Saskatchewan Examiner

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What you need to know about the motorcycle convoy in Ottawa

What you should know about the biker rally in Ottawa

Key Takeaways:

  • The “Rolling Thunder Ottawa” convoy planned to ride through downtown Ottawa on Friday and Saturday; however, the rally’s objective is unknown.
  • The rally is expected to draw between 500 and 1,000 motorcycles and other vehicles, with no clear reason for the gathering.
  • If the convoy doesn’t have a route to follow, Sheard said in a video broadcast to YouTube on Sunday; there could be a safety hazard.

This weekend, a convoy of motorcycle riders will gather in Ottawa to rally on Parliament Hill.

The convoy, dubbed “Rolling Thunder Ottawa,” planned to cycle through downtown on Friday and Saturday, though the rally’s purpose is unknown.

The gathering will undoubtedly serve as a flashback to the downtown protests that halted Ottawa for weeks and sparked similar rallies across Canada and worldwide in response to COVID-19 directives.

Police have previously announced that officers will be dispatched to the march to enforce the rally’s rules and to prohibit automobiles from entering the area surrounding Parliament Hill.

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The rally is projected to attract between 500 and 1,000 motorcycles and other vehicles, while the cause for the gathering is unknown.

Although its primary Facebook page, a closed organization, says the convoy is a biker rally to honor independence, the “Rolling Thunder Ottawa” website provides little information about the group.

Veterans for Freedom and Freedom Fighters Canada are two of the group’s partners.

On its website, Veterans for Freedom portrays itself as an organization of Canadian veterans dedicated to “restoring fundamental freedoms for all Canadians” and “upholding Canadian laws.”

Members of its steering committee were involved in earlier this year’s trucker convoy protests.

Meanwhile, Freedom Fighters Canada is “demanding the abolition of all govt mandates,” with some of its organizers having previously participated in or supported rallies.

On Friday, the “Rolling Thunder” convoy will hold a demonstration and march on Parliament Hill, followed by an after-party.

The convoy will conduct a service at the National War Memorial on Saturday morning before marching to Parliament Hill in the afternoon. On Sunday, there will be a religious service.

What you should know about the biker rally in Ottawa
What you should know about the biker rally in Ottawa. Image from Google


The public has been advised to prepare for possible traffic interruptions by police.

“You will be held liable for your actions before, during, and after the events,” interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell warned organizers and attendees, adding, “You will be held accountable for your acts before, during, and after the events.”

“Rolling Thunder Ottawa” organizer Neil Sheard said during a statement posted to the convoy’s website on Monday that the group is continuing to talk with the Ottawa Police Service and also is “cautiously optimistic” that the police will “work to make sure the safe traffic flow among the bikers as well as our fellow Canadian citizens who call Ottawa home.”

“We do not support blockades, obstruction of police officers conducting their duty, property damage, or hate and vitriol threw at Ottawa people,” Sheard’s statement reads in part.

Sheard stated in a video posted to YouTube on Sunday that there could be a safety issue if the convoy doesn’t have a route to follow.

“Thousands of individuals are anticipated to arrive in the city. Your city may receive over a thousand bicycles. We had a plan in place, “In the video, Sheard says. “From now on, it’ll be a free-for-all.”

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters during a Liberal cabinet meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday that the impact of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ rallies and blockades is “still very vivid” in residents’ minds “where people’s lives were utterly upended.”

He stated that measures and resources had been put in place to prevent a repeat of the incident this weekend.

“We trust law enforcement to protect the law and respect the right to peaceful protest, but we don’t want to witness anything like an unlawful occupation here in Ottawa again.”

Source: CTV News

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