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Canada Dispatch: Ottawa ‘Freedom Convoy’ Expelled Over Police Operation – JURIST

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Law students from the University of Ottawa are submitting dispatches for JURIST on the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Canada’s capital that has brought the city to a standstill for some three weeks. Here, reports 3L Andrew Warkentin. I could feel there was something strange in the air from the moment I woke up this morning. Living just off King Edward Avenue in Ottawa, the road is often busy as people try to get to work, especially as the Freedom Convoy’s occupation of downtown Ottawa has caused many to use alternate routes. But today was different. He was eerily calm. As I moved, a news alert on my phone said that Canada’s House of Commons and Senate were not sitting today, even though they had planned a full day of debate focused on the recently invoked Emergencies Act. Shortly after, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Anthony Rota, issued a statement that this was due to “a police operation” which was expected to take place in the areas around Parliament in the next few hours. he reported that police had begun massing near the Rideau Center toward Byward Market and Nicholas Street near the University of Ottawa. The police were then notified that the protesters had to leave the secure area with their vehicle or property as their protest was now declared illegal. Demonstrators who did not comply faced arrest or the seizure of their vehicle. The protesters’ reaction was swift, as they initially ran to their front lines to show that they were still entrenched and committed to staying. Some rushed to erect barriers by any means possible, at choke points near Nicholas Street, Elgin Street and near Parliament, by any means possible. Some of these barriers involved repositioning trucks to create bottlenecks that prevent police access. Others took the more futile route of trying to pack snow from last night’s heavy snowfall into makeshift barriers. encampments Numerous rumors began to circulate throughout the day, from the belief that if protesters sat in the middle of the street they would be arrested, to a savage statement by protest organizer Pat King that protesters should design white flags using your underwear or t-shirts. because the police “can’t touch you if you’re carrying a white flag. That is international law.” Some even believed that the police would even join their ranks once they reached the protest zone. Bay Street open for protesters to leave without arrest. Some protesters were initially arrested near Nicholas Street, while police advances towards Byward Market continued without incident. These advances continued relatively uninterrupted until two tips of the advancing police met at the corner of Nicholas Street and Laurier Avenue. Several trucks and protesters had camped out at this intersection since the protest began. At this point, police initially stood their ground and broadcast repeated messages pleading with the protesters to leave the area or they would be arrested. Liaison officers were also seen speaking to anyone with apparent authority over the protesters to demand that they vacate the area. Despite these requests, the protesters remained and the patience of the police ran out. Slowly, the police began to move toward the intersection with chants of “back off.” The protesters then began to deploy tactics to appear as if they had some kind of moral authority. Some linked arms and began to sing the national anthem. Others just sat down and stayed put. A bouncy castle in front of Parliament was even briefly inflated, and a minor jumped on it for a brief period. Other tactics were less than noble, if not downright cowardly. This involved acts by protesters to begin flooding 911 and non-emergency lines in an attempt to disrupt police response to lockdowns. Police reports also indicated that some protesters were using children as human shields to protect them from advancing police. Once the children were removed, police moved into the intersection and began pushing protesters back and arresting those who chose to fight back or refused to disperse. . At one point, a protester locked himself in his car and refused to come out. Police then broke at least 2 of the car’s windows and demanded that the driver get out of the vehicle. Shortly after, the 2 police points met and began to advance west towards Parliament. At this point, in the late afternoon, Acting Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell provided an update to the public and media on the events that had transpired. Bell said police were approaching the situation slowly and methodically, giving protesters every opportunity to leave the area. By this point in the afternoon, around 3 pm EST, 70 people had been arrested for various crimes. Most of these crimes were said to be mischief or conspiracy to commit mischief, which can carry between 2 and 10 years in prison, depending on the offence. The police also confirmed that although children were present in the protest area during the police operation, none had been placed in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. They also confirmed that several Freedom Convoy organizers had been arrested and charged with various crimes the night before. These included prominent figures in the protest zone such as Chris Barber and Tamara Lich. Pat King was also arrested today. However, the mood of the protest and response changed shortly after 5 pm. This was possibly in response to an Ottawa police report that protesters had assaulted an undisclosed number of officers and tried to take their weapons, while another had thrown a bicycle at the feet of a horse being used. to control the crowd. These events appear to have caused the police to take a more aggressive stance during a period when police armed with batons and face shields replaced regular officers and mounted police took a more frontline stance. This aggression soon subsided and has led to the position occupied by the protesters. located on Wellington Street between Chateau Laurier and the Senate building. Police have held this position ever since and have erected fences to keep protesters at bay for the time being. Despite the fact that the police maintained their position, some protesters continued to leave the protest area. Several trucks, trailers and other vehicles were seen leaving the protest overnight. However, these departing protesters did not go unpunished as police stopped every vehicle before leaving the protest zone. This seems to indicate that they may be recording information such as license plate numbers and registered owners in order to prosecute or fine those involved at a later date for various crimes. As of this writing, Ottawa police say they have arrested more than 100 protesters and have towed 21 vehicles.

