During the meeting, Bell said, in reference to the Freedom Convoy protest, “There cannot be a repeat of that.”
Adding, “Our community is tired of these events, so be respectful when you come, follow the directions that we provide to you so that you can and do your rally and leave while you’re being respectful to a community that is growing extremely tired of these events.”
In light of an incoming motorcade protest called “Rolling Thunder” coming to Ottawa, Ontario on April 30, the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa police have decided to ban vehicles from protesting in the streets.
In a statement, the Ottawa police say that they have changed their approach to all demonstrations and protests due to the Freedom Truckers Convoy that took place in February.
“We have heard the concerns of the community. Since February, we have adjusted our overall approach to all demonstrations, protests, events and rallies”, the Ottawa police said.
Adding that, “We will not allow for unsafe or unlawful conditions that could lead to another unlawful protest as seen in February.”
The Ottawa police say that due to the Freedom Convoy protest, the City of Ottawa has banned motor vehicle protests, rallies or events in the downtown area. The Ottawa police say they support this measure and will be “enforcing the decisions.”
The Ottawa police also said that they would target protest organizers, “Any organizer of any event will be held accountable for their actions before, during and after events.”
Additionally, the Ottawa police have disclosed that they would be monitoring “online and open source commentary related to all events” and would investigate and charge people who exhibit “threatening or intimidating behaviours” online.
The police said that “Investigative teams, including our Hate Crime Unit, are in place focused on gathering evidence and laying charges.”
Police state that “ALL lawful” protests will be allowed in the downtown area of Ottawa, with the exception of vehicle protests.
“In line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ALL lawful protests, demonstrations and rallies etc. will continue to be allowed in the downtown core in areas such as Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial. Vehicles will be excluded from participating in any of these events”, the police memo stated.