A small group of protestors blocked traffic at the Canada-U.S. border, Woodstock (N.B.). On Saturday, January 29, a small group of protesters blocked traffic between Woodstock, N.B., and Houlton (Maine).
Mitchell Albert, a protest organizer from Moncton, stated that the blockade would remain in effect for 24 hours from noon Saturday through noon Sunday.
Albert said that the border protest supports the trucker’s protest at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He waited as supporters gathered at Murray’s Woodstock truck stop.
The Trucker Freedom Convoy is an Ottawa rally that involves truckers and other people. It protests against COVID-19 restrictions and mandates from the U.S. federal governments on drivers who transport goods across the border.
“Once we get to the U.S. Border at 12 o’clock, our plan is to show N.B. Albert stated that the border will be closed for 24 hours to show both the Maine government and government what they can accomplish if we stick together.
According to him, the group intended to drive the 10-minute distance from Murray’s to the border in a convoy. The convoy was actually small with only a few passenger vehicles and half-ton trucks. There were no transports.
Large numbers of RCMP officers and vehicles were visible on Route 95 between Woodstock, Canada and the border. As the blockade began at noon, police vehicles and officers outnumbered protesters.
Albert and his group were questioned by RCMP officers in Murray’s parking lot, and again when vehicles were set up to stop traffic heading towards the U.S. port-of-entry.
Albert described the RCMP’s cooperation and helpfulness as
Sgt. Andrew Griffiths with RCMP communications Fredericton said that the force is keeping an eye on the situation.
He stated that officers were in contact with protest leaders to facilitate a measured approach.
Griffiths stated that the RCMP will decide the “level of intervention” based on the current situation.
He stated that peaceful protest in Canada is legal, but blocking the highway is not.
Griffiths stated that the refusal to end the blockade now, nor cooperation by the RCMP with protest leaders is a sign of support for the cause or Griffiths’ actions.
Griffiths stated that the large winter storm that hit Woodstock just as the blockage started played a part in the RCMP’s decisions.
He stated that all traffic and transport should be kept off the highway during a storm.
Albert, standing with a few others at the border crossing shortly before noon, said that he hoped to see transports join him.
He was surrounded by snow and wind in the early hours of a storm and tried to downplay the possible impact of the blizzard conditions on his planned protest.
He said, “We’re Canadian.” “We hope that everyone gets out, no matter the weather.”
Albert claimed that he worked with American supporters and said they are closing down traffic from the U.S.A to Canada.
Louis-Carl Brissette Lesage (Speaker, Media Relations for Canada Border Services Agency), stated that “no traffic is being prevented from entering Canada” as of Saturday at 4 p.m.
Brissette lesage stated that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), continuously monitors its operations. It is available to respond with local police if necessary to any event that may hinder traffic flow to or from Canada. “CBSA ports are controlled, secure areas that cannot be accessed by anyone who is not crossing the border.