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US Supreme Court Grants Review of Federal Bankruptcy Case – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear MOAC Mall Holdings v. Transform Holdco, a case examining appellate court jurisdiction over sales orders in federal bankruptcy proceedings. The case revolves around the sale and transfer of a lease for a store in a shopping center. In 1991, Sears obtained a lease for a store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lease only cost Sears $10 a year and was supposed to last 100 years. Sears, however, went bankrupt in 2018. As part of federal bankruptcy proceedings, Sears sold its assets and the Mall of America lease was transferred to Transform Holdco LLC, a corporation formed by Sears’ new owners. Mall of America sought to prevent the transfer because they claim that Transform Holdco LLC does not intend to occupy the leased facilities but to sublet them to other companies. Transform Holdco LLC argues that the long-term lease constitutes a substantial portion of the value Sears was sold for in the bankruptcy proceeding. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit transferred the lease as it was deemed “integral” to a court-approved bankruptcy sale. Mall of America filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, arguing that a remedy is available that would not affect the validity of the sale. Therefore, according to Mall of America, the appellate court should be allowed to intervene. Transform Holdco LLC responds that no such remedy exists, and that the Second Circuit’s ruling should stand. The US Supreme Court must now determine whether federal bankruptcy law limits appeals on sales orders deemed “comprehensive,” even when a remedy is available that will not affect the validity of the sale. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case next term.

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US appeals court to rehear challenge to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine executive order – JURIST

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The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Monday stating that the court will rehear Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden, a challenge to President Joe Biden’s 2019 executive order that required federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. In late May and early June, America First Legal Foundation, America’s Frontline Doctors, Airline Employees For Freedom Health, and an additional group of vaccine plaintiffs filed four amicus briefs in favor of a new full hearing. The plaintiffs in Rodden v. Fauci also filed a class action lawsuit made up of federal employees who contracted COVID-19, developed COVID-19 antibodies, “but remain subject to the federal employee vaccination mandate.” The Rodden plaintiffs argue that Biden and the “agencies he directs have no power to direct the personal medical decisions of federal employees,” and therefore this executive order is like an illegal government mandate. In addition, the group asserts that the panel’s refusal to review executive employment decisions is unlawful and thus protects “the exercise of unlawful governmental power.” In January 2022, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s executive order. Other state judges have also blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In December 2021, a Georgia judge blocked the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for government contractors after the Texas Governor ordered a statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccination mandates in October 2021 .

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Ukraine’s richest man sues Russia for loss of property and profits – JURIST

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Ukraine’s richest man on Monday filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russia for “serious violations of his property rights during Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.” Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian businessman who owns much of the country’s manufacturing infrastructure, says he has lost billions of dollars in business since the Russian invasion began. Akhmetov’s announcement highlighted both ongoing human rights violations and infrastructure destruction committed by Russia. He wrote: In addition to the untold human suffering he has caused, Russia’s invasion has resulted in massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The shelling of the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol by Russian artillery seeking to eliminate the last vestiges of Ukrainian resistance in that city has become an international symbol of Russia’s disregard for international law and human rights. As the owner of the Azovstal steel complex, Akhmetov has suffered estimated losses of billions of dollars in both property and profits as a direct result of the Russian invasion. This lawsuit is one of the first initiated by a private individual against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Akhmetov stated several times throughout the announcement that he hopes the court will award him damages so that Ukraine can begin to rebuild.

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