Protesters from the so-called “freedom convoy” in Ottawa have torn down a fence that had been put around the National War Memorial to protect it from further desecration.
The fence was first erected after multiple incidents were reported in the early days of the demonstration, including protesters urinating on the site and dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The people removing the fence appeared to be veterans. As they removed it, a police officer reportedly told the demonstrators that they’re responsible for taking care of the memorial now, according to Global News’ Abigail Bimman, who was on the ground at the time.
Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay said in a tweet that the removal of the fence is “completely unacceptable”
“Fences were put up to prevent the flagrant desecration and disrespect of our sacred monuments. This behaviour is disappointing and I’m calling on protesters to respect our monuments,” said MacAulay.
Police only moved in once the fence was already down, and cries of “freedom” could be heard from the protesters who quickly gathered around the site.
The development comes as the protest enters its 16th day, with trucks and demonstrators clogging the downtown core.