Date: 15 February 2022
A major U.S.-Canada border crossing reopened late on Sunday almost a week after it was forced shut by truck driver-led protests against coronavirus restrictions, prompting police to quell the demonstration with a series of arrests.
The Freedom Convoy, demanding an end to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border traffic, had been protesting in the Canadian capital for days, with drivers honking vehicle horns late into the night. These protesters have inspired copycat demonstrations in other cities around the world, including in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
The blockading of the Ambassador Bridge, which handles an estimated 25% of trade between the two countries, had disrupted business in the world’s largest economy and forced automakers in the U.S. and Canada to halt or scale back production.
Since Sunday night, police started slowly taking back control, seizing thousands of liters of fuel and removing an oil tanker truck.
The owner of the bridge, the Detroit International Bridge Co. said in a statement that “the Ambassador Bridge is now fully open allowing the free flow of commerce between the Canada and US economies once again.”
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Sunday acknowledged the seemingly peaceful resolution to the demonstration, which it said had “widespread damaging impacts” on the “lives and livelihoods of people” on both sides of the border.