Organizers of the Freedom Convoy in the Canadian capital say they have notified police after being told that “nefarious elements” are planning to plant weapons at the Ottawa COVID-19 mandate demonstrations as a “pretext to forcibly remove peaceful protestors.”
In a video posted to Facebook late on Feb. 14, organizers said they had received information from sources they consider to be “reliable” that the weapons may be planted.
The information, they said, correlates with the more than 2,000 firearms that were stolen in the city of Peterborough on the morning of Feb. 13.
Peterborough Police Service officers had said they are investigating the incident regarding the stolen firearms, which were taken from a trucking yard in the city in the early hours of the morning.
The truck and trailer were carrying more than 2,000 firearms with magazines but no ammunition was taken, officials said.
“Today on Feb. 14, we received information from multiple believed, reliable sources that firearms may be planted in Ottawa specifically around the Freedom Convey to discredit the protest and to use as a pretext to forcibly remove peaceful protestors,” organizers of the Freedom Convoy said in the Facebook video.
“Due to the nature of this information, we felt it prudent to notify the public in the interest of their safety. This private intelligence correlates with the approximately 2,000 firearms stolen in Peterborough Ontario on Sunday morning, February 13.
“Our sources have notified us that these weapons may be planted by nefarious elements and at this point, we have no further knowledge about who is behind this act of sabotage,” organizers continued.
“As soon as we received this information, we notified the appropriate authorities with whom we are collaborating, including the Ottawa Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Parliamentary Protective Service.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to law enforcement for comment.
Organizers then went on to urge demonstrators to inform the police immediately if they witness any suspicious activities.
They also asked the police not to “act discriminately” towards demonstrators.
“We expressly affirm the principle that change can only occur within the democratic process. We have never, nor do we ever, intend to step outside of this democratic process. Public and police safety remains our paramount concern,” they added.
Police surround a pickup truck as they clear protestors at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., on Feb. 13, 2022. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a media availability about the ongoing protests in Ottawa and blockades at various Canada-U.S. borders, in West Block on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Feb. 11, 2022. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
In a media release on Feb. 14, Peterborough Police Service said that a truck carrying more than 2,000 firearms was stolen from a trucking yard in Peterborough. The firearms were of small calibre with the clips attached.
Officials said they believed it to be an isolated crime of opportunity rather than a targeted incident.
“It’s believed the suspects entered several other commercial yards in the city before this one, and that they had attempted to take different trucks and trailers before leaving with the trailer being sought in this incident,” officials said.
The truck is a white 2019 Freightliner New Cascadia 126 with the company name in red on the doors and a red #97 in red on the side of the hood.
The trailer was a white 2014 Hyundai 53 foot Dry Freight Van trailer with a silver metallic line that runs horizontally the whole length of the trailer, police said.
Officers are currently working to locate the trailer and its contents and upload the stolen firearms onto the national database.
The public safety announcement from Organizers of the Freedom Convoy comes after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they arrested 11 people at the Coutts border crossing protest in southern Alberta, and seized 13 long guns as well as handguns and a large quantity of ammunition.
In a news release on Feb. 14, the Mounties said they received information in the early morning that a “small organized group” within the larger Coutts protest had access to a cache of firearms and ammunition.
“The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade,” officials said.
Officers searched three trailers believed to be linked with the small group and detained 11 people. They also seized 13 long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armour, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition, and high-capacity magazines.
The protest at Coutts border crossing started on Jan. 29. It is one of several demonstrations that has begun since the Freedom Convoy encamped in Ottawa to demonstrate against the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that the government is invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time to address the impact of the ongoing protests against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions by truckers and their supporters.