CCLA on Twitter.

Organizers Arrested

Two Freedom Convoy organizers, Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, were arrested on Feb. 17. Former RCMP officer Daniel Bulford, who coordinated security at the protest, was also arrested on Feb. 18.

By Limin Zhou and Noé Chartier

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