Ottawa Police move in on peaceful Freedom Convoy protest

Protestors in Ottawa were met with an increased police presence on Thursday after the city's interim police chief vowed to "take back" the area.

On Thursday morning, protestors in downtown Ottawa woke up to increased police presence as authorities continue to ramp up their efforts to put an end to the Freedom Convoy demonstrations that have been going steady for weeks.

The move comes after Ottawa Interim Police Chief Steve Bell announced on Wednesday that he was "going to take back the entirety of the downtown core and every occupied space."
Over the past twenty-four hours, notices have been issued urging people to leave downtown Ottawa, but very few, if any, have complied.

"We want to inform you," the notice begins, "that you will face severe penalties under provincial and federal legislation if you do not cease further unlawful activity and remove your vehicle and/or property immediately from all unlawful protest sites."

The notice goes on to warn protestors that if they fail to abide by the request, they face the risk of criminal punishment, having their driver's license suspended or cancelled, having their bank accounts examined, and having their vehicle seized, among other penalties.

Those supplying the protest with fuel and other goods also run the risk of punishment.