Canadian Protesters Can Be Removed from Ambassador Bridge, Judge Rules

A judge has ruled that the city of Windsor, Ontario, can enact an injunction against the Canadian Freedom Convoy protesters still blocking traffic on the Ambassador Bridge linking the city to nearby Detroit.

According to Jacob Lorinc of The Toronto Star, Justice Geoffrey Morawetz has granted permission to utilize an injunction to forcibly remove protesters from the bridge. The injunction's draft is expected to be presented around 5 p.m., with it taking effect at 7 p.m. local time.

The injunction comes hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford officially declared a state of emergency for Ottawa, labeling the protest as a "siege" that he says is taking the city and its citizens hostage.

"I will convene cabinet to use legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along with critical infrastructure," Ford said during a news conference.

He proposed that all protesters who do not comply with law enforcement will be fined $100,000 and could face up to a year in prison, along with the revoking of personal and professional licenses.

"There will be consequences for these actions, and they will be severe," Ford continued.

Despite intense actions such as the injunction and the hefty fines being imposed by Ottawa, the federal government is hesitant to enforce measures themselves. In another news conference on February 11, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shied away from the idea of using the military to remove any protesters.

"We are a long way from ever having to call in the military," he explained. "Although, of course, we have to be ready for any eventuality. But it is not something we are seriously contemplating at this time."

While he exclaimed that the government must take all potential situations into account, he also refused to disclose any potential plans for curbing violence. Trudeau attributed this tight-lipped nature to the possibility that they could experience violence in retaliation.

"I can't say too much more now as to exactly when or how this ends because unfortunately, we are concerned about violence," he said.

Meanwhile, similar trucker protests are being planned all over the world. One is speculated to begin in Los Angeles to coincide with the Super Bowl, while six convoys have been organized throughout France. Police have been reported to be on high alert, especially in Los Angeles, where more than 500 officers have already been scheduled to provide additional security.

Update 02/11/2022 at 5:16 p.m. EST: This story has been updated to include background information and quotes from Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau.

U.S. Donation Fundraiser Trucker Protesters Trudeau
Protesters still on the Ambassador Bridge could be forcibly removed now that an injunction against them has been granted by a judge. Above, supporters of the Freedom Convoy against COVID-19 vaccine mandates block traffic in the Canada-bound lanes of the Ambassador Bridge border crossing into Windsor, Ontario, on February 8. Geoff Robins/AFP