DETROIT (WXYZ) — Thursday night in Windsor, Ontario, the busiest international border crossing in North America looked more like a street party.
With horns honking, protesters continued their takeover of the road outside the Ambassador Bridge, bringing out couches, setting small fires and even putting up a bounce house, which on Thursday was packed with kids.
“We're protesting for our freedom,” Windsor resident James Grayer said.
Canadians like Grayer are coming out in support of the protesters. He wants a clear indication on when mask mandates and vaccine restrictions will end.
"We've been in this for two years and everybody is just tired of it,” Grayer said. “I'm not an anti-vaxxer, I'm actually triple vaccinated, but I'm here to support freedom of choices.”
“Let me just say this: This is a national crisis,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
During that press conference, Dilkens announced he and automotive groups would be seeking an injunction to clear the blockade, saying the protest has morphed from just truckers protesting vaccine mandates into an overall anti-government movement with no clear leader or clear demands. Dilkens says that has made making negotiations with the group difficult.
“We hope not to have to move in. We hope we can get the protesters to see the light of day and recognize that the easiest way out of this is for them to voluntarily get in their cars and drive away,” Dilkens said.
The mayor says resources from across Ontario are arriving in Windsor, and they stand ready to move in with police and tow trucks to clear the road if needed. Thursday night, he appeared on CNN, saying Michigan is also ready to help.
“I've had conversations with the Governor of Michigan's office. I’ve had conversations with Mayor Duggan in Detroit, and certainly everyone I've spoken with has offered to provide whatever assistance we need,” Dilkens said.
As authorities stand by, the protest continues to grow, with those showing up saying they feel ignored by the Canadian government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"He thinks that we’re a fringe minority, but obviously not," Grayer said. "We’re getting worldwide recognition here.”
The mayor was hoping the injunction would be heard by a judge Thursday afternoon but instead, it will be heard at noon on Friday.