Ottawa Police are warning residents they will be seeing police action as they work to remove the remaining demonstrators from downtown Ottawa.
In a statement, the force said, “The public will be hearing about and seeing police actions in the coming hours and days. It will take time to do this right. We have appropriate and lawful methods to remove anyone who refuses. Every step will be considered and methodical. We ask for your patience and confidence.”
The statement continues that the enhanced Integrated Command Centre of Ottawa Police, the OPP, and RCMP have “developed a clear and actionable plan to bring about a safe and peaceful end to the unlawful protests underway in downtown Ottawa.”
Police say they are aware children are in the area and they are focused on their safety. Earlier Wednesday the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society encouraged anyone with children to leave the area and take the children to a safe place. Police also have a plan to ensure children are protected and curing for during any police action.
There are still about 360 vehicles left in downtown Ottawa on Day 20 of the Freedom Convoy protest.
On Wednesday morning police were handing out leaflets warning demonstrators to leave immediately. It warns anyone blocking streets, or helping others is committing a criminal offence and may be arrested. The notices go on to state that people must immediately cease further unlawful activity or they will face charges. Police say the Federal Emergencies Act allows them to arrest people who are travelling to the convoy or other blockades. That means anyone with plans to go to Ottawa for the weekend could be charged.
On Wednesday evening a further warning to demonstrators was posted on the Ottawa Police Service website
In Coutts Alberta, four people have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after police seized weapons, ammunition, and body armour earlier this week before the blockade at that border crossing dispersed.