A 78-year-old man was cuffed and arrested in Ottawa on Sunday after honking his horn in support of the Freedom Convoy protest.
The arrest was caught on camera by a passerby in the area. The man, identified as double-vaccinated 4ft 10 inches tall Gerry Charlebois by the Toronto Sun, was initially pulled over by police, and questioned.
“You don’t have to answer his questions sir, you didn’t do anything,” said the person filming.
“You have the right to freedom of choice, you have the right to beep your horn. Why are you doing this? ” the passerby asked the police officer.
“Because it’s an offence,” said the officer at the scene.
Ontario Superior Court Justice banned honking for 10 days from Monday due to a lawsuit filed by a resident over noise concerns from residents.
After the man declined to offer ID to the police officer, he arrested the man for “failing to ID”.
“Arresting an old man, shame on you,” shouted the man filming.
According to the Toronto Sun, Mr Charlebois was not charged but given an $11 ticket for “unnecessary noise.” He also reportedly received cuts and bruises on his arms and hands, shoulder and knee.
The Freedom Protest has been going on for 12 days, and initially started as a stand against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vaccine requirements for truckers. Truckers have lined the streets and paralysed the capital, forcing businesses to close.
The protest has attracted hundreds of thousands of people and has developed into a stand against wider Covid restrictions across the country.
There have been reports of a “range of illegal, dangerous and unacceptable activities,” said Police Chief Peter Sloly. These include hate crimes, trucks running their engines 24 hours a day and sounding their horns at all hours, plus desecration of public property, and even individuals bringing guns to the protest. Police have also said local law enforcement is overstretched.
Prime minister Trudeau condemned the protests on Monday night and amounted them to “a few people shouting and waving swastikas”.
On Tuesday, the Canadian prime minister softened his tone and said he understood “how frustrated everyone is” and added that we will soon “be able to relax”. He did not give any indication as to when this would be.
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