The main border crossing between the US and Canada reopens after the COVID protests

The main border crossing between the US and Canada reopens after the COVID protests

Demonstrations in Canada sparked similar movements in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand

Demonstrations in Canada sparked similar movements in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand

A major border crossing between the United States and Canada reopened late Sunday night, nearly a week after it was closed amid truck drivers’ protests over coronavirus restrictions, forcing police to crush the demonstration with a series of arrests.

The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, which handles an estimated 25% of trade between the two countries, has disrupted trade in the world’s largest economy and forced automakers in the United States and Canada to shut down or scale back production.

The demonstrations, which paralyzed the Canadian capital Ottawa, sparked similar movements in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. Some American truck drivers are considering a protest in March.

“The Ambassador Bridge is now fully open, once again enabling free trade between the Canadian and US economies,” Detroit International Bridge Company said in a statement.

In a tweet, Canada Border Services confirmed the reopening but said “non-essential travel is not recommended.”

Police began evacuating the bridge into the US city of Detroit on Saturday and were able to clear trucks from a major intersection. But some protesters continued to prolong the protracted standoff and block the flow of traffic.

On Sunday, police said between 25 and 30 protesters had been arrested.

“There will be zero tolerance for illegal activities,” police in Windsor, Ontario, wrote on Twitter.

Truckers have found support from governors and opponents of a vaccine mandate around the world, even as COVID-19 measures are relaxed in many places.

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In Paris, police fired tear gas on Saturday and imposed hundreds of fines in an attempt to break up convoys from across France.

The Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria saw the counterfeiting, and Belgian authorities said on Monday they had intercepted 30 vehicles as police rushed to stop a convoy of trucks.

The protesters tried to head north towards the European Union headquarters in defiance of the Belgian ban.

Mayor Philippe Claus of Brussels told local people RTBF The radio reported that a total of 400-500 cars and trucks were detected on their way to the Belgian capital.

“About 30 of them have been banned and the others have disappeared,” Mr. Close said.

Washington had put pressure on the Canadian government last week, demanding the use of “federal authorities” to end the ban and warning of “serious consequences” for the US economy.

When police acquitted the protest this weekend, US officials hailed the “decisive” measure.

Liz Sherwood Randall, the White House’s national security adviser, spoke before work resumed on the bridge.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed that “this conflict must end” but has been criticized for not acting decisively.

Truck drivers had originally gathered in the capital to lobby for their demands to end the vaccination requirement for drivers crossing international borders.

But the move spread, with protesters eventually calling for an end to all vaccine mandates, whether imposed by the federal government or regional governments.

Ottawa was the epicenter of the protests. On Saturday, police said about 4,000 protesters were still occupying the downtown area during the movement’s third weekend.

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The atmosphere among the protesters was mostly festive, with music, dancing and the sound of continuous horns – but the noise, obstruction, and sometimes rude and aggressive behavior of the protesters damaged business in the area and angered many locals.

In response, Ontario authorities declared a state of emergency, while the provincial High Court ordered truck drivers to end their blockade.

But the message from the truck drivers resonated more than officials expected.

An opinion poll showed that about a third of Canadians support the protest movement.

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