The busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada is set to reopen sometime Sunday after police cleared what was left of the “Freedom Convoy” demonstration that had been blockading the Canadian side of the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Police said they arrested about a dozen people and seized as many as ten vehicles early Sunday morning; the number of protesters taking part in the demonstration had continued to dwindle since Friday, when a Canadian judge ruled that authorities could forcibly remove any protesters blocking access to the bridge. In the end, police said they did not need to use force to clear the protest.
The Ambassador Bridge still remained closed as of Sunday afternoon, but the White House said in a statement on Sunday that Canadian authorities intended to reopen the bridge to traffic soon. The border crossing, which had been shut down since hundreds of anti-COVID-protocol protesters and a number of vehicles staged a blockade last Monday, is a vital trade artery for the two countries, and particularly for the auto industry that operates in the two cities.
The demonstration at the bridge was aligned with the larger Freedom Convoy protest still underway in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. That demonstration started January 29, when truck drivers began blockading streets in the city to protest a joint U.S-Canada rule that mandated all commercial truck drivers be vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross into either country. Resolving that situation — which has caused significant disruption in the city — remains a work in progress, and it’s not clear if or when Canadian authorities will make a similar effort to clear away those protesters.