Ottawa police are not only seizing the supply of diesel fuel in an attempt to starve out the Freedom Convoy trucker protest occupying Canada’s capital city, but have started to resort to confiscating firewood used to keep participants warm during sub-zero temperatures.
Retweeted by Westphalian Times reporter Marie Oakes on Feb 9, eye witness video shows multiple uniformed Ottawa Police Services (OPS) officers hauling away bundles of firewood confiscated from the event.
The same day, Lincoln Jay, reporter for independent media outlet Rebel News, the leading Canadian media entity for coverage of the occupation, interviewed an unidentified trucker who recounted the experience with OPS.
According to the trucker, approximately 15 uniformed officers approached while the group was burning the wood to stay warm, cook food, and a segment of indigenous Canadian natives were conducting a ceremony, and extinguished the flames.
Afterwards, both the remaining firewood and the group’s burn bins were captured.
Temperatures in Ottawa during the night of Feb. 9 reached a low of -2 C (28.4 F).
An article posted the same day by Canada’s federally-funded state messaging outlet, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, dubbed How Organizers With Police and Military Expertise may Be Helping Ottawa Convoy Protest Dig In specifically mentioned the presence of firewood to sustain the Convoy’s participants.
The CBC utilized comments from an associate professor of criminology from the University of Ottawa to support its thesis. He stated, “They have this sort of military or police or at least survivalist training. Look at the sophistication of what they’re setting up in terms of an encampment in downtown Ottawa.”
CBC paraphrased the man as specifically referring to “the tents and wooden structures used for kitchens that organizers have set up and the supply chain that has sprung up across the city to keep people fed, working and protesting.”
He also commented on the “grievous error” on the part of OPS to allow transport trucks near Parliament Hill.
“Police have called those heavy trucks potential weapons, but they are also essential tools used to transport supplies, such as two-by-fours to build shelters, firewood and burn barrels to keep protesters warm and propane tanks for barbecues,” read the article.
Previously, OPS had taken to confiscating diesel fuel supplies, threatening those who abet the Convoy with materials needed to persist with criminal charges. In response, supporters have started carrying large quantities of jerry cans around the occupation site as a symbol of protest.
A veteran police officer for the Calgary Police Services and the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police was courageous enough to speak out in dissent of the OPS’s fuel seizure, describing the tactic as “doing politicians’ dirty work, like hired goons.”
“Watching members of the Ottawa Police Services seize fuel from peaceful protesters took away a long held belief that I thought to be a lasting truth,” stated the officer.
He further called on fellow officers to “stand up and speak out by refusing to breach your fellow citizens fundamental charter rights.”