Vancouver protest: If convoy returns, so will we, counter-protesters say

0

More dueling protests appear to be on the agenda in Vancouver

Content of the article

Vancouver health care workers protesting a convoy of large rigs and vehicles opposed to COVID-19 mandates on Saturday have been warned during the second weekend of protests to save their signs for next week.

Advertising

Content of the article

“The convoy drivers told us ‘we’ll be here every week until things get back to normal,'” said Jen, a nurse who held a “triple vaxxed and grateful” sign at the corner of Kingsway and East Broadway. She asked Postmedia that her last name not be used, fearing retaliation.

For hours, hundreds of large rigs, pickup trucks and vehicles – many adorned with Canadian flags and signs critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – blocked thoroughfares and intersections from east to central Vancouver. -city of Vancouver.

Vancouver police reported that five people were arrested during the protests for vandalism and mischief, including kicking vehicles, throwing eggs and scattering nails along roads. A 29-year-old man was also caught carrying a knife in a sheath.

Advertising

Content of the article

Counter-protesters block a convoy as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandates, in Vancouver on February 5, 2022.
Counter-protesters block a convoy as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandates, in Vancouver on February 5, 2022. Photo by JENNIFER GAUTHIER /Reuters

Those in the anti-COVID mandate convoy shouted “we love you” at counter-protesters along the sidewalk, while others took a different approach, shouting obscene language and gestures from their car windows.

Although Jen hadn’t originally planned to protest the noisy convoy on her day off, she said hearing their horns outside her East Van apartment the past two weekends prompted her Act.

“At first, walking around the corner in my blouse, I was really scared,” she said. “These people are in big trucks and I was alone in the street.”

Vancouver health officials had warned its workers on Friday to take defensive action: “Refrain from wearing scrubs and/or your ID badge outside of the hospital during the protest,” reads a statement. Vancouver Coastal Health internal memo.

Advertising

Content of the article

However, as soon as she joined the counter-protesters lining the street, Jen said she felt empowered.

“Just because the trucks are noisy doesn’t mean they’re right. A majority of Canadians are vaccinated and are behind the government measures that have allowed us to see COVID-19 patients get less sick these days.

A protester holds a sign as she walks down Burrard Street in Vancouver on February 5, 2022.
A protester holds a sign as she walks down Burrard Street in Vancouver on February 5, 2022. Photo by Jeff Vinnick /PNG

Among other counter-protesters – who gathered on sidewalks, sat in cars and cycled along the planned route – their placards read: “Please get vaccinated” and “ Do you know anyone who has smallpox? This is because vaccines work.

In the hands of a Vancouver doctor, another sign facing the convoy read: “I intubated 11 of you. (It gets old).

“It was difficult to estimate crowds and vehicles because the protests were so scattered and dispersed across the city, but it was better to say that there were hundreds of vehicles and thousands of protesters,” said the Sgt. Steve Addison.

Advertising

Content of the article

“No incidents motivated by hate, bias or bias were reported.”

However, with fears growing that the convoy will return to Vancouver next weekend, city police are making sure they are “still watching and have several options to restore order whenever protests become illegal or dangerous”.

Protesters hold signs as they gather on Burrard Street on February 5, 2022.
Protesters hold signs as they gather on Burrard Street on February 5, 2022. Photo by Jeff Vinnick /PNG

The second weekend of demonstrations was in solidarity with the so-called “Freedom Convoy” that occupied Ottawa. On Sunday, a state of emergency was declared and Ottawa police investigated more than 97 foul play at the protest.

In Vancouver, Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Saturday sent a direct message to convoy participants, who planned to pass by several health care facilities, St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital. in a range of vehicles.

Advertising

Content of the article

“Vancouver doesn’t want you here,” he said in a statement Friday.

Stewart warned convoy participants not to “interfere with patient, staff or first responder access,” while encouraging local residents to “stand up to hate in all its forms, including when it targets frontline workers and healthcare workers.”

Counter-protesters block a convoy as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandates, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada February 5, 2022.
Counter-protesters block a convoy as truckers and supporters continue to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandates, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada February 5, 2022. Photo by JENNIFER GAUTHIER /Reuters

On Saturday morning, a group of Vancouver cyclists blocked Terminal Avenue. From there, the convoy of anti-warrant vehicles was forced to split into several directions, according to Vancouver police.

“I’ve been following the ‘quote quote’ freedom movement for two years and watching it get infiltrated by white supremacists and, frankly, dangerous people,” said a protester named Morgan, who didn’t want her name. Last name. used.

“Now the citizens of downtown Ottawa are being held hostage in their own city. We will not let that happen here in Vancouver.

sgrochowski@postmedia.com


More news, fewer ads, faster loading times: Get unlimited, lightweight access to the Vancouver Sun, Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Subscribe now via Vancouver Sun Where Province.

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.