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Protesters were ordered to leave the Ambassador Bridge by a judge. The blockade was expanded by more people

WINDSOR (Ontario) -- Friday's judge ordered that protestors at the Ambassador Bridge across the U.S./Canadian border be removed from the scene. The blockade, which has been in place for five days, had disrupted trade between the two countries and caused the auto industry to halt production.

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Protesters were ordered to leave the Ambassador Bridge by a judge. The blockade was expanded by more people

Protesters were ordered to leave the Ambassador Bridge by a judge. The blockade was expanded by more people

WINDSOR (Ontario) -- Friday's judge ordered that protestors at the Ambassador Bridge across the U.S./Canadian border be removed from the scene. The blockade, which has been in place for five days, had disrupted trade between the two countries and caused the auto industry to halt production.

It wasn't immediately clear when or whether law enforcement officers would be called in to assist the demonstrators who had parked their pickups in a bumper to bumper protest against COVID-19 and an outpouring in fury at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

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Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz, Ontario Superior Court, stated during a virtual hearing that he would issue the order at 7 p.m. in order to allow protesters to leave.

Police in Windsor immediately advised that anyone blocking streets could face arrest and that their vehicles might be seized.

Protesters reacted with dismay to the news.

Unidentified persons approached the Ambassador Bridge and grabbed microphones, asking them if they would like to stay or go when the deadline came. After much applause, they agreed to stay. The man replied, "OK." Let's be strong! Protesters responded by singing the Canadian national song. Later, the crowd grew in intensity and size. There was much flag-waving and frequent shouts of "Freedom!" Additional patrol cars were deployed around the site and leaflets were distributed by police warning that a state emergency would be in effect at midnight.

Protests also affected other border crossings

Drivers mostly in pickup trucks have blocked the bridge linking Windsor and Detroit since Monday. Over the past two weeks, hundreds more truckers have paralyzed Ottawa. They even set up a concert stage Friday night.

Protesters also blocked two border crossings in Alberta and Manitoba.

After a four-and-a half hour court hearing, the judge ruled in favour of Windsor. The city and lawyers representing auto parts manufacturers argued that the blockade was causing undued economic harm to the region and the city.

Truckers and other supporters of the protesters argued that an order to disband them would interfere with their right to peacefully protest mandates regarding vaccines that limit their ability to make a living.

This ruling was made in a day that saw rapid developments. Federal, provincial, and local officials worked simultaneously on various fronts to break the standoff against the so-called Freedom Convoy. Its members were cheered by right-leaning Americans, including Fox News personalities Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trudeau had warned hours earlier that "this unlawful activity must end"

"We heard your concerns. The prime minister stated that it was time to return home and cautioned that everything is available for ending the blockades.

Ontario officials move to punish demonstrators

Doug Ford, the Ontario Premier, declared a state-of-emergency on Friday and threatened severe penalties to anyone who interferes with the free flow and movement of goods and people.

Ford stated that he would call a meeting of the provincial cabinet to discuss urgent measures to make it "crystal-clear" it is illegal for critical infrastructure to be blocked. He stated that violators could face up to one year in prison and a maximum $100,000 fine.

Ford stated that there will be severe consequences for such actions. Ford stated, "This is a pivotal and pivotal moment in the history of our country."

According to the premier's office, the measures will also give additional authority "to consider taking away personal and commercial licences of anyone who does not comply."

Trudeau called Ontario’s decision "responsible" and stated that he had spoken with Joe Biden, the U.S. president, about it.

Trudeau stated that they discussed American and global influences on the protest. "We discussed the U.S.-based flooding at Ottawa's 911 phone lines, the presence in blockade of U.S. citizens and the effect of foreign money on this illegal activity."

The majority of the money used to support the protests is from outside Canada.

Trudeau stated that as high as 50% of donations on certain fundraising platforms come from the U.S.

Biden and he said they agreed that these blockades could not continue for the safety of the people and economy.

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Trudeau stated that he understood the frustration of the protesters over the pandemic but that "these blockades hurt everyday families, auto assembly workers and farmers as well as truckers, truckers, blue-collar Canadians"

Protests have led to shortages in auto parts, which has forced General Motors and Ford, Toyota, Honda, and Toyota to close down plants or cancel shifts.

In Windsor, hundreds of protestors blocked the bridge's entrance in what was a block party. While music was played, food and drinks were distributed and signs and Canadian flags were displayed by the demonstrators. The trampoline was also set up for children.

Troy Holman, a Windsor resident of 32 years, has protested each day this week. He said that he believes that the government overreacted with COVID-19 regulations, which he claimed hurt his small business.

He said, "Unfortunately, this is what's going get the attention government,"

The signs read "Freedom is Essential", "Say no to Mandatory Vaccines" or "End Mandates."

"We stand up for freedom. Karen Driedger (40), a protester from Leamington, Ontario, stated that she believes everyone should have the right to decide what they inject into their bodies. "We're saying, 'That's enough.' "We need to get back to normal, and live again our lives."

The Ambassador Bridge is home to a quarter the U.S.-Canada trade

Authorities at all levels of government hesitated to forcefully remove protestors from the country. This was evidently due to a shortage of manpower, Canada's respect for freedom speech and fears for violence. Drew Dilkens, Windsor mayor, warned this week that some truckers were "willing to be killed."

However, the political pressure to reopen bridge seemed to be increasing along with the economic toll.

25% of all trade between Canada and the United States is carried over the Ambassador Bridge, which is the busiest U.S. border crossing. This standoff occurs at a time when automakers are already having trouble maintaining production due to shortages of computer chips from pandemics and other disruptions in supply chains.

Nelson Wiseman from the University of Toronto, a political science professor, said that "American legislators have been freaking out" and it is rightly so. The White House is urging Trudeau to take more decisive action.

Police in Ottawa and Windsor waited for reinforcements from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to counter the signs that authorities were ready to take on tougher measures.

Ottawa's mayor has requested 1,800 more officers. This would nearly double the number of officers available to the capital's police force.

Similar demonstrations have taken place around the globe.

Protests have also spread to other parts of Canada. Protesters angry at pandemic restrictions drove to Paris in scattered convoys of cars, trucks, and camper vans Friday to blockade the French capital. This was despite a ban by the police. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that there may be truck protests in the United States. According to the agency, the protests could start in Southern California as soon as this weekend and move on to Washington in the vicinity of the March State of the Union address.

Canadian protesters decry vaccine mandates for truckers, COVID-19 restrictions, but many of the country’s infection measures, including mask rules and vaccine passports to get into theaters and restaurants, are already falling apart as the omicron surge increases.

Pandemic restrictions in Canada have been much stricter than those in the U.S. but Canadians have generally supported them. The COVID-19 death rates are one-third of those in the United States.

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