The Ottawa police is facing heavy criticism online for how it’s handling the ongoing trucker convoy, which has been in place in the country's capital since the weekend.
Police Service Chief Peter Sloly has called the demonstrators “unlawful” and stressed there will be consequences for their behaviour, with arrests made and more coming. He called the demonstration "unique and unprecedented" and said that they are considering asking for help from the Canadian Armed Forces. However, many on Twitter are targeting Ottawa’s police for not doing enough, and are advocating for them to be defunded.
Since the weekend, Ottawa downtown core has been inaccessible, with residents being subjected to non-stop honking.
This is the audio landscape in a residential area of downtown Ottawa this morning. pic.twitter.com/Ol2Gk5XOry
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) February 2, 2022
Monuments have been desecrated and there have been posts on social media of demonstrators carrying flags associated with fascism and white supremacy, like Swastikas and confederate flags. Some shelters in the area have released statements to speak out about the impact the protests have had on volunteers and people experiencing homelessness.
Women fleeing domestic violence and are being retraumatized by the convoy protest. Cornerstone says they’re afraid to leave the shelter and while staff are having trouble getting to work, waiting for buses that don’t arrive. pic.twitter.com/f7FYvui4ZP
— Judy Trinh (@judyatrinh) February 3, 2022
"The cost of this protest for three days would fund our shelter for more than an entire year."
Imagine redirecting money from a police force that has admitted it can't do its supposed job here towards ending violence against women and homelessness. https://t.co/G1sZgc9WWs
— Denise Balkissoon (@balkissoon) February 3, 2022
Friends, it's been a difficult 24 hours. Staff harassed for meals. A service user and security guard assaulted. Through it all, you have donated and filled our hearts with gratitude. Every cent will support people experiencing homelessness. Thank you. See our statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/TYHD8r8aLo
— Shepherds of Good Hope (@sghottawa) January 30, 2022
Some users online have pointed out that protests led by Indigenous or Black demonstrators are treated much differently than how the convoy is being dealt with so far.
Are injunctions just for Native people? Serious fq. https://t.co/2LTMsBBJzk
— Hayden King (@Hayden_King) February 2, 2022
— Cheri DiNovo (@CheriDiNovo) January 31, 2022
It is obvious that the RCMP and the Ottawa police department are scared of the alt right, I guess when you are protesting for peace and for social justice you just aren't as threatening. #GoHomeTruckers #DefundThePolice #Omicronvoy
— EastofEastVan (@eastofeastvan) February 3, 2022
The city of Ottawa is just now talking about getting a court injunction. Not sure why they haven’t yet even if it goes after truckers later.
This is basic stuff. Just ask CN Rail.
— Kenneth Jackson (@afixedaddress) February 3, 2022
Others stressed that how the Ottawa police force is handling the convoy demonstration is an example of why the they need to be defunded.
The problem isn't that they *aren't* cracking down.
They're showing them PROFOUND patience and kindness as they bend over backwards for the protest.
The problem is, is that THAT level of service is not available to the Indigenous of this country.#DefundThePolice #cdnpoli https://t.co/r5Lzfp84GD
— The Notorious PFG (@Albert_Nobbs) January 31, 2022
If someone paid me $346M a year and I point-blank refused to do my job, I should get fired. The Ottawa police is employed and rewarded with budget increases every year. We have this all backwards. #DefundThePolice
— Huda Idrees (@hidrees) February 2, 2022
So Canadians are paying $800K a day for Ottawa Police to stand around saying they are outnumbered and to pose with protestors in smiley selfies huh?#DefundThePolice
— T💀ri the Dumb Lefty Canadian Radical (@RodneyTori) January 31, 2022
Ottawa police running the most successful "defund the police" infomercial I've ever seen. https://t.co/s0lSuiWcT0
— Ian Mosby (@Ian_Mosby) February 2, 2022
— Dean Blundell (@ItsDeanBlundell) January 31, 2022
The Ottawa Police are reminding us of why it's more important than ever that we #DefundThePolice and reallocate funds to housing & social programs for our communities.
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) February 2, 2022
I've never heard #police say they can't 'handle' a protest in #Canada (even when they do lose control), and yet we now have @OttawaPolice lifting their hands and acting helpless when #fascists are doing as they please in #Ottawa | #DefundThePolice
— Konstantin Kilibarda (@KilibardaK) February 3, 2022
— M.D. Lafrance (@MD_Lafrance) February 3, 2022
Ottawa police showcasing why we can #DefundThePolice and not suffer a safety gap. They are not doing anything being paid so stop paying them. All of them!
— Armin 🍁🇩🇪 ~ ❤️☕️ ~ 😷 💉💉💉 (@mackrauss) February 3, 2022
How can we defund the police? said the Ottawa resident.
If we defund the police who will enforce by laws about heavy machine idling & spewing fumes in residential areas, or who make noises above safe decibel levels, or who crap & pee on the streets? #DefundThePolice
— Dave's a real name (@davidconstable6) February 3, 2022
Ottawa police said they were unavailable to speak with Yahoo Canada News but directed us to a video of Chief Sloly's comments made regarding the demonstration yesterday during a briefing with City Council.