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Trucker protest: 2 arrested, charged as Ottawa police says crowd continues to thin

Click to play video: '‘Like we’re being held hostage’: Ottawa residents frustrated as truck protesters refuse to leave' ‘Like we’re being held hostage’: Ottawa residents frustrated as truck protesters refuse to leave
WATCH: 'Like we're being held hostage': Ottawa residents frustrated as truck protesters refuse to leave – Feb 1, 2022

Ottawa police say two men connected to the ongoing anti-COVID-19 restriction demonstrations have been arrested and face criminal charges, while the crowd of truckers and other protesters continues to thin out.

Police said Tuesday that Matthew Dorken, 29, has been charged with mischief under $5,000 for an incident that occurred on Saturday involving “mischief to property.”

A statement from the Ottawa Police Service says Dorken was not arrested at the time of the incident “in order to avoid a larger confrontation.”

A second man connected to the protest, 37-year-old Andre Lacasse, was charged with carrying a weapon to a public meeting on Sunday, police said.

Read more: ‘We won’t give in’ Trudeau says as trucker convoy protest continues

A convoy of truckers and their supporters protesting COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine mandates, descended on Ottawa Friday evening and have staged a multi-day protest on the streets surrounding Parliament Hill.

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Some of the protesters desecrated the National War Memorial and other statues downtown, while a local shelter, the Shepherds of Good Hope, confirmed some convoy protesters harassed and pressured their workers over the weekend for food. There were also reports of Nazi and Confederate flags at the protests, among other hateful symbols.

Ottawa police said “some progression” has been made in the investigation into the War Monument’s desecration. Overall, 13 active investigations are ongoing.

Police added they have received eight complaints related to the demonstrations to its tipline, including three that are being investigated by its hate crime division.

Click to play video: 'Protesters told to leave Ottawa after 3rd day of disrupting Canadian capital' Protesters told to leave Ottawa after 3rd day of disrupting Canadian capital
Protesters told to leave Ottawa after 3rd day of disrupting Canadian capital – Jan 31, 2022

The crowd has also reportedly continued to thin out from the thousands of protesters seen over the weekend to about 250 people, including 50 on Parliament Hill.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he “won’t give in” to the protesters’ demands, which range from ending all COVID-19 restrictions to Trudeau’s resignation.

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“I want to be very clear: we are not intimidated by those who hurl abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless,” he said.

“We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism, or dishonour the memory of our veterans.”

Politicians at all levels of government have urged protesters to leave.

–With files from Global’s Rachel Gilmore and the Canadian Press

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