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Thousands rally in Canada’s Ottawa against COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Ns News Online Desk :Ns News Online Desk : Thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were reportedly moved to a secret location Saturday after thousands of protesters descended on the country’s capital to decry COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Trudeau, his wife and their children were relocated from their Ottawa home to the undisclosed location in the capital amid heightened security concerns, sources told CBC.

The prime minister’s itinerary for the day usually states he is in Ottawa if he’s at home, but on Saturday it was changed to say “National Capital Region.” Trudeau has been working remotely and isolating after one of his children tested positive for COVID last week.

The move to relocate Trudeau came as the protesters — mostly made up of a huge convoy of truckers — rolled into the city to rail against vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns. The so-called “Freedom Convoy” initially started as a protest against a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, but quickly grew into a mass demonstration against the Canadian government over COVID regulations.

Dozens of trucks were lined up in front of the Parliament buildings by Saturday morning, including some who parked on the grounds of the National War Memorial.

Protestors compared the vaccine mandates to fascism, one truck carried a Confederate flag and many carried expletive-laden signs targeting Trudeau.

The convoy of truckers and others prompted police to prepare for the possibility of violence and warn residents to avoid downtown.

A top Parliament security official also advised lawmakers to lock their doors amid reports their private homes may be targeted.

The truckers and others were protesting a new rule that took effect on January 15 that requires truckers entering Canada be fully vaccinated against COVID. Protestors compared vaccine mandates to fascism, one truck carried a Confederate flag and many carried expletive-laden signs targeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said a great number of the protesters have no connection to the trucking industry, adding they have a separate agenda to push. The alliance notes the vast majority of drivers are vaccinated. Trudeau has said Canadians are not represented by this “very troubling, small but very vocal minority of Canadians who are lashing out at science, at government, at society, at mandates and public health advice.″

Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman said the threat against democracy isn’t only happening in America.

“Both the use of the swastika and the confederate flag are symbols of hate. So very sad to see these symbols anywhere and especially in Canada,” said Heyman, who was the U.S. envoy under former President Barack Obama.

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