Calgary, March 27: A temporary court injunction invoked by police did not stop a couple thousand Calgarians from making their voices heard Saturday as ‘freedom’ protesters continued their fight against remaining COVID-19 mandates.
A large group gathered first at Olympic Plaza around 1 p.m. before marching down Stephen Avenue and ending up at a Harley Hotchkiss Park, which is designated for public demonstrations.
The injunction currently prohibits blocking traffic or operating vendor stands without a permit within Central Memorial Park or other areas.
It also bans excessive noise, including the unnecessary sounding of horns or other audible warning devices. Still, protesters like Mandy Wild say that won’t prevent her from making her voice heard.
Several protesters confirmed that they’re concerned with the threat of resuming COVID-19 lockdowns, the potential expansion of vaccine passports, quarantine or testing requirements.
Among those attending the rally was Bradley Dezall, a ‘freedom’ protester calling for the removal of vaccine mandates that prevent himself and others from obtaining employment.
Logan Anderson agrees vaccination mandates have taken away from his quality of life. He was laid off from his job because he was unvaccinated and now can’t travel.
Similar protests also took place in Prince’s Island Park Saturday afternoon where several truckers were in attendance to voice concerns over QR codes still being used to cross the Canada/ U.S. border.
Jacqueline Davidson has been driving oversized trucks for the past 12 years. She’s double-vaccinated but still concerned about her privacy.
“We’re supposed to show our QR code when we arrive at the border on our phone, but the border tells us that it already pops up on their computers 20 minutes before we get there without warrant or even asking for permission to come into the country,” she said.
“I just think that’s wrong. It’s a privacy issue. Some people can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons, and why should they lose their job when they’ve been doing this for two years safely?”
Calgary police officers were kept busy throughout much of the afternoon Saturday responding to demonstrations at City Hall, Harley Hotchkiss Park and Prince’s Island Park, but most protesters were peaceful.
As of 3:30 p.m., police had only arrested one person for breaching the injunction and handed out several tickets to the drivers of vehicles downtown excessively honking their horns in relation to demonstrations.
Police Liaison Teams say they have continued to engage with protest organizers and ensure their awareness of the current injunction conditions, which were primarily met across all three protest areas.
Officers monitored groups as demonstrators walked from Harley Hotchkiss Park back towards City Hall and noted that injunction rules were being abided by.