Ottawa, Canada – The downtown core of Canada’s capital was quiet on Sunday after police broke up a weeks-long occupation that began as a protest against pandemic restrictions and morphed into demands for the government to resign.
The “Freedom Convoy” challenged Canada’s reputation for politeness and respect of authority, spawned similar actions in France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, and disrupted major trade with the United States.
Hundreds of large transport trucks blocked streets surrounding Parliament for nearly a month, and thousands of demonstrators from across the country endured the cold winter weather to participate.
The siege of Ottawa annoyed many residents in the capital as the truckers continuously honked horns and harassed passers-by.
Moreen Valentine was one citizen of Ottawa who had had enough of the boisterous demonstration.
“I feel like my city is under siege. It’s been a month since I haven’t had access to services I use daily,” she told Al Jazeera on Saturday as police removed the last of the protesters.
“I guess I’m excited to get some sense of normalcy back in my life, but I think there’s going to be a lot of repercussions that we’ll deal with for the next while.”
A 37-year-old woman, who would only identify herself as Maggie from Peterborough, Ontario, said it was just the beginning of the protest movement – not the end – after police moved in and dispersed the demonstration.
“We’re not just going to go back in our box and be scared any more. We have a tribe,” said Maggie. “Were going to stay together, hold the line wherever that may be. We’re going to stand up for each other.”