“As a movement, we have chosen to peacefully withdraw from the streets of Ottawa. There is nothing to be gained by being brutalized by police,” Marazzo said.
“It’s a dark day in our history,” Marazzo said. “Never in life would I believe anyone if they told me that our prime minister would refuse dialogue and choose violence against peaceful protesters.”
On Feb. 14, Trudeau became the first prime minister in Canada to invoke the Emergencies Act, aiming to use it as a means to quash the protest in Ottawa and similar ones in other parts of the country.
“The police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, Ambassador Bridge, and elsewhere.”
Marazzo, who isn’t aware whether there is a warrant for his arrest, said the protest in Ottawa has not engaged in any illegal activity.
“There was no damage. There was a little inconvenient noise. I’m sorry, but we’re here fighting for all the people that actually hate us too,” he said.
The retired officer criticized what he described as the “mainstream media” that has portrayed the protesters as being “anti-government,” noting that the convoy organizers have been trying to establish a dialogue with the federal government but have had no success.
“I want to be very clear that our intent has always been, and always will be, to talk to the official government of Canada,” he said. “I have stood at this podium, I have done other media events where I have outlined a plan, and I’ve said ‘I would like to talk to you.’”
“The response was riot police—no discussion, no dialogue.”
“I am not saying that there is an intelligence saying there are weapons in Ottawa,” Mendicino said. “There are public reports showing that there are indications that there [are] extremist ideological positions and there is a link between the blockades.”
He added that “there is a similarity in the rhetoric emerging in social media and elsewhere.”
“This is a government that has invoked an emergency statute on its own admission on the basis of something that somebody has said,” Pardy said. “They have no actual violence occurring. They have no intelligence about threats of violence occurring.”
Marazzo said the attempt by the federal government to “intimidate” the Freedom Convoy is futile as it is a grassroots movement, which if removed, “others will fill their roles.”
“You could say that we inspired people to actually take action, but we certainly were not giving any direction,” he said. “These movements are just organic. They pop up where people want to get up and do something because they’re fed up after two years of being treated like this.”
Marazzo said legal counsel and support for those injured and those being arrested by police is currently being organized. He added that “the truckers will be initiating a charter challenge seeking to have the court strike down the unconstitutional vaccine mandates that discriminate against us all.”
“I never thought I’d see the day when law enforcement officers would be arresting citizens for the crime of exercising their charter rights and freedoms to free assembly and free speech,” he said.
Marazzo also confirmed that his bank account has been frozen and credit cards cancelled. His spouse’s credit score also dropped 109 points on Feb. 18 even though she was not with him in Ottawa, he said.
“If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely. This investigation will go on for months to come," he said.
Marazzo said the grassroots movement will regroup and plan their next move. “This is one battle in a larger war for our freedoms,” he said.
He added that all members of Parliament at the federal level have “failed us.”
“We elected these people to represent our best interest, but not to lord over us like kings and queens,” he said.
“Can you hear democracy, democracy's death knell? It rings louder than the truckers’ horns.”