At the same time that Quebec announced hefty fines for violators of public health rules, the organizers of a demonstration bringing together opponents of the wearing of masks called on them to contest any ticket they might receive.
“[Les autorités] play [sic] with fear of tickets and not with fear of illness, “said Steeve” L’artiss “Charland, one of the former leaders of the identity group La Meute, who has now become a spokesperson for anti-masks.
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The hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Lafontaine Park, located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough in Montreal, were invited by Mr. Charland to continue their fight for their freedom not to wear face coverings as well as to continue to be able to meet in peace.
“They want to give us huge sums of money because we want to live a normal life, that makes no sense, we won’t accept that,” he said to the applause of the crowd.
A few minutes earlier, Quebec announced that the police will now be able to obtain a “remote warrant” on the spot from a judge to enter private residences where they suspect an illegal gathering. They will then be able to issue a portable statement of offense with a fine of $ 1,000 to anyone who ignores the sanitary rules.
“It is not the cases of covid that will increase, but bankruptcies, cases of distress and domestic violence,” said Mr. Charland.
Other speakers spoke to encourage protesters to continue educating their families about the importance of opposing public health measures. Some have suggested that if Quebec is tightening the screw it is because of their growing number.
Unmasked protesters hugged, kissed and danced together hours before the start of the 28-day lockdown announced earlier this week by Prime Minister François Legault.
Karine, who preferred to keep her last name silent, traveled from Mont-Saint-Hilaire to be present. “It’s a matter of respecting everyone’s freedom of choice. I’m not going to go into someone’s bubble on purpose, I respect physical distancing, but I would like to breathe and the mask prevents me from doing so, ”argued the mother of the family, who came with it. her 11 year old boy.
On two occasions, police officers from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) intervened with the organizers.
“We ask you to respect physical distancing, space allows us, but we remind you that it remains an individual choice”, warned an organizer, who also reminded the demonstrators “that a fine, it can always to challenge themselves ”.
Agents on bikes have walked through the crowd at times asking for respect of the 2 meters. A dispersal notice was also issued suggesting an intervention by the authorities, but finally the demonstrators left the field at 7 p.m., as planned.
Along with this rally, the organizers of the rally scheduled for October 11 at Jarry Park in Montreal finally announced the cancellation of the event in a video posted on Facebook.
“Due to the red zone and the restrictions surrounding it, the event” Action for freedom “is canceled,” said Jean-François Denis, one of the organizers, while describing the situation as “pseudo pandemic” .
I’m not going to go into someone’s bubble on purpose, I respect physical distancing, but I would like to breathe and the mask prevents me from doing so
They want to give us huge sums of money tickets because we want to live a normal life, it doesn’t make any sense, we won’t accept that