As protests in Canada gain support across that country, truckers have forced one of the busiest crossing points between Canada and the United States to shut down.
Windsor Police said Tuesday that it has increased its presence along Huron Church Road, approaching the Ambassador Bridge, as the protests have “interrupted normal vehicle traffic flow but we have been able to continue a limited amount of access to the Ambassador Bridge.”
“Officers are on scene addressing traffic points, public safety, and enforcement,” police said. “Commercial vehicles are being redirected to the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel remains open to non-commercial vehicles. Please avoid the area, use alternative routes and monitor our social media for updates.”
The protests began as a demonstration by truckers in response to a federal vaccine mandate for truck drivers that went into effect on Jan. 15, despite opposition from members of the trucking industry.
Under the mandate, Canadian drivers returning to Canada must be vaccinated in order to avoid entering quarantine. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced similar requirements starting Jan. 22 for non-U.S. nationals crossing into the United States who are not vaccinated, including non-U.S. truck drivers.
However, the protest, called the “Freedom Convoy,” has since gained traction and evolved into a larger movement that has been joined by people from across Canada who oppose various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
Protest organizers say their demonstration is peaceful.
Windsor Police on Tuesday said it has maintained communications with main organizers but cautioned that demonstrators “found committing crimes and acts of violence will be investigated and charges will be laid.”
“This includes enforcement of traffic-related offenses and investigating any criminal acts,” police said. Police also stopped diesel fuel delivery from taking place so hundreds of Canadians have been bringing fuel in their home gas cans.
Organizers of the Freedom Convoy 2022 say the COVID-19 mandates are “destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries, and livelihoods.”
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he won’t be meeting with the protesters, as his popularity plummets.