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Alberta Border Blockade Disbanded, Truckers Roll Out After Police Midnight Raid

The blockade protest at the Canada-U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, has rolled out and disbanded after Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided a house near the protests and arrested more than 11 people — seizing two trucks — in the middle of the night Sunday.

Rebel News video journalist Sydney Fizzard, who was embedded with the truckers in Coutts, first reported late Sunday night that Royal Canadian Mounted Police had moved in on Coutts for an unknown reason.

Fizzard posted video of himself walking through the police line, showing video of police gathered in a large group, with some officers in tactical gear, near the site of the blockade.

Fizzard then tweeted a video of the Smuggler’s Saloon in Coutts, which served as the meeting place for the blockade organizers, where protestors were gathered together. Fizzard then walked out of the saloon and showed that the RCMP line was set up outside.

“Witnessed 1 arrest, and the seizure of 1 tractor + 1 semi truck at the hands of police,” Fizzard tweeted early Monday morning. “[W]ill know more after speaking to the legal defence in the morning, took place in Coutts where the blockade is restricting border access.” Fizzard’s tweet included a compiled video of the events of the night: protestors talking to police, protestors singing the Canadian national anthem as police walked away, an RCMP officer in tactical gear near several trucks, a farm tractor with a snowplow with the word “freedom” painted on it, a group of truckers playing hockey in the road, police arresting on of the truckers, one of the semi trucks being rolled out by police, a tractor being rolled away with a police vehicle following close behind, and some footage of the truck and tractor impounded in a facility away from the border blockade.

Shortly afterward, Fizzard tweeted footage of a police perimeter set up around the town of Coutts.

“Multiple arrests, containment zone was set up around Coutts, as a warrant was acted on by police,” Fizzard reported shortly afterward.

Canada Global News reported Tuesday that RCMP raided several trailers in the early hours Monday morning and seized a large cache of weapons from them, including 13 “long guns,” handguns, a machete, a large amount of ammunition, and several pieces of body armor. Two more weapons were seized later that day. Global News also reported that a truck and a tractor had been seized after they attempted to ram into a police vehicle.

RCMP also released a statement on the raid:

The Alberta RCMP recently became aware of a small organized group within the larger Coutts protest. Information was received that this group had access to a cache of firearms with a large quantity of ammunition. The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade. This resulted in an immediate and complex investigation to determine the extentof the threat and criminal organization.

As a result of this investigation, the Alberta RCMP executed a search warrant during the early hours of Feb. 14, on three trailers associated to this criminal organization. This resulted in the arrest and detainment of 11 individuals.

RCMP also discussed the impounding of the two vehicles, confirming that the two vehicles tried to ram into police vehicles. The drivers of the semi truck was apprehended, the tractor driver identified but not yet caught, and both vehicles were seized. RCMP blamed the incident on the “militant mindset of a small segment of the protest”:

An example of the militant mindset of a small segment of the protest, earlier in the evening, at approximately 8:00 p.m., a large farm tractor and a semi truck, both involved in the blockade, attempted to ram a police vehicle. The police officer was able to reposition and avoid the collision. RCMP officers followed the suspects to a location where the protesters were gatheredThe driver of the tractor was identified and we are actively working to locate him so he can be taken into custody. The Alberta RCMP have seized the farm tractor and semi truck involved in this incident.

Fizzard reported late Monday afternoon that the truckers were in a closed-door meeting with their lawyer discussing next steps after the events of the previous night.

At around 5:00 p.m. local time, the truckers announced that in the wake of the arrests, they would be rolling out and disbanding the protest. “We as the Coutts convoy, have decided that as a peaceful protest, and to maintain that narrative, we will be rolling out [Tuesday] at 10 a.m.,” organizers said. The organizers thanked their supporters and expressed hope that their political leaders would listen to the grassroots and that the COVID mandates would soon be lifted. Fizzard also showed video of a line of tractors leaving the blockade.

Multiple outlets, including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and Helena, Montana NBC affiliate KTVH all reported that the protest had ended Tuesday morning. RCMP confirmed the reporting in a statement on Facebook.

Fizzard finally tweeted a video Tuesday morning, showing the line of trucks leaving the protest, and police checkpoints where RCMP was checking driver’s licenses and license plates, as well as footage of what appeared to be another gathering of truckers away from the border.

Global News reporters Lauren Pullen and Heather Yourex-West also posted video of truckers leaving the site of the blockade.

 

Fizzard shared a parting message from one of the organizers as the truckers left. “We’re leaving Coutts but we’re not leaving our fight,” the trucker said.

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