A key entry point into the U.S. from Canada has reopened after truck drivers protesting against COVID-19 vaccine mandates shut it down for several hours Monday.
The Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit with the Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario, reopened early Tuesday morning, several hours after members of the Canadian "Freedom Convoy" blocked traffic in protest.
The Ambassador Bridge is the nation's busiest international border crossing, with millions of trucks passing through each year. On Monday afternoon, traffic came to a dead stop on the Ontario side of the bridge, where the Freedom Convoy protested against Canada's COVID-19 vaccine mandates and testing rules.
The traffic jam backed up for miles on both sides of the bridge — down I-75 in Michigan and well into Canada.
In a tweet, Windsor police told travelers to use the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and truckers to use the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario.
The Freedom Convoy started in Ottawa, Canada, two weeks ago. Hundreds of truckers have blocked local streets, disrupting life in Canada's capital city. The city of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency.
"When you're trying to put out a fire, you don't throw oil on it. We don't want to see the kind of activity and loss of life that we saw in the Capitol just a year ago in Washington," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said.
The protests are growing in Canada and are branching out to different locations along the northern border.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against the Freedom Convoy Monday.
"Everyone is tired of COVID but these protests are not the way to get through it," he said.
Trudeau also added in a tweet on Monday night that Canadians have the right to protest, "but let's be clear: They don't have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens' daily lives. It has to stop."
So far, hundreds of RCMP officers have been mobilized to support the Ottawa Police Services. We’re also working with municipal partners to further strengthen our response, and we’ll continue to be there with whatever resources are needed to get the situation under control.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 8, 2022
This story was originally published by Peter Maxwell on Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit.