Freedom Convoy protesters in Ottawa mobbed CTV reporter Glen McGregor during a live feed Saturday with MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian in the studio, with the Canadians loudly booing and screaming and yelling “f—ing liars!”
Despite ramped-up law enforcement efforts, Freedom Convoy protesters in Ottawa still managed to make their voices heard — literally — on Saturday, breaking in and out of an MSNBC live report and shouting “Freedom!”
When Vossoughian checked in with McGregor live on the scene, he stood silently and calmly with a microphone in hand as the chaos continued behind him. Protestors can be heard behind him shouting their grievances with the Canadian police and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who invoked emergency powers to clear Freedom Convoy protesters from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.
“You say everyone here is violent. No, it’s the cops,” one woman off-camera shouted, as others yelled over each other in the background.
“This is a feature of these demonstrations, Yasmin, that we haven’t seen in Canada a whole lot,” McGregor said. “I know the MAGA movement in the United States, we’ve seen a lot of this kind of thing. But protesters, now they see their occupation of the city coming to an end after three weeks, increasingly turning their anger against journalists. Seeing a lot of our colleagues up here covering these, these protests being harassed, screamed at, as you can hear here.”
The volume of the crowd’s boos and shouts of “Freedom!” turned up, making McGregor’s reporting difficult to hear at times.
“This is the one thing, Yasmin, that unites these groups that’ve been protesting here in Ottawa for the last three weeks is the way they feel about the media, and they are venting it loudly and often as you can tell,” he said. “So, we are – apologize, we’re not gonna be the kinder gentler Canada you may be used to seeing.”
As he was about to sign off and kick it back to the studio, a protestor can be heard screaming at the news team, “F—ing liars!”
Once away from the protest, McGregor tweeted footage from the scene, writing, “I was doing a live hit with @MSNBC this afternoon when our crew was mobbed. One guy actually spit at us, others called us Nazis. MSNBC had to cut it off almost after it began. Then they chased us down the street to our bureau.”
The Ottawa police force had ramped up its crackdown on Freedom Convoy protests that have jammed streets and paralyzed traffic in recent weeks in protest of vaccine mandates at the U.S.-Canada border, sending in mounted officers as well as employing tear gas and suiting up with batons and helmets.
According to the Washington Post, police arrested 170 protesters as of Saturday afternoon, in freezing weather.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul has voiced his support for truck drivers in Canada who are protesting COVID safety protocols by blocking roads at the border with the U.S. He also encouraged them to “clog up” Washington D.C. and Los Angeles streets on Super Bowl Sunday.