A Canadian judge on Friday ordered an end to a 5-day blockade of Ontario's Ambassador Bridge, where drivers have "parked their pickups and other vehicles in a bumper-to-bumper protest against the country's COVID-19 restrictions," The Associated Press reports.
The order will go into effect at 7 p.m., giving protesters time to leave; those who don't "could be subject to arrest and their vehicles may be seized," writes AP. The ruling arrives following a court hearing in which "the city of Windsor and lawyers for auto parts makers argued that the blockade was causing undue economic harm for the city and region." The bridge is responsible for about a third of U.S.-Canada trade, notes The New York Times.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also declared a state of emergency on Friday and warned of "severe" consequences for those who violate measures he hopes to enact following a meeting with the provincial cabinet on Saturday, per AP. "This is a pivotal, pivotal moment for our nation," he said.
The judge's order is just the latest in the divisive political crisis that has rocked Canada while simultaneously garnering attention and praise from right-wing U.S. politicians. Meanwhile, there also appears to be a shady underbelly to the social media presence of the protests, as was seemingly first reported by Grid News, then later by NBC.