Police keep a watchful eye on protesters in Ottawa on Sunday. REUTERS
Canadian truckers have been protesting against COVID-19 restrictions for over a week. The Mayor of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, has declared a state of emergency in response. The “Freedom Convoy” initially formed in response to a new rule which required that truckers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to cross the US-Canada border. They have since morphed into broader challenges against Covid-related health restrictions. The protesters are gathered in central Ottawa near Parliament Hill and are now demanding the end of such mandates nation-wide. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said that the protesters are becoming increasingly insensitive. Police said on Sunday that they will step up enforcement, which may include arrests of those who supply the protesters with basic necessities such as food. Ottawa residents have objected to the demonstrations with complaints ranging from obstruction of traffic to fears of potential violence.
Thousands march in Kyiv to show unity against Russian threat:
People take part in the Unity March, which is a procession to demonstrate Ukrainians' patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia, in Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine February 12, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Several thousand Ukranians rallied in Kiev on Saturday in a show of unity against the threat of a potential Russian incursion, as Ukraine’s leader told people not to panic. Ukrainians, carrying Ukrainian flags and banners, filed as a column through the center of Kyiv chanting, “Glory to Ukraine.” Russia’s buildup of over 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border has led to escalating tensions with the US saying on Friday that an invasion could begin at any moment. Numerous western governments are urging their citizens to leave Ukraine, the US being a prime example as it withdraws most of its embassy staff in Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pushed back against excessive information about a looming war which only serves to incite panic without helping the country.
High energy prices send Europe’s businesses, homes reeling:
People set on fire their electricity bills during a protest in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Spikes in energy prices are resulting in higher utility bills everywhere from the United Kingdom to Poland. This is felt especially strongly in Turkey, where inflation has soared to nearly 50% and protests are occurring over exorbitant energy bills and fears about keeping small businesses afloat. The protests over electricity price hikes broke out across Turkey this week, with some being dispersed by police fired teargas. The increased prices of energy sources across Europe are the result of gas reserves being sapped by a cold winter, there being a lack of renewable energy generated over the Summer, and Russia selling lower than usual levels of gas to Europe. This has led to a cost-of-living crisis as people are hit by higher bills at home and rising prices from businesses.