OTTAWA (Reuters) – In freezing temperatures and surrounded by trucks and demonstration banners, two Canadians staged a jacuzzi protest on an Ottawa street on Thursday to call for an end to COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
Protesters Jean-Philippe and Gabriel, who declined to give their last names, sat in a portable hot tub in central Ottawa, as police warned protesters of “imminent” action to clear them from the capital and began making arrests to end a crisis that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned was threatening public safety.
“We are in a jacuzzi making peace, peace to show all the world how Canadians are going to protest, with peace,” said Jean-Philippe.
“We are peaceful protesters here, lawfully here. We took trucks, to support freedom, to save children from vaccination, from putting (on) masks,” he said.
“We already won,” said Gabriel, who said the water was at around 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius).
Truckers opposing coronavirus mandates have blocked roads in downtown Ottawa for nearly three weeks, the centrepiece of a movement that has inspired anti-government protests in other countries and temporarily shut border crossings with the United States.
(Reporting by Lars Hagberg; Editing by Karishma Singh and Kenneth Maxwell)