Thousands Protest Against Mandates at Canadian Parliament for 2nd Day
Organizers say the convoy will stay in Ottawa until demands for lifting COVID-19 mandates are met

OTTAWA—The “Freedom Convoy” protests continued overnight and into Sunday Jan. 30 in Ottawa, with trucks and vehicles still parked in the city’s downtown core, and people gathered on Parliament Hill, with some setting off fireworks.

Protest organizers say they will stay in Ottawa until their demands for lifting COVID-19 mandates are met.

Truck horns continue to be heard honking intermittently on the second day of protest in the nation’s capital, with people walking around carrying Canadian flags as well other flags and signs.

The event, which started on Saturday Jan. 29, drew thousands of supporters from across the country. The Parliament Hill area as well as nearby streets on Saturday were packed with people.

A spokesperson for the Ottawa Police Service told The Epoch Times it won’t give an official estimate of the number of people who have come to the city for the protest until the demonstrations are over. Police also refused to confirm how long they are expecting the protests to last.

In a statement on Jan. 30, police said there have been “no incidents of violence or injuries reported.”

“Police are patrolling throughout the downtown core, managing the movement of protestors and trucks,” Ottawa police said.

Ottawa convoy protest
Supporters arrive at Parliament Hill for the Freedom Truck Convoy to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in Ottawa, Canada, on Jan. 29, 2022. (Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images)

After some protesters put Canadian flags and signs on the Terry Fox statue, and some vehicles were parked by the National War Memorial, police said they “took steps to protect these areas,” stressing that “they should be respected at all times.” They said some criminal investigations are ongoing related to the incident with the memorial and the statue.

Police also said they encountered some challenges with demonstrators overnight, including “sporadic road blockages by trucks,” but the situations were “de-escalated and resolved with no arrests.”

Freedom Convoy 2022 began as a protest against the federal government’s vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border but has since expanded in scope, with many joining the movement to protest various COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.

Sandor Szollosi, a truck driver from Calgary, said he leads an active life and is involved in different sports. But with the mandates and restrictions in place, he hasn’t been able to go swimming or other sports activities.

“I fell frustrated because I feel that my freedom is just … taken away from me,” Szollosi said in an interview.

Kim Brock, who came from Belleville, Ont., said she came here to fight for “freedom of choice.”

“I feel that people shouldn’t lose their jobs over the vaccine mandate because of the fact that the vaccine doesn’t stop the spread, nor does it stop me from getting it,” she said.

The first convoy started from the West Coast on Jan. 23, with more trucks joining from different parts of the country, coming together to protest in the nation’s capital this weekend and into next week.

Several other convoy trucks and protests were held on Jan. 29 in solidarity throughout the country, including on roads and by provincial legislatures.

A GoFundMe account set up to support the convoy had collected more than $8.6 million as of the morning of Jan. 30.

trucker protest
Trucks and other vehicles drive through Ottawa as part of the trucker convoy protesting COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on Jan. 29, 2022. (Jonathan Ren/The Epoch Times)

While GoFundMe reviews the distribution plan for the funds, organizers said that the crowdfunding platform released the first batch of $1 million, which will be used to support drivers with costs of fuel, food, and lodging.

Rahul Vaidyanath and Noé Chartier contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times